School and Ranking Information
About four schools within 25 miles of Phoenix offer programs in baking and pastry arts. Based on graduation rate and program offerings, the top three schools in the Phoenix area are:
- Winner: Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts - Scottsdale is the top ranking school because of its high graduation rate and off-site externship opportunities.
- Runner Up #1: East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) offers a higher graduation rate and an American Culinary Federation (ACF)-accredited program.
- Runner Up #2: Estrella Mountain Community College has the lowest tuition rate.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts - Scottsdale||East Valley Institute of Technology||Estrella Mountain Community College|
|Location||Scottsdale, AZ (12.9 miles from downtown Phoenix)||Meza, AZ (16.8 miles from downtown Phoenix)||Avondale, AZ (20.5 miles from downtown Phoenix)|
|School Type||4-year, private for-profit||<2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$12,912*||N/A|| $1,854 (in-state)*
|Baking and Pastry Degree Levels Offered||Certificate; associate degree||Certificate||Certificate|
|Baking and Pastry Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||84*||1 (culinary arts/chef training, baking not specified)*||7*|
|Most Popular Baking and Pastry Program (2011-2012)||Associate in Baking and Pastry Arts (61 awarded)*||Certificate in Culinary Arts (1 awarded)*||Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts (7 awarded)*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time)||67% (2006 entering class)*||53% (2009 entering class)*||13% (2009 entering class)*|
|Noteworthy||Students gain hands-on experience in professionally-equipped kitchens and a campus restaurant||Students have the opportunity to manage an on-site bakery||Child care assistance program is available to students|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Winner: Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts - Scottsdale
- ACF-accredited certificate and degree programs
- Students have access to large, modern kitchen facilities
- The college campus features a student-operated restaurant, Technique
- Students are trained under certified master chefs
Le Cordon Bleu - Scottsdale offers multiple degree programs for students interested in careers within baking and pastry arts. Students may enroll in its associate degree program, which emphasizes hands-on, intensive training, as well as includes classes on developing communication skills within the work place. In addition to educating students on preparation and display techniques, this degree program's curriculum offers further development opportunities through an off-site externship within a culinary setting.
The college also offers a Le Cordon Bleu Certificate in Patisserie and Baking. The program can be completed in less than a year, and it features coursework in safety and sanitation, pastry and baking techniques, and cake decorating. As part of their program requirements, students must also complete two externship experiences.
Runner-Up #1: East Valley Institute of Technology
- Both the baking and pastry arts and the culinary arts programs are accredited by the ACF
- The program offers students access to internships and work-study programs
- The school boasts that some students are offered scholarships to continue their education
EVIT offers an ACF-accredited commercial baking and pastry arts program to adult students as part of its hybrid day education program. The 2-4 semester program provides training in culinary fundamentals, cakes, chocolate, cake decorating, tarts, and breads. In addition to hands-on training through working in an on-site bakery, students can complete internships and work-studies to gain additional training in the field. The school also offers a culinary arts program that includes training in commercial baking and quality cooking, which allows students to compete in scholarship competitions.
Runner-Up #2: Estrella Mountain Community College
- The college's peer mentoring program helps provide students with access to academic and support services
- Along with 24/7 online tutoring support, students have access to on-campus tutoring services and various workshops, seminars, and study success tutorials
At Estrella Mountain Community College, students have the opportunity to pursue a Certificate of Completion in Baking and Pastry. This program features coursework in commercial baking techniques, baking theory and retail operations, professional pastry techniques, and quality sanitation management. Specialized courses in classical desserts, breads, breakfast pastry, and wedding cake production are also included. The school also offers an associate's degree program in culinary studies, which exposes students to baking and pastry arts.