School and Ranking Information
There are seven schools in the Dallas area that offer culinary courses. Based on program offerings, accreditation, and proximity to Dallas, the top three schools to offer culinary classes near Dallas are:
- Winner: El Centro College is the only public school within the city of Dallas to offer degrees in multiple culinary fields, which is why it's the best choice. It offers culinary-related associate's degrees and certificates.
- Runner Up #1: Collin College offers certificates and associate's degrees. It also has the lowest tuition in Texas.
- Runner Up #2: Tarrant County College has the sixth largest enrollment in Dallas. The school also offers childcare.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||El Centro College||Collin College||Tarrant County College|
|Location||Dallas||Frisco (27 miles from Dallas)||Arlington (36 miles from Dallas)|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$1,350 (in-district)
|Culinary Degrees Offered||Associate's degrees; certificates||Associate's degrees; certificates||Associate's degree; certificates|
|Culinary Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2012||74*||28*||25*|
|Most Popular Culinary Program 2012||Culinary Arts/Chef Training*||Culinary Arts/Chef Training*||Culinary Arts/Chef Training*|
|Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2008 Entering Class||5%*||10%*||9%*|
|Noteworthy||Free DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) passes available to eligible students||2012 Epicurean World Master Chefs Society Olympic Team Pastry Chef||Graduation rate for Culinary Nutrition certificate program is 67% on-time**|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Tarrant County College
Winner: El Centro College
- Annual benefit to support Food & Hospitality Institute
- Associate's degrees and certificates in both culinary arts and pastry chef available
- Flexible scheduling for day, evening, and Saturdays
As mentioned above, El Centro College is the only public college in Dallas to offer degrees and certificates in culinary arts. The school sponsors numerous dinners, receptions, and benefits for the support of the school's Food & Hospitality Institute and the experience of the students. The college also offers a dedicated web page that lists which industry scholarships are currently available. Prospective culinary students may wish to attend one of the school's open house informational seminars, which take place in the food service dining room.
Runner-Up #1: Collin College
- Lowest tuition in Texas
- Professor of the Year awarded to five Collin faculty members
- Career counseling, assessments, and other student services available
Collin College offers culinary arts and pastry arts programs on the certificate and associate's degree levels. Classes are available in the daytime and evening and take place on the school's Pleasant Ridge campus in Frisco. Collin College has an active student association, HCSA (Hospitality & Culinary Students Association), which provides networking with industry professionals, hands-on experiences, and off-campus trip possibilities. The school's Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Education has received a number of awards, accomplishments, and recognitions.
Runner-Up #2: Tarrant County College
- Northeast campus houses an accredited teaching center for childcare
- The college has the sixth largest enrollment in Texas
- Ranked as one of the top community colleges to confer degrees to minority students
Tarrant County College offers students the ability to study culinary arts in state-of-the-art facilities. Program offerings include an associate's degree program in culinary arts, as well as three certificate programs in the field. Services such as career planning and mentoring are available to Tarrant students, and the college also offers a culinary/hospitality student organization. There are study abroad possibilities available, although not necessarily culinary related.