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El Paso, TX Culinary Arts Colleges with Degree Program Info

The El Paso, TX, area has about three schools that offer culinary arts programs. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements for two of these schools, both within 45 miles of the city, and make an informed education decision.

Culinary Arts Schools in El Paso, Texas

There are only a couple of public schools offering culinary arts programs in the El Paso area, and one is in New Mexico. This article explores these two schools, which are within a 45-minute drive of downtown, and the certificate and associate's degree programs they offer. It also includes a table that showcases important information that a prospective student should consider, such as the school's enrollment, graduation percentage, tuition and retention rate. This information can help students decide which school might be the best choice for them.

  • Located about 29 miles away in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Dona Ana Community College is a midsized public community college within the New Mexico State University. It offers an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality and Tourism: Food and Beverage/Culinary Arts.
  • El Paso Community College is about 17 miles from downtown El Paso. Students there can earn a Certificate of Completion in Culinary Arts and Pastry or an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts and Pastry.

Comparison of Schools

Students need to look at many factors when choosing a school. The following table makes it easy for them to compare various aspects of these institutions.

Dona Ana Community College El Paso Community College
School Type Two-year, public Two-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 7,917* 28,750*
Campus Setting Rural fringe Large city
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $1,728 in-district; $2,088 in-state; $5,496 out-of-state* $2,746 in-state; $4,522 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2017) 87%* 85%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admission N/A - Open admission
Retention Rate (2017) 59% for full-time students; 51% for part-time students* 66% for full-time students; 52% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2014) 15% (10% transfer-out rate)* 19% (15% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Dona Ana Community College

In addition to theoretical concepts learned in the classroom, students can expect to participate in hands-on skills development through on-site training and laboratory experience. The school offers an associate's degree in hospitality and tourism.

Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality and Tourism: Food and Beverage

Major courses in the 61-credit hospitality and tourism program include cost control, hospitality industry basics, related supervision techniques, safety and sanitation. This program requires students to participate in an internship experience.

El Paso Community College

In order to prepare for this school's culinary arts programs, students need to purchase food preparation equipment and supplies. In addition to culinary arts programs, students can find training in travel and tourism, business management, administrative assisting and restaurant management.

Certificate of Completion in Culinary Arts

During the first summer session of the one-year certificate, students need to pass courses in food service management and diet therapy and nutrition. First-semester courses include baking fundamentals, basic food preparation, sanitation and safety. The second semester and summer session require students to pass courses in international and American regional cuisine, professional cooking and hospitality operations purchasing.

Certificate of Completion in Pastry

Students must complete courses in baking fundamentals, diet therapy, sanitation, safety, nutrition, food service management and food preparation basics. The last half of this program covers pies, cookies, bakery operations and management, teacakes, tarts and advanced bakery shop techniques.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

The two-year culinary arts program trains students in the fundamental skills to gain entry-level positions creating and preparing food in restaurants or other foodservice establishments. In addition to the courses in the certificate program, students will examine garde manger, advanced food preparation techniques, menu management, a la carte cooking, facilities layout and saucier. Students will need to participate in a field experience or a practicum during their final semester.

Associate of Applied Science in Pastry

Along with the courses featured in the pastry certificate program, students delve into the concepts behind creating breads, rolls, plated desserts, Mexican pastries, donuts, laminated dough and pate a choux. Students will also learn facilities layout and design concepts. This program requires students to participate in two field experience sessions or practicum experiences prior to graduation.


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