Directory of Culinary Programs in Kansas

Kansas is wheat and cattle country: the perfect combination for some traditional comfort foods like chicken fried steak and heart breads. But Kansas is also known for its barbecue, corn and greens. That doesn’t mean that chefs are penned in by tradition. Culinary schools across the state offer the training for chefs to try their hands at a variety of cuisines and to experiment with new tastes to create new trends. The next wave of culinary delights may push boundaries into new territories and have you questioning whether you’re in Kansas anymore.

Picking a program

Your education will be the beginning of your career, so it’s important to pick a quality program that will give you the right training to be successful. So keep in mind a few key components to look for when choosing a culinary program. First, make sure that there is a well-stocked, up-to-date kitchen that is run by students and is open to the public. It’s also helpful if the program sponsors a student-run restaurant or public dinner nights to give students valuable training opportunities. Next, look for programs that are taught by experienced instructors or chefs. Finally, look for programs that offer job-placement services, career counseling and opportunities for internships and apprenticeships. The overall focus of any culinary program should be on career preparedness.

Topeka at Night.

Getting into culinary school should be the easiest part of the process. Most schools have an open admission policy, and only require that students have a high-school diploma or GED. Some may ask for minimum grade standards or course prerequisites. More competitive programs may also ask that students take a test to measure their knowledge of basic kitchen practices, or they may consider work experience or other training such as attendance at workshops or conferences.

Getting your degree

You’ll be able to whip up a diploma in no time once you start your culinary education. Most programs can be completed in only two years or less – about half the time of a traditional degree. Some schools offer accelerated tracks that can be finished in about a year or less, leading to a certificate or diploma that can be used for immediate job placement or to segue into a traditional degree program. Night and weekend classes, summer sessions and online programs offer some flexibility for working adults or for those who wish to accelerate their studies even more.

Online programs are more common for degrees in hospitality and restaurant management, but options are available to finish your culinary education online. Video instruction is available in some cases, and previous lab work or kitchen experience can be used to complement online courses in others.

Starting out in the job market

Jobs in the industry are expected to remain stable, with the National Restaurant Association predicting a rise of about 12 percent over the next 10 years. What kind of job you get and how much you can expect to make will depend on you. Where you work – from the location to the type of establishment – will significantly influence salary. Major metropolitan areas will offer more, as will hotels, spas, resorts and some personal chef services. Years of experience and position will also be significant. Heads chefs and cooks average about $32,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sous chefs, assistants and line cooks will make less down the line of succession.

Of course, networking will benefit your job prospects and give you the inside edge on industry events and trends. Join professional networks such as the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association and attend local food and wine festivals such as International Pancake Day or the Grasshopper Festival. You’ll have the chance to meet local celebrity chefs and other industry professionals, and you can start building your reputation by entering competitions.

Campus-based programs

AIB International School of Baking
1213 Bakers Way
Manhattan, KS 66505-3999
Certified Baker
Certified Ingredient Service Provider
NCACS Accredited

Butler County Community College
901 S. Haverhill Road
El Dorado, Kansas 67042
Hospitality Management
HLC Accredited

Flint Hills Technical College
3301 W. 18th Ave.
Emporia, KS 66801
Hospitality/Culinary Arts
HLC Accredited

Fort Hays State University
600 Park St.
Hays, KS 67601–4099
Tourism and Hospitality Management
HLC Accredited

Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd.
Overland Park, KS 66210-1299
Hospitality Management
Chef Apprenticeship
Food and Beverage Management
Hotel and Lodging Management
HLC Accredited

Kansas State University
Anderson Hall
Manhattan, KS, 66506
Bakery Science and Management
Food Science and Industry
Hotel and Restaurant Management
HLC Accredited

The International Culinary School at The Art Institutes International
8208 Melrose Drive
Overland Park, KS 66214-1626
Baking and Pastry
Culinary Arts
ACICS Accredited

Washburn University
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621-1101
Food Service
NCACS Accredited

Online-based programs

American Culinary Federation
The ACF has over 200 chapters in the United States; its main campus is located in Florida
180 Center Place Way
St. Augustine, FL
Continuing Education
Chef Certification
Chef Educators
Food Safety Certification
ACFEFAC Accredited

The Art Institutes of Pittsburgh – Online Division
The Ai has over 40 campus locations across North America, plus this online campus
420 Blvd of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA
Hotel and Restaurant Management
Culinary Management
MSCHE Accredited

Ashworth College
430 Technology Pkwy
Norcross, GA
Professional Gourmet Cooking and Catering
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC Accredited

DeVry University
This University has 90 campus locations in 26 different states
One Tower Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Hospitality Management
HLC Accredited

eCornell is an online program and subsidiary of Cornell University, located in New York
950 Danby Road, Suite 150
Ithaca, NY
Leadership and Strategic Management
Project Leadership and Systems Design
Financial Management
Management Essentials
Human Resources Management
Hospitality and Foodservice Management
Certificate in plant-based nutrition
HRCI and PMI Approved

Johnson and Wales University
JWU has campuses in Providence, Charlotte, and North Miami; its largest campus is in Rhode Island
8 Abbott Park Place, Providence, RI 02903
Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management
Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
NEASC Accredited

Le Cordon Bleu
The group of Le Cordon Bleu Schools have 17 campus locations in the United States
1 800 457-CHEF (2433)
B.A. Culinary Management
ACCSC, CCSC & ACICS Accredited

New England Culinary Institute
NECI has two campuses in Vermont; its main campus is in Montpelier
56 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
Hospitality and Restaurant Management
ACCSC Accredited

Penn Foster Career School
925 Oak Street
Scranton, PA 18515
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC & CHEA Accredited

Sullivan University
SU has three campuses in Louisville, Lexington and Fort Knox. The main campus for its Global e-Learning program is located in Louisville
2100 Gardiner Lane
Louisville, Kentucky 40205
Beverage Management
CCSACS & ACF Accredited

University of Phoenix
This University has campuses in over 40 states, and two locations in Canada
4602 East Elwood Street
Phoenix, AZ
Hospitality, Travel and Tourism
HLC Accredited

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