community ed start up?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by cookderosa, Feb 6, 2011.

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  1. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

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    Details to follow, but I'm thinking about creating a community education culinary program. This would be different than the CE classes I've taught in the past since I won't be running this through the college or rec depts. Also, this would be different from the culinary classes I teach at the college since this would be strictly community ed/professional development stuff- not for credit.

    Why? Yesterday our CC dropped our affiliation with the American culinary federation. That's public knowledge, why it happened I can't go into, but this is a huge deal. Our culinary program is now a freelance culinary program.

    My husband and I have been teachers in this program since day 1. I started the culinary program and ran it for 4 years (literally, including obtaining accreditation) so this is one thing I know well. In addition, any changes the program has underwent through the years I've been the "go to" for curriculum rewrites. I have (literally) written the courses for every course in our program. There are problems with that program that center around it's length (it's too long) it's apprenticeship component (too many hours) it's transfer limitations (students don't understand why their AAS degree doesn't transfer) and its growth (we now place students at fast food restaurants to accommodate the surge of students). We have consistency issues, improper methods being taught, and now employ more adjuncts than any other dept. Quality of adjuncts is alllllll over the map- including some of our own program's former students who dropped out. <sigh>

    I have an idea- an idea that I'm bursting about. My passion for my field had fizzled, and I was really just plain burnt out. Most of you know I'd considered a career change, and just short of applying, I decided to wait before jumping ship completely. But, I think I have found something that really taps into my strength and talent, as well as uses my network in this community. I'd like to open a community based culinary training program. This wouldn't be a college- it would be professional development/community ed- so no accreditation issues to deal with. I think I can do it in less time (9 month program instead of 3 years), for less money (for the student over 3 years), and with more integrity (I won't expand on that too much- use your imagination). I need feedback and aspects to consider that I might not be aware of. I'm only brainstorming, but I want to go in the right direction. Any thoughts???
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2011
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    I think it is a great idea. Has the enrollment in the CC gone up, down, or stayed flat in the past 3-4 years? This may be an indication of the demand. Would you include a "Busness 101" week/month/module? I think it is critical for any non-business program.
     
  3. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

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    It's gone up, and that's the problem! Our program is an apprenticeship model- which means students need to be placed in houses that employ chefs and do scratch cooking. There are only a dozen or so that are really good sites, so in order to grow our program, the program is placing people in anything besides fast food. That means buffets, cafeterias, etc. We used to have ~12-15 apprentices per year, now we exceed 100. As a CC, profit is not our primary motive...but I won't go into the details, it's not really relevant and I want to keep my words fit for public consumption :)

    A soapbox of mine for YEARS has been the AOS/AAS degree programs- I have a real philosophical objection to "college-ing" every career trade that we can recruit. I hate that they are taking non-transfer credits in non-articulated degrees taught by uneducated adjuncts. I love the idea of culinary school, I love the idea of professional training, and I love the idea of educating those who want it. I've continued to rally against the $50K per year for - profit culinary "colleges" churning out loan defaulters. The reason I got behind apprenticeship in the beginning, was because we were not linked with the college I work for. But, all that being said, most cooks will enter a low paying field. I believe that job training by qualified chefs can be offered in a very simple way in a MUCH shorter amount of time. I honestly don't believe most cooks want degrees, but they want a credential. I think a basic certificate program taught in a vocational/adult ed manner that takes place over roughly 9 months (plus a short internship) is absolutely sufficient for most cooks.
    BTW, our AAS graduates are NOT certified as chefs when they graduate. There is no culinary school in the USA that makes you a certified chef, and certification doesn't require a degree...begging the question - why do it?
    Technically speaking, culinary arts is still very much an "on the job" trade. So, a few basic courses (sanitation, culinary math, basic/intermediate/advanced foods) and a student should be able to get a certificate. With that, they can get certified.

    The college has no such option. It's 6000 hours or nothing. 3 years as a full time work + school or nothing. No option for part time either. Our students put in 40 hours per week working at a site they FOUND THEMSELVES and must take 12 credits per term. Our drop out rate is insane. Maybe 1 in 20 will graduate.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2011
  4. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    That is worst then online doctoral programs...sounds like it is illegal and immoral...a scam...ethically bankrupt…and all that stuff

    Now seriously, you should go for it. You obviously have a passion for it and there is a need.
     
  5. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

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    I've been obsessing all day- doing my "OCD type A mode thing." I should go for it. I know about teaching, I know about curriculum, I know about administration... but now I need to find out what I don't know.
     
  6. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

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    1 in 20 graduate? Oh my gosh, it's a NCU doctoral program! :pokey:
     
  7. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    That is not fair...NCU would be 3 in 20 for 15%. :chairshot:
     

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