There are two public schools in Virginia that provide pastry arts certificate programs, and both are offered as a combined baking and pastry program. While the 1-year certificate programs do cover a variety of pastry arts, they also include some coursework in bread baking. One school's culinary arts associate's degree program can prepare students to become pastry chefs. Both programs include some type of practical experience.
Baking and pastry students (as well as culinary arts students) are required to wear an approved chef's uniform for all lectures and labs. Both schools also provide training in ServSafe, a certification required for food handlers, as part of their food sanitation and safety coursework. Read more about the two schools in Virginia that have pastry arts programs.
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
Located in Richmond, J Sergeant Reynolds Community College's pastry arts certificate program is a competency-based program requiring applicants to demonstrate college-level reading and writing skills and successfully complete an entry interview. Some of the topics that the pastry arts program covers include artisan breads, custards, European tortes, specialty desserts, chocolates and wedding cakes. A total of 27 credits is required. Students are also required to undergo periodic reviews with their faculty advisor. The school maintains academic partnerships with a variety of regional and national professional culinary organizations, and graduates qualify for positions as pastry chefs and bakers.
Virginia Western Community College
Virginia Western Community College is located in Roanoke and offers a 27-credit career studies certificate program that can be completed in under a year. The program qualifies students for entry-level bakery, dessert making, cake baking and cake decorating positions. Students learn about pastry and baking principles, specialty breads and cakes, cremes, plated desserts and sugar art, among other topics.
An Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts degree that is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) is also available. While this program only includes one course on baking principles, it prepares students for work as pastry chefs and to take the ACF's examination to become a Certified Pastry Culinarian.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|J Sargeant Reynolds Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Pastry Arts Career Studies Certificate||$4,653 in-state; $10,491 out-of-state*|
|Virginia Western Community College||2-year, public; small city|| Career Studies Certificate in Baking and Pastry,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
|$4,713 in-state; $10,551 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator