CCCC and JWU sign transfer agreement
Central Carolina Community College and Johnson & Wales University have signed a transfer agreement ... (more)
Chef Gregory Hamm, chair of CCCC's Hospitality and Culinary Arts Department
PITTSBORO - Prospects for Central Carolina Community College's culinary arts students just became sweeter.
The college has finalized the terms of an articulation agreement with Johnson & Wales University for its Culinary Arts transfer students. The agreement enables CCCC graduates with an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts to transfer to JWU to complete their course of study and earn a bachelor's degree in Food Service Management.
"Johnson & Wales is the Harvard of culinary schools," said Chef Gregory Hamm, chair of CCCC's Hospitality and Culinary Arts Department. "It is an excellent training ground for what students need: hands-on experience, job placement, and a branded name."
Hamm, himself a JWU alumnus, is excited about the partnership with the university, noting that it is nationally renowned for its graduates and boasts an "impeccable" 98 percent job placement rate.
CCCC President Bud Marchant said, "Being associated with one of the nation's most prestigious culinary programs is very exciting and a great opportunity for our students."
Beginning in the fall semester, CCCC will offer the two-year Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts that will articulate with JWU. CCCC's A.A.S. program will emphasize the use of locally raised natural, organic, and whole foods.
"Our program will be the only one at a community college in North Carolina with a 'farm-to-table' focus," said Chef Hamm.
Program graduates can choose to transfer to any one of the Johnson & Wales University campuses, which are located in Charlotte, N.C.; Providence, R.I.; Denver, Colo.; and Miami, Fla.
Of the six community colleges that have transfer agreements with JWU, CCCC is the only one whose A.A.S. graduates will receive more than two years of transfer credit with Johnson & Wales. They will enter JWU with five semesters of credit hours, so they will need to complete only three more semesters of training. These credits will allow students to earn a four-year degree in just three-and-a-half years - a semester earlier than native JWU students and transfer students from other schools.
The CCCC program also offers a fast track for eligible students who already have academic credits for non-culinary courses. Fast-track students will be able to complete the CCCC program in one year and potentially earn a four-year JWU degree in two-and-a-half years. Graduates of the CCCC program for May 2013 will be fast-track students.
Earning the A.A.S. in Culinary Arts at CCCC will also save students a great deal of money, Hamm said. The average cost for the program at CCCC is $4,400, while the cost for the first two years at JWU is $48,000 plus room and board.
Hamm praises Johnson & Wales for its career services and strong alumni relations -something he knows from personal experience. For six years he served on the JWU Educational Advisory Council, a panel of high school and community college instructors working for the needs of both kinds of students.
During his 12 years as culinary arts instructor at Lee County High School, Hamm also sent several students to JWU for further study. One was Chef Regina Minter, now one of the CCCC Culinary Arts instructors whose specialty is classic culinary. Along with Chefs Hamm and Minter, program instructors include Chefs Kelly Burton, Kelly Taylor and Robin Griffith.
CCCC Culinary Arts classes run from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday on the college's Chatham County Campus, in Pittsboro. The program follows a two-year plan of 16 credit hours per semester for a total of 72 credit hours. The one-year fast track consists of 24 credit hours and follows the same culinary course schedule as the two-year program.
Hamm "loves the idea that students have a set track" and said that the four-day schedule helps students who are already working in the field, something the program encourages.
"Every student who has expressed interest in working has a job," Hamm said. In fact, all of the students currently registered for the fall semester have jobs already in place.
Job-site experience works well with the program's concentration on hand-on training. Not only do the program courses rely heavily on kitchen work, but each semester students will also work in the college's Natural Chef Cafe, at its Chatham County Campus, in Pittsboro. The Natural Chef Cafe specializes in sustainability and natural health. Its operations provide students with a real-world setting for training in catering, sanitation, food safety, and customer service.
For more information about CCCC's associate degree in Culinary Arts or its Continuing Education Natural Chef program, visit www.cccc.edu/culinaryarts.
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