It is difficult to justify turning a blind eye to the perfect storm of challenges facing culinary education. It may very well be time for programs to reinvent themselves.
As a new term begins, here are eight lessons you must teach each of your students if he and she are to become leaders in our industry.
Becoming unique, contemporary and benchmark setting defines a brand. Here’s a checklist to determine if your program is forward thinking or merely churning out graduates. Start by asking yourself, “How is my program perceived in the marketplace?”
What can the graduate do for the school? Says Chef Sorgule, the proper question should be, What can the school do for the graduate?
By Paul Sorgule, MS, AAC
Considering the ongoing questions about the value of a degree and the ever-changing landscape of the food business, I am constantly giving thought to how administrators of culinary programs can increase the perceived and real value of an education in food.
Everyone is certainly aware of the pressure pertaining to value being passed on to institutions from accrediting bodies, especially those preparing students for technical trades. The answer moving forward might very well be in shifting how we look at a degree.
For far too long, earning a college education was a two- or four-year process that students went through in pursuit of a degree. In other words, students passed through the college experience, incurring significant debt, with closure coming on graduation day.
The connections that continue to exist between the college and the graduate are limited to alumni newsletters, reunions and gift requests from the Institutional Advancement Office. We might invite an occasional graduate back to speak to a class or provide a demonstration, but, for the most part, the theme is: “What can the graduate do for the school, rather than what can the school do for the graduate.”
Graduates will not remember many specifics of their educations, and will even realize that so much they thought would be important to their life paths isn’t. But they will remember those who influenced their learning in meaningful ways.
By Paul Sorgule, MS, AAC
Another academic year has come and gone. After students walk across the stage, every administrator, faculty member, student and parent has an opportunity to reflect on the two or four years that went into making graduation possible.
Deans and directors are beginning to plan time into their summer schedules for review of curriculum, some overdue maintenance on kitchen facilities, completing outcome assessment materials from the year coming to a close, and justifying budgets nearing the end of a fiscal year.
Faculty are putting course materials to bed and cleaning offices as they head into some well-earned time off. Students are breathing a sigh of relief combined with that uneasy feeling as they enter the workforce, and parents are still glowing with pride—knowing that their son or daughter has just completed another phase in his or her life.