June 12, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education has been named one of America’s Top 20 Culinary Schools by FSR magazine.
The magazine, targeted to restaurant industry professionals, looked at several criteria when compiling its list and selected culinary schools that:
- Combine classroom theory with hands-on work in well-equipped on-campus classrooms and labs.
- Provide off-campus experience through internships and externships.
- Reach out to off-campus culinary professionals.
- Have small class sizes and accessible instructors.
“A growing number of community colleges are now offering associate degrees or other programs in the culinary arts,” the June 2014 article notes. “For the FSR Top 20 list, we selected the schools that offer degrees, diplomas and certificates in multiple disciplines — such as culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and food, beverage and hospitality management — and that received an “Exemplary” rating for three or more programs from the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the largest professional chefs’ organization in North America and the organization responsible for regulatory oversight of many culinary schools.”
GRCC’s program offers associate degrees in the culinary arts with culinary, culinary management, baking and pastry arts, and personal chef tracks, as well as personal chef, and baking and pastry arts certifications. In addition to experience working in on-campus restaurants such as Art & Bev’s Bistro and The Heritage, SICE students have learned through internships at Walt Disney World, Pittsburgh and Italy, to name a few.
Program Director Dan Gendler is quick to note that SICE has earned the “Exemplary Program” designation from the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission for its culinary arts, culinary management, and baking and pastry arts programs for the past 30 years – the longest and highest-rated program in the nation. Only one other U.S. college can match this statement.
“Of the 20 schools listed in the article, most are the large, well-known private schools, such as Le Cordon Bleu, Johnson and Wales, or CIA that have tuitions two to four times that of Secchia Institute,” he said. “All of our GRCC faculty and staff put so much effort into helping our students achieve, so it’s nice to be noticed on the national stage for our work.”
To see the FSR article, with its alphabetical listing of the top 20 culinary schools, click here.
Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.