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Cooking Classes in Portland, Oregon with School Overviews

There are 3 schools within 20 miles of Portland, OR, that have cooking classes. Read an overview of the programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Portland, OR, Schools with Cooking Classes

Students looking to take cooking classes within the Portland, OR, metropolitan area only have a few school options. This article looks at 3 schools that are within 25 minutes of the downtown area, along with the programs they offer. It also includes a table of information, such as enrollment, costs and graduation rates, that may help prospective students compare the schools.

  • Nine miles from downtown Portland, Clark College, in Vancouver, Washington, offers two certificates and two associate degree programs.
  • In addition to preparing students for cooking careers through a certificate and an associate degree program, Pioneer Pacific College's cooking programs also help students prepare for work in related hospitality and tourism fields.
  • Related training offered by Portland Community College can be found at 4 campuses in the Portland Community College system.

Comparison of Schools

The following table makes it easy for individuals to compare important aspects of these schools and arrive at a sound decision on their training.

Clark College Pioneer Pacific College Portland Community College
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, private 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2014) 10,911 1,195 30,929
Campus Setting Midsize city Large suburb Large city
Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $3,456 in-state; $8,794 out-of-state $13,972 $3,766 in-state; $8,374 out-of-state
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2011) 65% 94% 50%
Acceptance Rate (2014) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2014) 64% 60% 60%
Graduation Rate (2014) 25% 59% 15%

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Portland Community College

Students have been enrolling in this school system's culinary assistant certificate program since the 1970s. The culinary assistant certificate program was previously honored as Oregon's best special needs program by the Oregon Association for Vocational Special Needs Personnel.

Culinary Assistant Certificate

In this program students with documented learning disabilities can earn a 1-year culinary assistant certificate. Students enrolled in this program can find out how to hold jobs in the food and custodial service industries. They can also learn how to handle food safely and be safe on the job. Every day during this program, students are expected to work 5 hours with campus food services and 1 hour in the classroom. Topics covered during this program include following directions, attendance, interviewing techniques, teamwork skills and accepting criticism.

Clark College

Clark offers a pair of programs designed to help students cultivate their skills. One program focuses on general, all-around skills, while the other specializes in baking and pastry arts. Due to facility renovations, however, the programs are not accepting new students until 2017.

Cuisine Program

The more general of the two, the Cuisine program gives students a well-rounded education in fundamental food preparation and safety topics. Students begin by taking introductory courses in basic subjects such as cooking theory, knife skills, and food safety, and then move on to more complex concepts such as kitchen station rotation, menu planning, cost control, regional cuisine, and healthy cooking.

Baking & Pastry Arts

Intended for students who are ready to specialize in the subject, this program provides a comprehensive study of the methods and techniques related to professional baking and pastries. Students will learn proper baking practices, and then apply their knowledge through courses that cover topics such as dough properties, tortes and cakes, and viennoiserie techniques.

Pioneer Pacific College

PPC offers a trio of associate's degrees related to the culinary arts through the Oregon Culinary Institute (OCI), a branch of the college's family of schools.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Management

The AAS program at PPC stresses the development of both food preparation and management skills. Students can expect to take courses in dining room essentials, beverage service, oenology, and marketing; graduates will leave the program fully prepared for a career in the food and hospitality field.

Associate of Applied Science in Baking & Pastry Management

This program introduces students to basic baking techniques and explores the art of crafting pastries. Students supplement their coursework through an externship, which allows them to practice their skills in a real-world environment.

Associate of Applied Science in Restaurant Management

For students more intrigued by the business side of the culinary world, the restaurant management program features extensive coursework in subjects such as labor costing, marketing, and operations management.

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