What Are A Few Warnings That A Culinary School Is Not Right For You?
The majority of culinary schools out there provide quality education and training in keeping with professional-level standards. Whether you attend a big-name school like the Culinary Institute of America, or if you opt for a local community college program, you can get all the training you need to begin a career as a cook in just a few years.
However, not all cooking schools have your best interests at heart. In some cases, the focus of the school is less on preparing students for the future and more on making money for the stockholders. If you want to avoid this kind of culinary school trap, here are a few warning sights to look out for.
No One Has Heard of Them
Take the time to talk to at least five restaurants in your area (ideally the ones you hope to someday be employed at). If they’ve never heard of the school, chances are it’s not worth the investment. You don’t have to attend a big culinary school, but if employers won’t recognize the school on your resume, it could actually work against you rather than for you.
No Accreditation/Questionable Accreditation
The first thing you should look for when choosing a culinary school is what kind of accreditation they have. If you’ve never heard of the accrediting body, it’s one that probably doesn’t count for much.
Look for schools recognized by the Department of Education, the American Culinary Federation, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education, and the various regional bodies.
You Aren’t Encouraged to Meet Students/Staff
You should always take advantage of opportunities to talk with current (and past) students, as well as the faculty members who will be providing the bulk of your education. If the school tries to keep you away from this kind of face-to-face interaction, be sure and find out why.
It’s always a good idea to look at the total cost of attendance, as well. Before you sign any paperwork, figure in all the fees and learning materials, as well as the tuition costs for the entire length of time it will take you to complete your culinary school education.
Even if the school does offer tuition assistance and student loans, you should always compare the costs between the various culinary schools before you decide to attend.