Portland, OR, Schools with Cooking Classes
Students looking to take cooking classes within the Portland, OR, metropolitan area only have a few school options. This article looks at 3 schools that are within 15 minutes of the downtown area, along with the programs they offer. It also includes a table of information, such as enrollment, costs and graduation rates, that may help prospective students compare the schools.
- Nine miles from downtown Portland, Clark College, in Vancouver, Washington, offers two certificates and two associate degree programs in cuisine, baking and pastry arts..
- In addition to preparing students for cooking careers through a certificate and an associate degree program, Pioneer Pacific College's cooking programs also help students prepare for work in related hospitality and tourism fields.
- Culinary assistant training offered by Portland Community College is provided for students with documented disabilities.
Comparison of Schools
The following table makes it easy for individuals to compare important aspects of these schools and arrive at a sound decision on their training.
|Clark College||Pioneer Pacific College||Portland Community College|
|School Type||4-year (primarily associate), public||4-year, private for-profit||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)*||10,000||1,036||28,005|
|Campus Setting||Midsize city||Large suburb||Large city|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)*||$3,613 in-state; $8,966 out-of-state||$13,338||$4,088in-state; $8,840 out-of-state|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)*||54%||92%||70%|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2017)*||N/A||N/A||67%|
|Graduation Rate||25% (2011)||58% (2011)||15% (2014)|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Portland Community College
Students have been enrolling in this school system's culinary assistant certificate program since the 1970s. The culinary assistant certificate program was previously honored as Oregon's best special needs program by the Oregon Association for Vocational Special Needs Personnel.
Culinary Assistant Certificate
In this program, students with documented learning disabilities can earn a less-than-1-year culinary assistant certificate. Students enrolled in this program can find out how to hold jobs in the food and custodial service industries. They can also learn how to handle food safely and be safe on the job. Every day during this program, students are expected to work with campus food services and in the classroom. Topics covered during this program include following directions, attendance, interviewing techniques, teamwork skills and accepting criticism.
Clark offers a pair of programs designed to help students cultivate their skills. One program focuses on general, all-around skills, while the other specializes in baking and pastry arts. Both are offered as certificate of achievement and Associate of Applied Technology programs.
The more general of the two, the cuisine program gives students a well-rounded education in fundamental food preparation and safety topics. Students begin by taking introductory courses in basic subjects such as cooking theory, knife skills, and food safety, and then move on to more complex concepts such as kitchen station rotation, menu planning, cost control, regional cuisine, and healthy cooking.
Baking & Pastry Arts
Intended for students who are ready to specialize in the subject, this program provides a comprehensive study of the methods and techniques related to professional baking and pastries. Students learn proper baking practices and then apply their knowledge through courses that cover topics such as dough properties, tortes and cakes, and viennoiserie techniques.
Pioneer Pacific College
PPC offers associate's degrees and diplomas related to the culinary arts through the Oregon Culinary Institute (OCI), a branch of the college's family of schools.
The culinary arts AAS program at PPC stresses the development of both food preparation and management skills. Students can expect to take courses in dining room essentials, beverage service, oenology, and marketing; graduates will leave the program fully prepared for a career in the food and hospitality field. Students can also choose the shorter culinary arts diploma, which would suit those who wish to enter the workforce quickly.
Baking & Pastry
The Baking and Pastry Hospitality Management AOS degree introduces students to basic baking techniques and explores the art of crafting pastries, as well as providing courses in business fundamentals. Students supplement their coursework through an externship, which allows them to practice their skills in a real-world environment. A diploma program is available that retains the baking and pastry courses but does not require business courses.