Become a Chef Attending West Virginia Colleges

West Virginia has a long home-cooking tradition that is part of the Appalachian style of cooking – emphasizing wild ingredients and game, as well as canning and preserves. It offers a strong foundation for any aspiring chefs from which to build and explore new territory or to improve upon traditional techniques. And West Virginia has a number of small programs with a homey feel to help start your culinary career.

Picking a School

The main dish in your program entrée should be the kitchen. That’s where you’ll be doing all your learning and all your practicing (and, hopefully, perfecting). Make sure your program has a kitchen that’s student run and is fully operational. The side dishes to your program should include experienced professors (preferably chefs), job placement and career counseling and opportunities for internships and apprenticeships.

Finding the culinary school that’s right for you may be harder than getting into the school. Typically, admission only requires the completion of a high-school diploma or GED. Some more competitive programs may ask that you provide more credentials, from work experience, attendance at culinary workshops or seminars, or an assessment of basic kitchen knowledge or techniques.

Getting your Degree

After deciding on a career path, most people are eager to get started as soon as possible. And culinary programs make getting started faster easy. Associate’s degrees can be completed in two years or less, depending on whether the program offers night classes or summer classes. Certificate and diploma programs can be completed in one year or less, and can be a good starting point for many culinary careers.

Online options are available if it better suits your schedule or if a suitable program isn’t located near you. Cooking is usually a hands-on, in-person experience, but video instruction can make that possible in your home. Online programs can also complement previous kitchen work or work experience, or can focus exclusive on hospitality or restaurant management.

Exploring the Job Market

The job market is expected to remain stable in West Virginia in the coming years, with the National Restaurant Association predicting a growth of about 8 percent by 2019. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts average salaries for chefs and head cooks at about $40,000 a year. To stay competitive, start early in your career with networking and joining professional networks such as the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association or the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Go to food festivals to meet local celebrity chefs or to enter competitions and show off your skills.

Higher salaries are going to be found at more upscale establishments such as fine-dining restaurants, hotels, resorts and spas. Personal-chef services may also offer lucrative opportunities. Of course, your experience, your position and your location will all have an impact, as well.

University of Charleston.

Campus-based Programs

Davis and Elkins College
100 Campus Drive
Elkins, WV 26241
Hospitality Management
CIHENCACS Accredited

Fairmont State University
1201 Locust Ave.
Fairmont, WV 26554
Food Service Management
Culinary Arts
Pastry and Baking
Dietary Manager
Resort and Hotel Management
ACF Accredited

Glenville State College
200 High St.
Glenville, WV 26351-1200
Resort Area Management
HLC Accredited

James Rumsey Technical Institute
3274 Hedgesville Road
Martinsburg, WV 25403-0259
Culinary Arts
NCASSC Accredited

Marshall Community and Technical College
1 John Marshall Way
Huntington, WV 25755
Culinary Arts
Hotel/Restaurant Management
NCACS Accredited

Monongalia County Technical Education Center
1000 Mississippi Street
Morgantown, WV 26501
Culinary Arts
NCASSC Accredited

Mountain State University
609 S Kanawha St.
Beckley, WV 25801
ceased to operate effective January 1, 2013
Culinary Arts
HLC 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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