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 the greatest number of cooking facilities and learning options for cooking-related fields in the region. It offers two certificates and two associate degree programs. Clark College's culinary arts programs have been recognized as best in the state by the National Restaurant Association.
  • In addition to preparing students for cooking careers through a certificate and an associate degree program, Mount Hood Community College's cooking programs also help students prepare for work in related hospitality and tourism fields. This school is about 17 miles from downtown Portland.
  • Related training offered by Portland Community College can be found at 4 campuses in the Portland Community College system. One is just 8 miles from downtown. PCC's culinary assistant training program is the only cooking program in the region that is specifically dedicated to helping special needs students.

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.

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 Mount Hood Community College Portland Community College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2011) 12,893* 9,905* 34,632*
Campus Setting Midsize city Large suburb Large city
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $3,559 in-state; $8,749 out-of-state* $4,219 in-state; $9,844 out-of-state* $3,124 in-state; $7,660 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2011) 68%* 72%* 52%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2011) 60% for full-time students; 49% for part-time students* 55% for full-time students; 36% for part-time students* 60% for full-time students; 45% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (2011) 28% (17% transfer-out rate)* 18% (32% transfer-out rate)* 14% (22% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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