--- A rep from the art institutes recently came to my high school English class and did a presentation about all areas of their programs. Since she didn't specialize in culinary she couldn't really answer all of my questions about curriculum. And, she tended to shy away from talking to me when I mentioned I was looking at J&W, though she did mention the difference in price since its not a private school like J&W. She gave me a pamphlet about scholarships but its only about compititios not really about the school. I wish I had more info to give you... sorry. Happy Searching!!!---april---
I graduated from NY Restaurant School, a part of that group, in 1996. If the other schools are similar, you will get a thorough grounding in all the basic techniques, good exposure to a variety of international and US regional cuisines, and some pretty straight talk on what jobs are out there in a variety of settings. You'll get a little "real life" restaurant kitchen experience while in school, but your externship will give you real real-life view.
BTW, they ARE private, and might accept anything that breathes and can manage to pay. So what you get out of your schooling will really depend on what you put into it (although that's true virtually everywhere).
20 years ago I went to the Colorado Art Institute in Denver to study comercial art. To the best of my knowledge it's affilated with all the "Institute" schools throughout the country, now.
MY personal opinion.......they are a FOR PROFIT in the PERSUIT OF PROFIT type of school. The word "Institute" is used rather liberally in their case. If you look it up in the dictionary "Institute" you'll find that it has a couple different meanings "to establish in a position or office" or "recognized as authoriative". They are the first defination of this word they are NOT, NOT the second "recognized as authoriative".
Why I mention this: it's a little play on words and it lends authority and prestiege to their name. I hope to clarify things for you. They are a school system that has over the years added and deleleted programs of what they teach following the trends of what's PROFITABLE and in demand in higher education. 10 years after you graduate from the "Institute" schools system they might not be teach that subject at all. Tell your culinary employeer you graduated from a typing school and they might look at you crossed eyed....(you never know what they'll be teaching next, their not deadicated to any one particular field of study).
Now don't get me totally wrong all schools need money/profits to exist. BUT to me, theirs a big difference when your a school of higher education and you chase after trends dropping and adding your goals vs. a school that's been teach a subject for a very long time and is in pursuit of being "recognized as authoriative" by the industry it teaches.
Sooooo, yes you might get a good education there, you also might not! Their instuctors don't stay with them as long as other more respected schools. Teaching positions in the more respected schools have much higher standards, many of their teachers have published cookbooks. The Insitutue schools are private and certainly DO accept ANYONE that pays (you have to work rather hard to get thrown out of school). Their standards are very low compartively. You could have a great teacher or a teacher that couldn't make it anywhere else. Or you could be like Susan, someone who's mature (and I'm certain) studied far more than what was asked of her from the school. BUT.....who knows how hard you'll work outside of class?
Remember, they came to your school and sold a product (their education). Great schools don't need to do that. They have their standards and you must meet them.
The Art Institutes has been around for a long time. The person that graduated from the Art Institutes in Colorado, should know that the Culinary School is still in tact. The Company does not change programs at the drop of a hat. They don't just except any student to the program. The student must have a certain GPA. They must also write a paper to gain access. The level of the instructors is just as good if not better than most culinary schools. Each instuctor must be working on their own advance schooling or certification. They go to schools to let the Seniors know what their options are. The Art Institutes has a great reputation and curriculium. The schools also have an attendance policy to help enforce responsibility. We do kick students out that do not show up, or do not make passing grades.
I have to back Bill up on this one (at least as far as The Art Institute of Mpls is concerned). One of my cooks is a student there and I'm pretty impressed so far with what they do. Then, of course, she's one of the smarter ones!
Mr. Niemer, what is the percent of students that apply that don't get accepted? How many students are employeed in their field of study 10 years after graduation?
How do you know if the instructors are equal or better than the instructors at J & W or The CIA? Or are we comparing them to all cooking schools in the US or the reknown culinary schools?
How many programs (not classes, but fields) have been added and or dropped in the last 20 years at the Institute Schools'? How many programs (not classes) have been dropped or add to J & W or The CIA over the last 20 years?
P.S. I know the culinary program is still intact with the Institute program...my point was it's basicly a new program for them. They haven't been teaching culinary arts for very long. Exactly, how long have they been teaching culinary arts? Will they continue teaching that program for the next 20 years? Are they deadicated to be a recognized authority to the culinary arts or will they abandon teaching it when the flow of students slows?
What does their program cost in comparision to J & W or the CIA?
P.S. I'm on their mailing list...have you ever looked at their flyers promoting themselves (open house, etc...)? They should be embarrassed!!!!!! A child with a computor can put together a more professional flyer (jeez, every word program has a style sheet they could have used)! It left me embarrassed to say I studied art there!
W. DeBord, there is a high degree of students that don't get in, I belive the number is around 30%. How many student are employed in their field of study 10 years after graduation in any field, your schooling has little to do if you stay in your field. Other life options and changes may occur.
I am very active in the American Culinary Federation and I go to most conferences. I talk to other intsrutors at other schools. The level of certification and degrees and years of experience are equal or better than most. I think we are talking about U.S. schools here.
I don't know how many programs that the Institute has added or dropped in the last 20 years. The changes that do occur are do to job saturation in certain fields. It is better to drop a program than to keep churning out students like a puppy mill for over saturated fields.
The Art Institutes has been teach Culinary Arts since 1950. Not in all markets but in some. The Art Institutes is ver dedicated to becoming the authority on food in america.
The program costs are equal to J & W. The CIA is double the price of the Art Institutes and J&W. Student in the CIA may be taking classes with 250 other students. Talk about a school that has little acceptance standards. The student teacher ratio is unacceptable. Our student ratio is 20 to one.
Sounds like you have a problem with the school, not the education you received from the Art Institutes. I can't speak about the flyers they produced. Maybe the work is the students work, which is a great opportunity for the student to learn.
I would like to respond to the statement of Mr. Niemer's concerning the CIA. I am a graduate of the CIA, and even though it very well may cost twice as much as other schools, I have never attended any classes in which there were 250 other students. I know that many other schools have smaller classes and a better student ratio, but I believe that 250 is a very embellished number. As I recall most of my classes were around 30-40 students... And the instuctors were also very well informed.
Large classes are to be expected in any four year college. These are mostly freshman level general education courses like English 101 or US History. Most states require at least a few of these courses for an Associate degree. Large classes in excess of 100 students are rare at two year schools.
For most vocations, a two year Associates degree is sufficient. What bothers me in general, with respect to two year schools, is the relative low level of general education that the students receive. Yes, this includes schools like the CIA, though now a four year school, and the Art Institutes. Most graduates of two year schools lack an understanding of history, the United States Constitution, and among other things, basic reading comprehension skills. I bring this up not as a point of contention, but as a reflection of my own personal bias against being overly specialized in a particular study. I've seen many two year graduates display outstanding skills in their chosen profession, but in most cases, this can be further bolstered by a solid liberal arts curriculum. I think these students could benefit from a more well rounded education.
Kuan, I agree with you that a greater understanding of U.S. History and english should occur. At The Art Institutes they require 7 quarters of general education classes. English, I,II, are among the classes. I think K-12 could do a better job at addressing History and civic type classes.
At the Art Institutes, every class has projects that deal with english, history and other type of general educaiton topics.
For the most part 70% of the time is spent learning the hands on skill they will need to compete in the culinary industry.
While I agree with Kuan that students should be better educated in general subjects, I don't believe it to be the responsibility of a school offering an associates degree. Rudimentary math and rudimentary language, yes; but no further. The greater focus should be on the specific vocation that the associate degree program is targeted towards, in my opinion.
The CIA, BTW, is not necessarily a 4 year school; neither is J&W. Both offer both 4 year and two year programs.
Kuan, thank you so much for all your contributions in this particular part of cheftalk, BTW, your efforts are appreciated (and Anneke, Danielle, Logan, W. DeBord, Suzanne Fass, Cape Chef, Bill Niemer and countless others).
I do indeed have a personal problem with the school. So I'll share it and hope that any prospective college bound student will read this and think twice before they jump into any 'program' at a private school.
I had a mentor/teacher who got me into The American Academy Of Art my sophmore year of high school. I took saturday classes and summer school each year throughout high school until I graduated.
Won a national merit scholarship to Bradley U. but passed on that because I didn't need a a reg. degree to be a graphic artist.
At 18 (with no family input) I thought I knew everything, desided to go to school as far away from home as I could get. I enrolled in The Colorado Institute Of Art. Asked if they'd accept my commercial art credits from The Academy and they said no, it didn't apply to their commercial arts program. Went to school there for exactly 1 year, got really sick, needed to move home.
Went back to my former college (The Academy, which was close to home) and now they wouldn't accept any commercial arts credits from The Colorado Insitute school. Spent another year studing there (re-doing the fundimentals). Recieved a scholarship from them, studied another 1/2 year.
Got pulled into the family catering business at this point and exited going to college full time. Although I took classes at a local junior college for another year part time while working.
Later got married (9 years later), desided I needed to leave the hours involved in catering if I wanted to remain married. Desided to go back to school and finish my art degree and enter my chosen field.
Here's where the catch was for me. 10 years later I looked into going back to either of my former schools to finish my degree and now neither of them would accept ANY of my former credits earned with-in their own programs!! The only credits anyone would look at: from the junior college.
I looked into other colleges to see if I could find anyone who would accept my credits, NO ONE WOULD! 2 years of tution and study and they were totally worthless, couldn't use them ANYWHERE!
So the lessons I learned:
Lesson #1: "How many students are employeed in their field of study 10 years after graduation in any field, your schooling has little to do if you stay in your field. Other life options may occur."
That is soooooo true! At 18 who knows where your life may lead?
The red flags were there at the beginning, when (not even 1) credit transfered to another school. But I was young and believed what the adults told me. I wish I had understood these issues when I was young, no doubt!
If I had a do over, I do what I recommend to every young person who ever dreams of going to college. I'd take my money and get a degree from a University. Because after all this time (growing up, trying different vocations, wanting to enter other vocations) I've learned that the best education is a well rounded one (please re-read Kuans post).
Even if you stay in your chosen field in time you work your way up to being the boss or the owner. Eventually we all need management skills and business skills. Unlike cooking or art (in my opinion, from MY experience) skills which can be learned on the job.....business skills can become VERY critical to your success in your chosen field. When these management skills are needed we find ourselves in the prime of our lifes with morgages, children, aging parents to help and bills. At this stage returning to school is very hard!
So in my humble or not so humble opinion, I still believe the best route for anyone who wants to enter a field and work themselves up to the top ....the wisest degree they can have is one that's well rounded (not limited to one field like cooking or art) that can be applied toward any future endeavor in ANY college.
P.S. The conversations and brocures all told me the credits were transferable. But the catch was : ONLY BETWEEN THEIR OWN SCHOOL PROGRAM. NOT to other schools outside of their system. They don't/won't tell you that.
First, before you pay a penny, go to another school outside of the prospective school you looking at and see first hand what another completely independent college has to say about accepting credits from that school.
The CIA and the Art Institutes do a good job in teaching students how to cook. Whether you like it or not, most states require basic English composition and either American or Contemporary Lit, some Humanities classes such as Cultural Anthropology, American History, a Physical Science class and the lab to go along with it, a Biology Class and lab, at least college Algebra, a critical thinking course, and four or five classes in your chosen major. All schools offering Associate degrees need to provide these courses for their students. These may be done on campus or through a joint program with another accredited school such as a local community college or four year college. To me, all these play a critical role in a student's lifelong learning process. They provide a student with the means to fish and not just the fish itself.
Let W's experience be a warning to all. Credits are rarely transferrable to an out of state school. Credits are even more rarely transferrable from a private school to a state school. Credits are NEVER transferrable from a private college to a state school. Associates degrees are recognized by most colleges for admissions, but the credits still have to be approved There are, of course, exceptions. Most four year Universities have a transfer program with the local college system. I'd advise anyone who wants their general education credits to count to seriously consider taking them at a community college.
Im currently attending the Art Institute of Los Angeles and I am happy with what ive learned so far. Starting next week FoodTV is going to be filming us for a year long series they plan on having in 2003. Our school was chosen out of quite a few other schools nation wide. (P.S. Dont buy their knife kit if you plan on going, it sucks)