Cooking Schools in the Kansas City Area
This article examines three public schools in the Kansas City area and the culinary training they provide. All are no more than 25 minutes from downtown and offer programs in several areas. This article also includes a table of information about each school, arranged so it is easy to compare them. The table includes facts on enrollment, tuition, graduation rates, school type and the percentage of first-time students who get financial aid.
- About nine miles from downtown, students can pursue cooking classes at Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC) and earn a technical certificate in professional cooking.
- Johnson County Community College (JCCC) students have the option of completing a certificate program in pastry and baking or an associate's degree program in chef apprenticeship. JCCC is around 17 miles from the city center.
- Northland Career Center offers a culinary arts certificate program that is accredited by the American Culinary Federation. This school is about 21 miles from downtown Kansas City.
Comparison of Schools
Aspiring students need to look at many aspects of the schools they are considering. The following table presents important information that can help them with their choice.
|Kansas City Kansas Community College||Johnson County Community College||Northland Career Center|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||<2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||5,825*||18,638*||2*|
|Campus Setting||Midsized city||Midsized city||Fringe town|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)|| $3,248 in-state,
| $2,790 in-district,
|$7,500 (program cost)*|
|% of Incoming Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017)||75%*||60%*||83%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2017)|| 60% full-time,
| 67% full-time;
|Graduation Rate (for Students Beginning in 2014-2015)||27%*||22% (20% transfer-out rate)*||93%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Kansas City Kansas Community College
Kansas City Kansas Community College contains divisions in allied health, business, humanities, fine arts, science, computer technology and social/behavioral sciences. In addition to professional cooking, the Division of Technical Education Center features programs in welding, medical assisting, video production, health careers, automotive technology and construction.
Culinary Arts Certificate
This 40-credit program begins with an introduction to kitchen safety and sanitation before teaching students about kitchen equipment. Hands-on experience is combined with classroom instruction to educate students on basic cooking techniques. The course also includes an internship and a 1-unit course on employment options.
Johnson County Community College
Students at Johnson County Community College can pursue academic and vocational certificate and degree programs. Continuing education opportunities are also available for personal enrichment and business training. The Hospitality and Tourism Division offers programs in hospitality management, hotel and lodging management, food/beverage management and pastry/baking.
This certificate program can be completed in two semesters and lasts approximately one year. Only 15 students are placed into the program, so selection is competitive. Once admitted, students are taught how to prepare pastries, such as tarts, candies, tortes and breads. They are also trained in inventory control and the identification of ingredients. As part of their practical production experience, students might work in a bakery on JCCC's campus. In the program's business classes, students learn the entrepreneurial skills needed to operate a professional bakery.
Associate of Applied Science in Chef Apprenticeship
The American Culinary Federation and the U.S. Department of Labor sponsor this 3-year program. Students must be high school graduates and at least 18 years old to be admitted into the program. The curriculum offers a range of topics useful for a career as a chef, such as math, nutrition and public speaking. The hospitality classes guide students in understanding the management and accounting sides of the culinary arts industry. Students receive several opportunities to prepare baked goods, cold foods and confections. Throughout the 75-unit program, instructors test students' cooking and presentation skills in areas like American and international cuisine.
Northland Career Center
Northland Career Center offers 13 programs for high school students and adults. Career programs are available in nursing, building trades, culinary arts, diesel technology, law enforcement, marketing and health sciences.
Culinary Arts Certificate
The culinary arts certificate program provides students with the knowledge and training necessary to work as entry-level cooks. Students in the program gain hands-on experience preparing breakfast and lunch daily. Adults can take courses five hours per day and complete the program in one year; high school students are able to take two-and-a-half hours of courses per day, which allows them to complete the program in two years.