Culinary School: The Journey begins…
After far too long THINKING & DOING NOTHING about it, a conversation with one of my co-workers spurred me into action. Here’s how it went…
I was at my office printer, waiting for my group of recipes to print. Ray, Professor of Pharmacy Administration in the college where I work, came by and spied one of the pictures on the printout and recognized it as a recipe.
He said, “Are you a culinary person?”. I tapped my belly and said “Heck yes!”, and we had a conversation about my culinary training, the supper club that we organized over a year ago. Then Ray knocked me down by telling me that not only is he a culinary person as well, he is enrolled in the Culinary Arts Certificate program for his own enrichment at Cincinnati State Technical & Community College (“CSTCC”), a local community college! He said, and these words ring for me, “You should check it out“.
So I did.
The certificate program isn’t long; only 32 credit hours. It can be completed in the evenings in less than one calendar year. The community college is about 7 minutes away from where I work, and evening classes begin a half-hour after my workday ends which gives me a lot of time to get down there. The community college offers an Associate degree as well, should I choose to ‘upgrade’ my training. I’ve got the complete support of my fiancee Wendy, and the endorsement of my boss.
I went to talk with the folks at the community college to get my paperwork sorted out and they were extremely kind & informative. I spoke with Chef John Kinsella, one of the main professors in the program. He suggested that I begin the program in the fall (the only disappointment; I was hoping to begin this summer), and once he explained that the Fall is the BEGINNING of the program, I understood and agreed.
AND… The best news of all… Because of a consortium agreement between my university and the community college, I get to go FREE! University employees usually enjoy a tuition-remission benefit as part of their employment. Some local schools participate in a Consortium program, which allows employees of one member school to take classes at another member school without charge. The only downside to this is that the employee cannot take classes at the host school for academic credit — these courses must be taken as audit. However, since my goal is personal enrichment, this is not a problem for me.
So, I headed back to my employeer to fill out the Consortium registration form and get things rolling on that end. I needed to list the course numbers of the two classes I would be taking on the form; a quick search on the Internet, and I found what I needed.
Form submitted to my employer, I completed the CSTCC application and submitted it to their admissions office.