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Contrasting Culinary Institutes
At this point you should have decided on the type of degree that you wish to earn, and whether or not you would like to enroll in a private or a public institution. Since there are numerous culinary colleges in the Lake Havasu City area and across the USA, you need to create a checklist of essential qualifiers so that you can start limiting your options. A few obvious qualifiers, for instance cost and location are an excellent place to begin. But picking a school because it is the nearest or the most affordable is not the best way to decide on your education. There are other factors, for example reputation and accreditation that you must assess as well. Therefore, below are some crucial areas that you will need to research for every school as you compare and contrast them and make your ultimate decision.
Accreditation. It's very important that the culinary school you pick has some type of accreditation from either a local or a national organization. As aforementioned, the accrediting authority should be a U.S. Department of Education certified authority, such as the American Culinary Federation (ACF). ACF accredited schools have successfully completed a thorough assessment pertaining to their curriculum, teachers and facilities. Therefore not only does accreditation help confirm that you will receive quality training, but it can also assist in obtaining a student loan or financial aid which are generally not accessible for non-accredited schools.
Age. Newer schools generally have the benefit of having modern equipment and facilities. However, they may not have been in operation long enough to garner an accreditation or to cultivate a reputation. On the other hand, more established schools may still be using their original, outdated equipment, but have established a long history of success and obtained one or more accreditations. Also, the much more a school has operated, the more graduates the school can reach out to for its job placement program. Certainly there is some give and take dependent on the age of the culinary arts schools. And older, more highly regarded 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 modern equipment.
Job Placement Rates. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the cooking colleges you are examining. Lower graduation rates are indicators that numerous students were unhappy with either the schools or the courses and dropped out. They can also signify that the instructors were not competent to teach the course of study. Request that the schools provide their job placement rates also. If a school has a higher job placement rate, it will help confirm that it has a good or exceptional reputation within the culinary field, as well as a wide network of professional relationships. Watch out for any school that will not provide this information.
Location. The culinary school that you attend must be within driving distance of your Lake Havasu City home, unless you have decided to relocate. You may look into attending college online, but you would still need to travel for your externship training. Alternatively, maybe you have chosen to attend a particular culinary college located in a different state due to its ranking and programs offered. It would be a good idea to visit the facility before enrolling, to make certain that you are satisfied with the location and your future living conditions. Inspect the training facilities personally to make sure they are modern and that the equipment is contemporary. Consider also that a number of schools focus their job assistance programs within their regional communities, so pick a location where you will be happy working.
Class Sizes. The most effective method to learn how to cook is with lots of one-on-one instruction. If the culinary arts institute you enroll in has large classes, you will undoubtedly receive limited personal attention from the teachers. The ideal means to assess the interaction between teachers and students is to sit in on several of the classes. Ask some of the students what their experience has been. Find out if they are pleased with the level of attention they receive in class in addition to the entire course of training. Also, talk with several of the teachers and find out what their teaching styles are as well as their experiences and qualifications.
Flexible Class Schedules. There is no benefit to in enrolling in a cooking program if you will be unable to attend the classes. So confirm that the school you select offers class scheduling that will fit in with your hectic lifestyle. If you can only attend at night or on Saturdays or Sundays near Lake Havasu City AZ due to your job schedule, make certain that the school you select offers either weekend or night classes. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the culinary arts school has a part-time option. Also, check to see what the make-up protocol is if you need to miss a class as a result of work, family or other responsibilities.
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