The certificate prepares students for career opportunities in restaurants, catering, hotels, theme parks, and other food service businesses. Students gain practical training in the use of commercial equipment and acquire the skills necessary to succeed in the culinary arts field, such as knife skills, food production, presentation, menu development, portion control, cost control, menu planning, and nutrition. Students who successfully complete the requirements for this degree will also earn the Food Protection Manager Certification. The program combines management theory and practical application of skills and abilities, preparing them to meet the needs of employers.
With the changes made to this degree and the removal of barriers to completion, we expect to increase the number of degree completers. The following data is skewed based on the pandemic, and the campus shut down.
|Program success data||Certificate/degrees||2019-2020||2020-2021|
Based on the available data, there appears to be a regional supply gap for the occupations of interest. Although all five occupations have entry-level wages below the self-sufficiency standard wage in both Los Angeles and Orange counties, between 29% and 38% of incumbent workers, have completed some college or an associate degree. Due to some of the criteria being met, the COE endorses this proposed program. Detailed reasons include:
• Supply Gap Criteria – Over the next five years, there are projected to be 8,174 jobs available annually in the region due to new job growth and replacements, which is more than the 1,662 awards conferred annually by educational institutions in the region.
• Living Wage Criteria – In Los Angeles County, all five occupations have entry-level wages below the self-sufficiency standard wage ($18.10/hour).2
• Educational Criteria – Within the LA/OC region, 88% of the annual openings for the occupations of interest typically require a high school diploma or equivalent.
o However, national-level educational attainment data indicates that between 29% and 38% of incumbent workers have completed some college or an associate degree.
• Between 2017 and 2020, 23 community colleges in the LA/OC region issued awards in programs that have historically trained for the occupations of interest, conferring an average of 1,570 awards.
• Between 2016 and 2019, non-community college institutions in the region conferred an average of 92 awards in relevant programs.
Mt SAC provides degree and certificate programs, either a terminal degree that prepares students for the culinary job market or a stepping stone to California Poly Pomona’s Collins College of Hospitality Management. This certificate is designed to offer the opportunity for students to gain entry-level employment while they continue their education. Six of the courses in this degree have current articulation agreements with Collins College of Hospitality Management. In our Advisory Board Meeting, Michael Godfrey, Collin’s College associate dean, explained that many more units would transfer in as lower-division electives; they can petition for the content and the units combined to meet elective support requirements. Carolina Sanchez has also told us, Student Services Coordinator at Collins’ College, that Mt SAC students are very well prepared and on track to complete their degrees on time or ahead of schedule compared to other transfers.
Student Selection and Fees: Mandatory fees – Students will be required to purchase uniforms and knife kits to complete this program. We have worked with Mercer knives to create an affordable kit for our students, which will also serve them if they transfer to Cal Poly Pomona. The uniforms are standard for our industry: double-breasted chef coat, houndstooth (black and white checkered) pants, apron, and skullcap. There are no lab fees for our culinary classes. Students will only need to purchase knives and uniforms to participate in this program.
This is a high-unit program requiring 43.5 - 46 semester units. We acknowledge that it is higher than most certificates at the community college level. We have tried to create a comprehensive program that meets the need of both the student and the needs of the prospective employers. Through our research, we found that all of the nationally ranked and prestigious culinary schools all have very high semester unit counts:
• Culinary Institute of America requires 69 semester units, 48 credits in culinary arts 15 credits in liberal arts, six credits in business management
• Johnson and Wales requires 61-semester units
• Le Cordon Bleu (now defunct) required 92 semester units, 62 Culinary and 30 GE.
• Art Institute – (reopening in Texas) 90 quarter credit hours
We feel that our program unit count is in line with other community colleges that offer Culinary Arts AS degrees.
• Cerritos 49 Culinary units
• Saddleback 37-43 Culinary units
• LA Mission 42 Culinary units
• LA Trade Tech 48 Culinary units
(Y1 or S1)
and Pastry I
|CUL 113||Commercial Food Production ||3|
Room Service Management
Safety and Sanitation
to Food & Beverage Management
|Electives||Choose 2.5 -3 units|
and Pastry II
in Culinary Arts