Highly Successful Program Enjoys 98 Percent Employment Rate
KaTom Restaurant Supply, Inc.’s annual study has ranked the College of DuPage Culinary Arts program among the top 20 in the U.S. The foodservice equipment and supply company based its rankings on data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard database including available program options, cost of attendance and career outcomes.
Program Chair and Professor of Culinary, Baking and Pastry Arts Tim Meyers said COD’s ranking is clear validation of the College’s commitment to providing students with a top-notch, relevant education.
“One of our primary goals is to be proactive with the program,” he said. “We are constantly challenging ourselves to update curriculum and incorporate industry trends to provide students the education and experience they need to be successful.”
Meyers said that while there are several factors that make COD’s program stand out, the facilities and equipment in the College’s Culinary and Hospitality Center are among the most vital. Featuring sophisticated skills kitchens, a chocolate room and a culinary amphitheater for guest lectures and demonstrations, the 60,000-square-foot LEED certified facility also features Waterleaf, the College’s fine dining, student-run restaurant, and casual dining at the Culinary Market at Wheat Café.
“Our facility is one of the best in the country and the benefit to students learning in a state-of-the art educational environment cannot be overstated,” he said. “In addition, small class sizes, which average 16 students per class, enable much more one-on-one support and guidance. We also offer a 3+1 Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management program that provides students a great way to continue their education while saving a substantial amount of money.”
As reported in the study, the program boasts a nearly 98 percent employment rate for graduates, which Meyers said stems from a student-first mentality.
“Our students’ high employment rate is a direct result of our commitment to student learning and student outcomes,” he said. “Our degree programs require students to serve internships which help them gain professional experience, enhance skills and test the waters in different areas of the industry. When they enter the workforce, they are very well prepared. As a result, COD has gained a reputation for training highly skilled employees who are sought after by area employers.”
He added that the values of customer service and hospitality are at the heart of the program.
“All faculty and staff members in the Culinary and Hospitality Center embrace the art of customer service and hospitality,” he said. “It is going on every day in the building. In the hospitality industry, the first impression might be the only impression you get. That mindset and momentum is always in play.”
The College of DuPage Culinary Arts program offers an Associate in Applied Science degree and a certificate in Culinary Arts. The program is accredited by the Education Foundation of the American Culinary Federation, making COD one of the few schools in the nation to have accreditation for both food service administration and culinary arts.