Culinary Schools near Fremont, CA
Students who want to study the culinary arts near Fremont, CA, have several options. This article examines three schools, none more than 50 minutes from downtown, and the various certificate and degree programs they offer. Also included is a table of information about each school, such as enrollment, tuition and the percentage of students who graduate on time. These facts can help prospective students compare their options. At the end of the article is a listing of a few other area schools that offer culinary training.
- Laney College is in downtown Oakland, about 26 miles from the Fremont city center. It offers Certificate of Achievement programs in baking and pastry as well as restaurant management. Students can also earn a Certificate of Proficiency in Cooking. Associate of Science degree programs in baking and pastry or restaurant management are available.
- City College of San Francisco (CCSF) offers culinary programs at its downtown San Francisco campus, approximately 30 miles from Fremont. Culinary certificate programs in food technology and dining services, as well as baking and pastry are available. Students can also pursue an Associate in Science in Culinary Arts degree.
- Diablo Valley College (DVC) is a part of the Contra Costa Community College District. DVC has two campuses, with the main campus located in Pleasant Hill, about 30 miles from downtown Fremont. The school provides certificate and associate's degree programs in baking and pastry, culinary arts and restaurant management.
Comparison of Schools
Individuals who are deciding on a school for their culinary training need to consider many factors. This table offers facts about these three schools in a format that allows for easy comparison.
|Laney College||City College of San Francisco||Diablo Valley College|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2016-2017)||10,891*||26,299*||19,775*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large suburb|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$1,230 in-state; $7,110 out-of-state*||$1,598 in-state; $9,010 out-of-state*||$1,312 in-state; $8,424 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||68%*||59%*||33%*|
|Acceptance Rate||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||62% for full-time students; 34% for part-time students*||72% for full-time students; 44% for part-time students*||78% for full-time students; 56% for part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2014)||25% (10% transfer-out rate)*||32% (11% transfer-out rate)*||45% (11% transfer-out rate)*|
|Distance from Downtown||25.7 mi. (31 min.)||36.2 mi. (44 min.)||40.3 mi. (47 min.)|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Laney College offers students the option of earning a certificate in baking and pastry or cooking and restaurant management or pursuing an associate's degree with baking and pastry or restaurant management as a major. A shorter certificate program in cooking is also available. All culinary courses require frequent use of fractions, decimals and percentages, and students are advised to take a mathematics course if their math skills are weak.
Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry
This 4-semester program focuses on teaching skills that prepare students for jobs as pastry cooks or bakers in retail, commercial and industrial establishments. Course topics include baking, patisserie, food science and nutrition, artisan breads and cake decorating. Other areas of study include candy and chocolate making and contemporary plated desserts.
Certificate of Achievement in Cooking and Restaurant Management
Students in this 4-semester certificate program develop both basic cooking skills and skills in restaurant management. Many of the same topics offered in the bakery and pastry program are featured in this program as well. Course topics unique to this program include hospitality; dining room service and management; food, beverage and labor controls; and hospitality supervision. Students get to practice their skills at facilities supplied by the college.
Certificate of Proficiency in Cooking
Students interested in developing basic cooking skills can earn this certificate through a 2-semester program. Most of the topics covered are offered in one or both of the other two certificate programs. These include such courses as cooking fundamentals, food science and nutrition, heat cooking, garde manger and food presentation.
Associate of Science in Baking and Pastry or Restaurant Management
This school encourages students to pursue their culinary studies by getting a well-rounded education through an associate's degree program. Students who choose this option take the same courses required for their chosen major from the corresponding certificate program, as well as general education courses.
City College of San Francisco
The school's downtown San Francisco campus offers two non-credit culinary certificate programs. These hands-on programs are offered tuition-free; students only have to pay for books, tools and uniforms. The school also offers an Associate in Science program in culinary arts and hospitality management with a concentration in culinary arts. Culinary labs are conducted in the school's four kitchens.
Culinary Certificate in Culinary and Service Skills Training
This program covers restaurant operation, food service and restaurant management during the first semester. During the second semester, students are taught culinary techniques and prepare food for the school's restaurant. Graduates are qualified for entry-level positions in a professional kitchen.
Culinary Certificate in Baking and Pastry
This hands-on training program gets students into the kitchen almost immediately. The food they make is served in the restaurant and coffee shop. The first semester covers laminated doughs, pies and tarts, breads and rolls, cake baking, and decorating and presentation. The second semester covers advanced baking skills and adds meringues, mousses and Bavarian creams, chocolates and candies, frozen desserts, petit fours and display cakes. Graduates are qualified for entry-level positions as pastry chefs or bakers.
Associate in Science in Culinary Arts
This rigorous program requires students to commit to 8-hour days, five days a week during the culinary training portion of the program. The school recommends completing general education courses before embarking on culinary coursework. Required courses include quantity food preparation, restaurant operations, meat analysis, sanitation, nutrition, purchasing and cost controls and financial accounting. Students choose electives from a list of class topics that includes specialty baking and decorating, food preparation specialties, supervisory development and business correspondence. Other recommended courses include healthy cooking, ethnic cuisines, garde manger and others. Students must participate in an unpaid internship. The department also grants an Award of Achievement in Culinary Arts with the associate's degree.
Diablo Valley College
Culinary arts students at DVC all take courses in hospitality, culinary mathematics, fundamentals of cuisine, safety and sanitation, nutrition, purchasing, supervisory management and catering business and operations. During the fall and spring semesters, culinary arts students prepare food for the college's restaurants and pastry shop. Students are required to supply their own equipment and uniforms.
Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry
In addition to the required hospitality courses, bakery and pastry certificate candidates take courses in baking fundamentals, advanced pastry and baking, desserts, confections and catering. Students must also serve an internship. Graduates are qualified for positions as pastry chefs or bakers.
Certificate of Achievement in Restaurant Management
Students in this program complete a minimum of 43.3 credits. Required course topics include hospitality, food and wine pairing, culinary math and dining room restaurant operations. Students can also participate in an internship and do independent study. Students must have a minimum grade of C to graduate.
Associate in Science in Hospitality Studies
Students looking for a well-rounded education can choose to pursue this associate's degree program and choose a specialization in baking and pastry, culinary arts or restaurant management. Students take the courses for their concentrations and the required hospitality courses while also taking general education courses. They are also required to serve an internship. Upon completion of the program, students are awarded a Certificate of Achievement in their specialty.
Other School Options
Contra Costa College in San Pablo offers associate's degree programs in classical/modern food preparation and restaurant training, as well as training in pastry and baking skills. A Certificate of Accomplishment in Basic Food Service program is also offered. Cabrillo College in Aptos provides certificate programs in entry-level baking, entry-level cooking and entry-level food services management. The college also offers an associate's degree in culinary arts and hospitality management. San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton offers certificates of achievement and associate's degrees in baking and pastry and culinary arts.