Baking and Pastry Career Training in San Diego, CA

Located within 15 miles of central San Diego, CA, three area schools offer baking and pastry training programs. Learn about the courses and program requirements at these colleges to make an informed education decision.

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San Diego Schools with Baking and Pastry Programs

There are only a few schools that offer baking and pastry career training programs in the San Diego, CA, area, but all are within a 20-minute drive of downtown. This article covers the program requirements for three schools, and it includes a table allowing for easy comparison of costs, graduation rates and more.

  • Grossmont College is the most expensive San Diego school with baking and pastry training programs, but the college provides a wide variety of courses through its certificate and associate's degree programs. The school is about 15 miles from central San Diego.
  • San Diego Mesa College is the least expensive option in the area, and the school offers a culinary arts associate's degree program with a variety of baking and pastry courses. The campus is around eight miles from the city center.
  • Southwestern College has the smallest student-to-faculty ratio with 26 students for every faculty member. The school, located 14 miles from downtown San Diego, provides advanced training in cooking and baking through certificate and associate's degree programs. More students at Southwestern College receive financial aid than any of the other San Diego schools listed.

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Comparison of Schools

Tuition rates, campus settings and the size of the student body could influence your selection on where to pursue baking and pastry training. The table below has information on these factors, along with other facts, about each of the profiled institutions.

Grossmont College San Diego Mesa College Southwestern College
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, primarily associate's, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 18,288* 23,532* 18,413*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city Large suburb
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $1,386 for in-state students; $7,196 for out-of-state students* $1,142 for in-state students; $5,894 for out-of-state students* $1,338 for in-state students; $6,602 for out-of-state students*
Percent of Beginning Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017) 68%* 65%* 80%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admission N/A - Open admission N/A - Open admission
Retention Rate (2017) 70% for full-time students* N/A 74% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate 27% (for Students Beginning Studies in Fall 2014)* 23% (for Students Beginning Studies in Fall 2011)* 22% (for Students Beginning Studies in Fall 2014)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Grossmont College

This school provides baking and pastry students with hands-on skills development through in-class training and work experience. The programs can prepare students without prior experience for entry-level baking and pastry positions.

Pastry Cook Certificate of Proficiency

This program requires students to complete 13 units of coursework. Classes offered include pastry and baking principles, commercial baking, culinary arts skills and food sanitation. These courses can transfer to the school's baking and pastry degree program.

Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry

This program features courses in quantity food production, bread baking, decorative centerpieces and cake decorating. Students are also required to choose between taking a course on international cooking or healthy lifestyle cuisine. Students must earn 38 units of baking and pastry coursework.

Associate of Science in Baking and Pastry

This program consists of all the courses found in the Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry program. However, the associate's degree program requires that students complete additional general education and elective courses in order to graduate with a total of 60 units.

San Diego Mesa College

Although most of this school's training occurs in the classroom, students can earn professional training by completing a practicum course. Students will also learn how to safely use culinary equipment in the kitchen. Baking and pastry training is only available through the school's associate's degree program.

Associate of Science in Culinary Arts/Management in Hospitality

During this program, students take courses in quality food preparation, baking and pastry, nutrition, menu analysis, cooking and service, food production theory and food safety. Students also can take a 3-hour advanced baking and pastry lab course. This program requires students to earn 48 units in major coursework.

Southwestern College

Most hands-on training for these programs occurs in the classroom. Before they can graduate, students who are enrolled in Southwestern College's baking and pastry programs must also participate in a work experience.

Certificate of Achievement in Professional Baking and Pastry

Southwestern College's certificate program in professional baking and pastry prepares students for certification as food handlers in San Diego County. The program can also provide the training needed to work as an entry-level pastry chef. Students learn about pastry design, food purchasing and basic computer concepts. This program requires students to earn 18-20 units of coursework.

Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts: Cooking and Baking - Advanced

This program requires many of the same courses found in the Certificate of Achievement in Professional Baking and Pastry program. However, the program requires additional courses in basic and advanced skills, stocks, sauces, soups and cultural food. Students must complete 36-38 units of coursework.

Associate of Science in Culinary Arts - Cooking and Baking

This program requires some of the same courses contained in the school's certificate programs, in addition to general education classes. Students must earn 39-41 units to graduate from this program.

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