Out of Alaska's eight public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities, there are three that currently offer formal training in culinary arts. Students can choose to earn a certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree in the culinary arts. Programs concentrate on the hands-on practice of culinary skills. At least one program's hospitality requirements can be fulfilled online. Internship opportunities are offered in most programs.
AVTEC - Alaska's Institute of Technology
AVTEC in Seward is associated with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development; the institute has been approved by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education and is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. Its many career-oriented programs include a professional certification program in cooking and baking that has been accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC). This 1,490-hour course of study is the first and only one in the state to enjoy this distinction. The faculty includes a combination department chair and pastry instructor, as well as two culinary arts teachers. Credits earned through the culinary arts technology certificate program can be applied toward an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts at the University of Alaska.
Adult learners must meet the institute's minimums on the TABE reading and math tests; students must also provide their own knife sets, textbooks, and uniforms. Physical requirements include the ability to lift 50 lbs., stand for prolonged periods, and work early or late hours. To fulfill curriculum requirements, students take courses in food sanitation and service, a la carte cooking, international cuisine, and pastry arts. Students who successfully complete the program and pass their practical and written exams can obtain certifications as cooks/culinarians or bakers.
University of Alaska Anchorage
The most populated city in the state, Anchorage is also home to the largest school in Alaska's university system. The school's Community and Technical College is home to the Culinary Arts, Hospitality, Dietetics, and Nutrition division, which currently supports six full-time professors. Under their guidance, students can acquire the theoretical and practical training they need to run safe and profitable commercial kitchens.
The core curriculum for the 2-year associate's degree program in culinary arts includes courses in baking and cooking, beverage management, and catering. In addition to a 3-credit food service internship, qualified students may be able to spend a semester at the Culinary Institute of Florence in Italy.
Students in the 4-year Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality and Restaurant Management program complete a similar culinary core and take courses in general education and business, plus sanitation, purchasing, hospitality service, and culinary skills training. Areas of emphasis include hospitality and nutrition. Through articulation agreements, students complete the hospitality core at Northern Arizona University or the University of Nevada in Las Vegas (on-site or online). The program culminates in a 6-credit (600-hour) hospitality internship. Additional program features include the on-campus Lucy's restaurant, where students in a la carte, baking, and hospitality service classes have the chance to plan a real-life dining menu and experience for guests.
University of Alaska Fairbanks
The University of Alaska Fairbanks has a total of seven locations, including the Fairbanks campus, which houses the Community and Technical College. All students in culinary arts and hospitality programs must complete the general university requirements for credit hours, grade point average, and letter grade. In addition to the core curriculum of culinary, baking, and pastry techniques, and food service sanitation, students who pursue the 30-credit culinary arts certificate can take electives in Asian, gourmet, and vegetarian cooking, nutrition or food and beverage service, among other areas. Electives for the 30-credit certificate in baking and pastry arts include cake icing, gourmet baking, and pastry tube art.
The curriculum for the 2-year degree includes many of the same core and elective courses found in the certificate program. Aspiring professionals also study intermediate baking and garde manger (cold foods). Students can pursue an in-state or out-of-state internship as well. Steps to obtain accreditation by ACFEFAC are in progress. Other departmental features include the Borealis Bistro. The program is served by three faculty members.
According to the Alaska Division of Environmental Health, all food businesses must have a certified food protection manager (CFPM) on staff, and food handlers must pass the Alaska Food Worker Card exam. Qualifying exams for CFPM certification include those administered by the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals, the National Restaurant Association (ServSafe), Prometric, and 360Training.com. Local requirements apply in Anchorage. At least two of the following three schools have been accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC).
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Culinary Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|AVTEC - Alaska's Institute of Technology||< 2-year, public; remote rural area||Culinary Arts Technology Certificate*||$3,250 (for program)**|
|University of Alaska Anchorage||4-year, public; large city||Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts,
Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality and Restaurant Management
|$5,545 in-state; $17,177 out-of-state*|
|University of Alaska Fairbanks||4-year, public; small suburb||Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate,
Culinary Arts Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts and Hospitality
|$5,674 in-state; $17,303 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator, **AVTEC