School and Ranking Information
While there are seven schools in the Charleston area for students wishing to study culinary arts, three schools in a 100-mile radius stand out based on programs, student services and rankings:
- Winner: Trident Technical College is the closest and has not only been accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), but has achieved exemplary status through the organization.
- Runner Up #1: Savannah Technical College offered the highest graduation rate, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Both Savannah Technical College and Horry-Georgetown Technical College also have programs accredited by the ACF.
- Runner Up #2: Horry-Georgetown Technical College has a career resources center and offers an associate's degree program.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Trident Technical College||Savannah Technical College||Horry-Georgetown Technical College|
|Location||Charleston, SC||Savannah, GA (114 miles from Charleston)||Conway, SC (98.6 miles from Charleston)|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$3,710 (in-district), $4,114 (in-state), $6,998 (out-of-state)*||$2,279 (in-state), $4,199 (out-of-state)*||$3,530 (in-district), $4,444 (in-state), $6,094 (out-of-state)*|
|Culinary Programs Offered||Certificates, associate degrees||Certificates, associate degrees||Certificates, associate degrees|
|Culinary Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2012||69*||34*||N/A|
|Most Popular Culinary Arts Program in 2012||Associate in Culinary Arts/Chef Training (39 awarded)*||Associate in Culinary Arts/Chef Training (18 awarded)*||N/A|
|Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2009 Entering Class||8%*||27%*||14%*|
|Noteworthy||Study abroad opportunities||Culinary students eligible for membership in Savannah Chefs Association Junior Chapter||Internship programs available|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator
Winner: Trident Technical College
- 100-seat student-run restaurant
- Hospitality and Culinary Student Association promotes the leadership, skills, and experience of hospitality and culinary students
- Externships available for additional hands-on experience
- Students complete a three-day field trip in the Farm-to-Plate course
Students attending Trident Technical College in pursuit of culinary arts programs have a wide variety of certificates and degrees from which to choose in the Culinary Institute of Charleston. Certificate programs in culinary arts, baking and pastry, and food and beverage operations are available, as well as degree programs in culinary arts technology, hospitality and tourism management, and baking and pastry. Students have the opportunity to participate in special events, multiple-day field trips, study abroad programs, cooperative work experiences, and culinary organizations. Learning facilities include a bakery kitchen, production kitchen, catering kitchen, a reception hall, an amphitheater kitchen, and a student-run restaurant.
Runner-Up #1: Savannah Technical College
- Career development services and employment placement services available
- Cost-free retraining provided within two years of graduation if learned skills are deficient
- 90% of full-time beginning undergraduates receive some form of financial aid, according to the NCES
- Programs considered exemplary by the ACF
Savannah Technical College offers associate degrees in both culinary arts and baking and pastry arts through the Culinary Institute of Savannah. There are also certificate programs available for both culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. Students gain knowledge and practical skills through courses in culinary arts fundamentals, cooking principles, baking science, and nutrition. Graduates are eligible for American Culinary Federation certification and may become Certified Culinarians.
Runner-Up #2: Horry-Georgetown Technical College
- Career Resource Center (CRC) on campus
- Free student success and tutoring center
- Transfer agreements in place with other institutions
Students looking to train in the culinary arts may pursue an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts Technology at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. The 70-credit associate degree program includes coursework in nutrition, food production management, menu planning, restaurant law, and bakeshop production. Students may also elect to pursue a certificate in baking and pastry, bakeshop merchandising, food service technician, basic prep cook, or culinarian. The school features two student-serviced restaurants. One showcases casual fare prepared by both first-year and second-year culinary students, while the other features five-course meals in an upscale setting.