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Researching Culinary Institutions
By now you should have made a decision regarding the type of degree that you plan to attain, and whether or not you would like to enroll in a public or private institute. Since there a large number of culinary colleges in the Rio Rico area and within the Country, you must create a checklist of essential qualifiers so that you can begin narrowing your options. Certain obvious qualifications, such as cost and location are a good place to start. But deciding on a school because it is the nearest or the most affordable is not the optimal way to make a decision regarding your education. There are other criteria, including accreditation and reputation that you should assess as well. So following are some crucial areas that you will need to research for every school as you compare them and make your final choice.
Accreditation. It's essential that the cooking college you choose has some form of accreditation from either a local or a national authority. As previously stated, the accrediting organization should be a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged agency, for example the American Culinary Federation (ACF). ACF accredited schools have successfully completed a comprehensive review regarding their curriculum, instructors and facilities. So not only does accreditation help ascertain that you will receive exceptional training, but it may also help in obtaining a student loan or financial aid which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
Age. Newer schools often have the advantage of possessing modern equipment and facilities. However, they may not have been open long enough to acquire an accreditation or to establish a reputation. Conversely, more established schools may still be using their original, outdated equipment, but have established a long track record of success and obtained one or more accreditations. Also, the much more a school has been in business, the more graduates the school can reach out to for its job assistance program. Naturally there is some give and take based on the age of the culinary arts schools. And older, more highly regarded schools usually update their equipment and facilities. The important takeaway is that in the best case scenario, your chosen school will have an outstanding reputation, accreditation and a modern facility with newer equipment.
Job Placement Rates. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the culinary programs you are reviewing. Low graduation rates are indicators that a number of students were dissatisfied with either the colleges or the training and dropped out. They can also indicate that the teachers were not competent to teach the curriculum. Request that the schools furnish their job placement rates as well. If a college has a high job placement rate, it will help validate that it has a great or exceptional reputation within the culinary arts field, in addition to a broad network of professional connections. Be wary of any school that will not provide this information.
Location. The cooking school that you choose should be within driving distance of your Rio Rico residence, unless you are able to relocate. You may consider attending college online, but you would still need to travel for your externship program. Conversely, maybe you have decided to attend a particular culinary college located in a different state due to its prominence and programs offered. It would be a wise decision to check out the campus before enrolling, to make certain that you are comfortable with the area and your future living conditions. Check the training facilities personally to make certain they are up to date and that the equipment is contemporary. Keep in mind also that a number of schools target their job assistance programs within their local communities, so pick a location where you will satisfied working.
Class Sizes. The ideal way to learn how to cook is with plenty of personalized training. If the cooking institute you enroll in has larger classes, you will most likely get limited individual attention from the instructors. The optimal means to assess the interaction and communication between faculty and students is to attend a few of the classes. Ask some of the students what their experience has been. Find out if they are happy with the amount of attention they get in class in addition to the entire course of training. Also, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their teaching philosophies are along with their backgrounds and qualifications.
Flexible Class Schedules. There is no benefit to in enrolling in a culinary arts program if you will be unable to attend the classes. Therefore confirm that the school you choose provides class scheduling that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. If you can only attend in the evening or on weekends near Rio Rico AZ because of your job schedule, verify that the school you decide on offers either weekend or night classes. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the culinary arts college has a part-time option. Also, check to see what the make-up protocol is if you have to miss a class because of work, family or other responsibilities.