March 28, 2022

Culinary Arts program reshaped

Changes will prepare students for rapidly changing industry

The restaurant business has changed rapidly in a short time. Schoolcraft College is preparing its Culinary Arts students for the ever-evolving realities of this complex industry by updating several areas of the curriculum. The new curriculum has launched and will be available in the fall of 2022.

“With the help of industry experts who provide valuable feedback, data from graduate and employer surveys, plus input from other valued sources within Schoolcraft College and beyond, we’ve adjusted our curriculum and programming to better train our students to become valued employees and leaders in the restaurant industry,” said Brian Beland, Certified Master Chef (CMC*) and Department Chair of Culinary Arts.

The goal is to raise competency levels for the students and improve skill sets in several key areas in cooking and operations.

Christopher C. Misiak, CCE**, CEC***, Program Coordinator for Culinary Arts, and 2016 National ACF Chef Instructor of the Year, was instrumental in helping develop the new curriculum. “A culinary curriculum must stay in tune with the industry standards and trends,” he said. “After a lengthy process of analysis, we were able to identify six additional program outcomes that needed to be addressed in the new curriculum.”

These newly identified outcome were:

  • Apply nutritional concepts to menus
  • Increased focus and repetition on fundamental cooking principles
  • Perform advanced butchery skills
  • Understand restaurant financial controls
  • Incorporation of alcohol service and accountability
  • Improve time-management skills

“These new outcomes were directly involved in the development of the new classes,” Chef Misiak said. “From them we created two new foundation cooking classes in the first year; a new nutritional class was created that included an emphasis on lab production; wine and spirits, once an elective choice, is now in the core program; and we expanded our restaurant classes hours to promote a better learning environment for the student.”

To reflect the updated curriculum, the program will be called Professional Culinary Arts and offer the following credentials.

  • Professional Culinary Arts Skills Certificate – 21 credits
  • Professional Culinary Arts Certificate – 43 credits
  • Professional Culinary Arts Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree – 60-66 credits

The program is stackable to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Culinary and Dietary Operations and is certified by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF).

A closer look at what’s new

Students in the Certificate and AAS tracks will especially benefit from the impact of the updated and new courses.  “These courses are especially key to teaching new competencies required by the industry,” Chef Beland said. “In some cases, we were able to streamline. With CUL 125, for example, we included material previously covered in the advanced pastry class. Further, we built both CUL 210 and CUL 245 to support the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation requirements and industry expectations.”

New courses include:

  • CUL 125 – Foundations of Classical and Contemporary Pastry
  • CUL 130 – Foundations of Cooking A (Dry Heat Cookery)
  • CUL 135 – Foundations of Cooking B (Moist Heat Cookery)
  • CUL 210 – Wine and Spirits
  • CUL 245 – Foundations in Healthy Cooking

High school students can get an early start

Schoolcraft College has articulation (transfer) agreements with several area school districts that can allow high school students to complete their prerequisites. These districts are:

  • Livonia Public Schools
  • Oakland County Public School District
  • Plymouth-Canton Public Schools
  • Saline Public Schools

Agreements in place with those districts allow students to receive credit for CUL 102 (Culinary Sanitation) and CUL 103 (Introduction to Professional Cooking Skills and Techniques) before entering Schoolcraft College.

Learn more about Schoolcraft College’s Culinary Arts program.

*     CMC – stands for Certified Master Chef (CMC) from the American Culinary Federation (ACF)

**   CCE – stands for Certified Culinary Educator® (CCE®) from the American Culinary Federation (ACF)

*** CEC – stands for Certified Executive Chef® (CCE®) from the American Culinary Federation (ACF)

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