Colorado Springs Cooking Schools
Students looking for cooking classes within the Colorado Springs area may find their options limited; however, two colleges offer several programs in the field. Read about the required courses and hands-on training available at the institutions, and review a table of statistics for easy comparison of the schools.
- The various culinary arts, baking and food service management associate's degree programs at Pikes Peak Community College can help students fulfill the requirements needed to earn various certifications offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and American Culinary Federation (ACF). This school is about five miles from downtown.
- Offering two culinary certificates and an associate's degree, Pueblo Community College has a culinary arts club that allows students to engage in extracurricular cooking activities. The hospitality service program is accredited by the ACF, and some of the courses included in the school's cooking programs are recognized by the NRAEF. The hospitality studies program has a student-faculty ratio of 11-1, according to the school website in 2018, and is located about 45 miles from central Colorado Springs.
Comparison of Schools
The table below provides more information about the schools. Find out about tuition costs, student enrollment figures, campus settings and other factors that could influence your college selection.
|Pikes Peak Community College||Pueblo Community College|
|School Type||2-year, public||4-year (primarily associate's), public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||13,275*||5,991*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Midsize city|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$3,726 in-state; $14,491 out-of-state*||$5,050 in-state; $15,810 out-of-state*|
|% of Beginning Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017)||68%*||85%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A - Open admission||N/A - Open admission|
|Retention Rate (2017)||53% for full-time students*||47% for full-time students*|
|Graduation Rate||17% (for students beginning in fall 2014)*||19% (for students beginning in fall 2011)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Pikes Peak Community College
Students enrolling in this school's cooking programs can expect to develop their skills by working in the classroom and participating in an internship. Before students can begin their culinary arts courses, they're required to pass the ServSafe Certification exam.
Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry
Students who enroll in this 63-unit baking and pastry associate's degree program can learn how to work as a culinary professional in a restaurant or bakery. Classes in food service, baking, cost control and confectionaries train students to become pastry cooks. Students can take advanced cooking classes in pastry and wedding cake decoration. The school also offers a baking certificate program that offers the same core baking classes. The associate's degree program, however, requires general education courses and includes additional courses on cost control, wedding cakes and soups.
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
This 63-unit associate's degree program prepares students to work as cooks in professional kitchens. Cooking classes include catering, international cuisine, line preparation and tableside cooking. Students can learn about food safety, nutrition and food presentation. As with the baking and pastry program, this school also provides a culinary arts certificate program that contains the core courses from the associate's degree program.
Associate of Applied Science in Food Service Management
While this 60-unit program in food service management deals primarily with purchasing, food safety and legal issues, basic cooking classes are also included in the curriculum. Students enrolled in this program take classes in hospitality marketing, menu planning and dining room management. A certificate program that covers the same core classes and omits general education requirements is also available.
Associate of Applied Science in Sustainability Management and Dietary Cuisine
In addition to the general education basics, this 61-credit program includes courses in areas such as baking, international cuisine, dietary/vegetarian cuisine, and purchasing. An internship is also required.
Pueblo Community College
Pueblo Community College's cooking programs aim to train students to work as head cooks, first-line supervisors, and cooks in various types of restaurant settings. These programs focus on developing students' hands-on skills in a classroom environment. Students in the associate's degree program can earn additional training through an internship.
Beginning Production and Baking Certificate
This program takes 16 credit hours to complete. Students must take courses covering baking principles, food safety, sanitation, baking applications, garde manger, yeast-related products and quick bread. Students can also take 3 credits of electives.
Intermediate Production Certificate
This program focuses on meat preparation, dining room management, pastas, casseroles, food production principles, nutrition and advanced baking. Students also need to earn at least 3 credit hours from elective courses. A minimum of 16 credit hours are required to complete this program.
Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Studies
Students entering this program for more cooking knowledge can choose to focus their studies in culinary arts production or culinary arts management. The culinary arts production concentration offers many of the same courses found in the related culinary arts certificate programs. This program, however, offers additional classes in advanced cuisine, line planning, cookery and baking.
The culinary arts management concentration requires students to pass courses in bartending, front-of-house planning, purchasing, marketing and legal issues. In addition to general education coursework, both concentrations require students to complete classes in work exploration, supervision, CPR, management basics and nutrition.