School and Ranking Information
There are only eight choices for students wishing to attend a school for culinary arts in Pittsburgh, PA. Based on programs, student services and rankings, the following schools are considered the best in the area:
- Winner: Westmoreland County Community College offers an associate's degree. Based on the programs offered and accreditation by the American Culinary Federation, Westmoreland County Community College receives top ranking.
- Runner Up #1: Community College of Beaver County also offers an associate's degree with ServSafe certification included.
- Runner Up #2: Bidwell Training Center offers hands-on training and small class sizes.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Westmoreland County Community College||Community College of Beaver County||Bidwell Training Center|
|Ranking||Exemplary Program Award*||N/A||N/A|
|Location||Youngwood, PA (32 miles from Pittsburgh)||Monaca, PA (27 miles from Pittsburgh)||Pittsburgh, PA|
|School Type||2-year public||2-year public||2-year private, not-for-profit|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$3,330 (in-district), $6,210 (in-state), $8,910 (out-of-state)**||$3,780 (in-district), $7,320 (in-state), $10,860 (out-of-state)**||$19,000**|
|Culinary Degree Levels Offered||Associate's degrees, certificates, diplomas||Associate's degrees, certificate programs||Certificate program|
|Culinary Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in (2012)||24**||17**||25**|
|Most Popular Culinary Program (2012)||Culinary Arts/Chef Training (associate's)**||Culinary Arts/Chef Training (certificate)**||Culinary Arts/Chef Training (certificate)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2008 Entering Class||15%**||17%**||77%**|
|Noteworthy||1997 graduate and Certified Master Chef Richard Rosendale led a 2013 United States team in the Bocuse d'Or (a worldwide cooking contest)||Completely tobacco-free campus||Campus awarded the ACCSC School of Excellence Award***|
Sources: *American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission, **NCES College Navigator, ***Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
Winner: Westmoreland County Community College
- Showcases a culinary arts lab and dining facility
- Alumni include American Culinary Federation 'Chef of the Year' recipients
- On-campus childcare center for students who have children
Westmoreland County Community College offers both an Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry and an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts. Students can also find diploma programs in culinary arts and certificate programs in baking and pastry and culinary management. According to the American Culinary Federation, Westmoreland County Community College has earned the Exemplary Program Award for both apprenticeship and non-apprenticeship programs for both degree fields. Founded in 1970, WCCC is located on an 80-acre campus in rural Youngwood, PA.
Runner-Up #1: Community College of Beaver County
- Individualized internships
- ServSafe Certification is included in training
- Hands-on training in a commercial kitchen
Located in Monaca, PA, Community College of Beaver County offers a variety of culinary programs, from an Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts to certificate programs in culinary arts or cook's assistant. All culinary arts programs prepare students for ServSafe Certification, an important industry standard. Students have access to a commercial kitchen and participate in laboratories and projects. In the associate degree program, students study sanitation, line and buffet cooking, event planning and advanced cooking methods.
Runner-Up #2: Bidwell Training Center
- Daily hands-on training opportunities
- Small class sizes
- Program can be completed in under a year
Located on Pittsburgh's North Shore, Bidwell Training Center offers both a culinary amphitheater and a restaurant kitchen. The culinary arts program has a 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio and includes courses in cooking methods, food service, baking and culinary supervision. The hands-on program runs daily, Monday-Friday, for a 47-week course session.