Baking and Pastry Certificate Programs in San Francisco, CA

Sep 15, 2018

The San Francisco, CA, area has several schools within 30 miles of downtown that offer baking and pastry programs. Learn about the certificate programs, admission info and program requirements for three schools to make an informed education decision.

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San Francisco, CA, Schools with Certificate Programs in Baking and Pastry Arts

A few schools in the San Francisco, CA, area offer certificate programs in baking and pastry making. Read about the programs below, and compare the program costs in the accompanying table.

  • At Laney College, students develop hands-on skills by working in the school's bistro and cafeteria. The school is located 13.3 miles from downtown San Francisco, and some of its bakery and pastry classes have been approved by the National Restaurant Association and Retail Bakers Association (RBA).
  • At Contra Costa College, students help run campus food service establishments and train for careers by working for school catering and banquet events. Located 20.9 miles from downtown San Francisco, the college offers a Certificate of Achievement in Pastry and Baking.
  • Diablo Valley College, located 30.8 miles from downtown, provides students with hands-on learning opportunities through demonstration laboratories, a retail pastry shop and a public restaurant. This school's pastry program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC) and leads to a certificate of achievement.

Comparison of Schools

Aspiring baking and pastry artists can use this table to compare the undergraduate tuition rates for both in-state and out-of-state students, as well as the percentage of students who receive financial aid, at three featured colleges. All three schools have open admissions policies; graduation and retention rates vary widely.

Laney College Contra Costa College Diablo Valley College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 10,891* 6,727* 19,775*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $1,230 in-state undergraduates; $7,110 out-of-state undergraduates* $1,312 in-state undergraduates; $8,424 out-of-state undergraduates* $1,312 in-state undergraduates; $8,424 out-of-state undergraduates*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017) 68%* 70%* 33%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) Open admissions* Open admissions* Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2017) 62% for full-time, 34% for part-time students* 67% for full-time, 46% for part-time students* 78% for full-time, 56% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2014) 25% (10% transfer-out)* 25% (12% transfer-out)* 45% (11% transfer-out)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Contra Costa College

Students enrolled in Contra Costa's Culinary Arts Department programs develop skills through in-class and laboratory training at the school's commercial kitchen; some evening classes are also available. Additional hands-on experience takes place at on- and off-campus locations that include a student-operated restaurant and catering and banquet services. The department offers two associate's degree programs, two certificates of achievement and two certificates of accomplishment. General areas of study include baking and pastry, management and culinary arts.

Certificate of Achievement in Pastry and Baking Skills

This program takes a minimum of 48 credit hours to complete. The curriculum includes training in commercial baking, pastry product preparation, cake finishing and restaurant desserts. Students also learn about food service fundamentals and food safety and receive SafeServ certification training. The credits earned through this program are transferable to the associate's degree in pastry and baking; to earn this award, students need only complete additional general education requirements.

Diablo Valley College

This college offers a professionally accredited and career-oriented baking and pastry program. The 3-semester course of study combines training in baking and pastry with occupational studies in safety, production and service. Students acquire their skills through a combination of classroom learning and kitchen lab sessions. The department also offers three associate's degree and two certificate of achievement programs.

Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry

This program requires courses in culinary math, food safety and sanitation. Students also take classes in introductory baking, management, purchasing, nutrition and hospitality. Electives include topics in seasonal desserts or decorative confectionary pieces. To earn their award, students must also participate in an independent study, internship or other kind of work experience.

Once admitted to the program, aspiring professionals may have to obtain their own pieces of kitchen and baking equipment and their own uniforms. By completing additional general education courses, students can earn a related associate's degree.

Laney College

Baking and pastry is one of two culinary arts certificate programs offered through Laney College's Career and Technical Education Division. Laney College is one of four colleges that are members of the Peralta Community College District.

Baking and Pastry Certificate

Although most of this school's baking and pastry courses are taught in the classroom, students can also hone their skills by participating in supervised experiences, short-term workshops and extension classes.

To earn the 43- to 44-credit baking and pastry certificate, students take classes in culinary mathematics, patisserie, baking fundamentals and sanitation. Courses in food science, confiserie and contemporary plated desserts are also part of the program. Students also learn about the career strategies needed to succeed in the culinary field. Those who decide to continue their studies and complete general education requirements may qualify for an associate's degree.

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