Culinary Arts Colleges
How to Select the Right One Near Glendale Arizona
You have made a great career choice to become a cook or chef by enrolling in a culinary institute near Glendale AZ. You will not only be taught how to cook incredible dishes or prepare lavish desserts, you'll also be able to make a nice income doing it. But exactly how do you set about choosing a culinary institute once you've made your decision to enroll? What qualifications should you review and compare among the contending cooking institutes before making your ultimate choice? Keep in mind that you must select the appropriate program and degree in order to be a success in the restaurant and hospitality industry. There are a wide variety of alternatives to pick from, starting with a diploma or certificate program and advancing to attaining an undergraduate or even a graduate degree. You may enroll in a small cooking college, an online college, or enroll in a prestigious culinary institute that provides advanced degrees. The kind of credential and school you select will undoubtedly be based upon how much time and money you can afford to spend, in addition to your ultimate career objective. When you have established what your primary area of interest and budget are, you can begin assessing the culinary arts schools that satisfy your preliminary qualifications. Depending upon the certification and type of culinary school you choose, you can be working as a professional chef or cook in just 6 months. So before we delve more into the process of picking a school, let's talk a little more about the degree and culinary school options that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Culinary Arts Career Below!
Once you have made your selection regarding the kind of instruction and degree that you wish to pursue, you can start your search for the culinary arts school, college or institute that offers it. As an example, if your dream is to train to be a chef specializing in French cuisine, then of course you will concentrate on those institutes that furnish the appropriate training. Or you can opt for a college based on its reputation or other factors (we'll cover several of those later) and then pick the most suitable degree program offered that is simpatico with your career goals in Glendale AZ. However you arrive at your decision, culinary schools normally fall under 3 different categories:
- Cooking Schools. A few cooking schools do offer degree programs, but in most cases they offer diplomas or certificates. Their courses tend to be more focused in nature, and they can range anywhere from 1 or 2 months to as long as 3 to 4 years.
- Community Colleges. Area community colleges tend to be more inexpensive than the majority of private schools and many have excellent programs. They almost solely offer Associate's Degrees and are founded and maintained by either local or state governments.
- Culinary Arts Schools and Institutes. The advanced degrees and training are furnished by culinary schools and institutes. Some institutes provide the most respected as well as the highest level of training in academia. But bear in mind, since they are private institutions they often can be more expensive than their public counterparts, some much more.
Choosing a culinary arts school will not only be based on the kind of program or degree you wish to pursue, but also how much you have to invest in your education. If you decide to attend a public school to lower expenses, keep in mind that out-of-state residents normally are required to pay a higher tuition than in-state residents. Furthermore, many community colleges and regional public schools have lower tuition rates for area residents. So be sure to look into the public options within Arizona and also within the Glendale AZ area to locate the most economical options.
Cooking Online Classes
A number of potential students may find that there are no cooking programs that are within travelling proximity of their Glendale AZ home. One option is to enroll in online classes within the convenience of one's home. The practicality and flexibility makes it the only solution for some students that are still working full time while going to school. In addition there are more schools online than ever that are accredited. Bear in mind that a substantial component of the instruction will be furnished through an externship. Externships are programs where students work with regional chefs or other culinary arts practitioners so that they obtain hands-on training beyond the internet classroom. Just make certain that the online program you decide on is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged organization (more on this later). Therefore if you are dedicated enough to be able to participate in classes and study using this more independent fashion, attaining a culinary arts online degree just might be the ideal choice for you.
Comparing Culinary Colleges
At this point you should have decided on the type of degree that you wish to attain, and if you want to enroll in a private or a public institute. Since there are numerous culinary institutions in the Glendale area and within the United States, you must create a checklist of important qualifiers so that you can start limiting your options. A few obvious qualifiers, including location and cost are a good place to begin. But selecting a school because it is the closest or the least expensive is not the optimal way to decide on your education. There are other factors, for instance reputation and accreditation that you need to assess as well. So below are some key areas that you should research for each school as you compare and contrast them and make your final decision.
Accreditation. It's important that the culinary program you choose has some form of accreditation from either a regional or a national authority. As mentioned previously, the accrediting organization should be a U.S. Department of Education recognized authority, for instance the American Culinary Federation (ACF). ACF accredited schools have successfully completed a thorough evaluation relating to their curriculum, instructors and facilities. Therefore not only does accreditation help ensure that you will receive exceptional training, but it may also assist in securing a student loan or financial assistance which are generally not offered for non-accredited schools.
Age. Recently established schools generally have the benefit of having modern facilities and equipment. However, they may not have been open long enough to earn an accreditation or to cultivate a reputation. Conversely, older schools may still be using their original, dated equipment, but have established a sustained history of success and received one or more accreditations. Also, the much more a school has been in operation, the more alumni the school can solicit for its job placement program. Naturally there is some give and take dependent on the age of the cooking schools. And older, more renowned schools typically modernize their facilities and equipment. The significant lesson is that in the best case scenario, your chosen school will have an outstanding reputation, accreditation and a state-of-the-art facility with newer equipment.
Job Placement Rates. Initially, ask what the graduation rates are for the culinary colleges you are examining. Low graduation rates are indications that many students were dissatisfied with either the schools or the training and quit before graduating. They might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to teach the curriculum. Ask the schools to provide their job placement rates as well. If a college has a high job placement rate, it will help affirm that it has a good or outstanding reputation within the culinary arts community, as well as a large network of professional connections. Be skeptical of any school that will not supply this information.
Location. The culinary arts college that you enroll in should be within commuting distance of your Glendale home, unless you have decided to relocate. You may look into attending classes online, but you would still need to travel for your externship program. On the other hand, maybe you have decided to attend a particular culinary arts college located in a different state because of its ranking and programs offered. It would be a wise decision to pay a visit to the campus before enrolling, to make sure that you are satisfied with the location and your potential living conditions. Look over the training facilities in person to make certain they are up to date and that the equipment is state of the art. Consider also that some schools concentrate their job assistance programs within their local communities, so select a location where you will enjoy working.
Class Sizes. The most effective approach to learn how to cook is with a lot of one-on-one training. If the cooking school you enroll in has large classes, you will probably receive little individual attention from the teachers. The optimal way to evaluate the interaction and communication between teachers and students is to audit several of the classes. Ask a couple of the students what their experience has been. Find out if they are satisfied with the level of attention they receive in class in addition to the overall training. Also, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their teaching styles are along with their backgrounds and credentials.
Flexible Class Schedules. There is no point in enrolling in a cooking college if you will be unable to attend the classes. Therefore make sure that the school you select provides class scheduling that can fit in with your busy lifestyle. If you can only attend in the evening or on Saturdays or Sundays near Glendale AZ because of your work schedule, confirm that the school you decide on offers either night or weekend classes. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the culinary college has a part-time offering. Also, check to see what the make-up policy is if you have to miss a class because of family, work or other obligations.
Enroll in the Right Glendale Culinary School
A successful career in the hospitality and restaurant industry is predicated upon picking the right culinary program. As we have covered, there are various things that you should consider when evaluating schools, such as their reputations, accreditation, and training facilities. Just like any career decision, you should start by compiling information, and the most effective approach to accomplish that is by getting in touch with culinary colleges directly, either face to face or over the telephone. If you're not sure about which schools to look into, you might need to consider consulting with chefs in your area about any culinary arts schools they recommend. Afterwards use the Web to investigate these schools further before you contact them. By making the effort to thoroughly assess each of your education alternatives, you will find yourself in a better position to make an educated decision. And when you choose the perfect school, you will have a wonderful beginning toward your dream of becoming a chef in Glendale Arizona.