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Baking and Pastry Degrees in Tampa, FL with Program Descriptions

Sep 15, 2018

There are roughly five schools within approximately 50 miles of the Tampa, FL, area that offer baking and pastry programs. Read an overview of three schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Tampa, FL, Schools with Baking and Pastry Programs

Students who are interested in earning a certificate or degree in baking and pastry making have a few options in the Tampa area. Learn more about these programs below, and compare program costs and other school information with the accompanying table. A brief description of other school options for bakers and pastry makers can be found at the end of the article.

  • Erwin Technical Center has a culinary arts program that students can complete in a little over a year. The center is located four miles from downtown Tampa.
  • Hillsborough Community College offers a certificate in culinary arts and an associate degree in culinary management. At 1.5 miles, the college is the closest to Tampa's downtown.
  • While several area schools offer certificate and associate degree programs in culinary arts or culinary management that can include baking and pastry courses, Manatee Technical College is the closest institution to Tampa that offers an actual baking and pastry arts program. The institute is located a little over 50 miles from the city's downtown.

Comparison of Schools

According to the table below, each of the three featured schools has an open admissions policy and over 50% of full-time and part-time students return after one year of study. Tuition at all three schools is modest, and all three schools offer financial assistance to over 50% of their first-time students.

Erwin Technical Center Hillsborough Community College Manatee Technical College
School Type 2-year; public 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 1,015* 27,626* 803*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $3,903* $2,506 for in-state students; $9,111 for out-of-state students* $5,053*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017) 68%* 76%* 88%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admissions* N/A - Open admissions* N/A - Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 81% of full-time students* 63% of full-time students* 80% of full-time students*
Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2014-2015) 72%* 30%* 54%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Erwin Technical Center

Erwin Technical Center offers job preparation and training programs to help students find work in their chosen fields. Continuing education classes are also offered to help individuals expand their skills. Erwin Technical Center has articulation agreements with several colleges, which can allow graduates to earn credits toward associate degree programs.

Commercial Foods & Culinary Arts Program

The culinary arts program is a 14-month program that requires the completion of 1,200 hours. Students can develop practical skills by working in a kitchen, cafeteria and baking area. Course topics include beverages, sandwiches, yeast products and pantry skills; students also learn about baking specialties, planning menus and preparing meat. Applicants must be high school graduates who are at least 16 years old and demonstrate adequate math, reading and language skills.

Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College (HCC) is a public college that offers students certificate, associate degree, technical and adult vocational programs. Culinary arts is one of many areas of study offered at HCC. Students new to college must attend a student orientation.

College Credit Certificate in Culinary Arts

HCC's culinary arts certificate program requires the completion of 35 credit hours. This program can prepare students to work as head, prep or pantry cooks, as well as bakers. Course topics include basic nutrition, food preparation, menu planning and baking specialties; the management procedures used in the hospitality industry are also covered. The courses from this program can go towards the college's associate degree program in culinary management.

Associate of Science in Culinary Management

This 64-credit program can prepare students to work as restaurant chefs or cooks. The curriculum includes many of the culinary arts classes found in the certificate program, as well as some general education coursework. Additionally, each student must complete five sequential field experiences or internships in a work environment. Graduates who earn an Associate of Science can apply to the Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management program at the University of Houston.

Manatee Technical College

Manatee Technical College offers various career-oriented programs, including 1- and 2-year programs, apprenticeships and online courses. Other offerings at Manatee Technical College include adult and continuing education, personal enrichment courses and career preparation programs.

Baking and Pastry Arts Program

The baking and pastry arts program is part of the hospitality department at Manatee Technical College. This 600-hour program includes 300 hours of training in baking and pastry making; the remaining 300 hours prepare future professionals for positions as pastry chefs and head bakers. Once enrolled, students learn to prepare, bake and serve a variety of desserts and baked goods. In addition to developing communication and leadership skills, students improve their safety skills in the kitchen. Most classes begin early in the morning, which helps to familiarize trainees with the schedules kept by baking professionals.

Other School Options

Pinellas Technical College, located within 20 miles of Tampa, offers a commercial foods and culinary arts certificate program that includes courses in baking techniques. A commercial foods and culinary arts program is also offered at Marchman Technical College, located almost 40 miles away from Tampa in Port Richey.

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