Pulaski Technical College will begin offering a culinary arts degree - the first of its kind in central Arkansas - beginning in January.
The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board on Oct. 27 unanimously approved PTC's proposal to establish the Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School. Pulaski Tech's Board of Trustees approved the proposal on Aug. 28.
"The Arkansas Culinary School has had tremendous success in preparing aspiring chefs for careers in food preparation and the hospitality industry," said Dr. Dan F. Bakke, college president. "Through this venture we will expand the academic programs we are able to offer students and better serve the workforce needs of central Arkansas."
Aspiring chefs will be able to earn an associate degree in culinary arts or complete a technical certificate in either culinary arts or pastry arts at the new Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School. The Arkansas Culinary School currently offers an apprenticeship program with classes in culinary techniques and kitchen management.
The Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts is a 72-credit-hour program that will prepare students for professional entry into the food service industry. Students will master food preparation and learn culinary techniques, kitchen management skills, sanitation and safety procedures, cost control management, nutrition, styles of table service, and menu design and strategy.
Both technical certificates require 30 credit hours. The certificate in culinary arts will prepare students for entry-level positions in the food service industry. Students who pursue a certificate in baking and pastry arts will learn skills in baking, pastry techniques, cakes and cake decoration, candies and chocolates, breads and food service sanitation.
Students will attend classes at the Culinary School location, which has operated in Little Rock since 1995 on the campus of Performance Food Group, 4901 Asher Ave. Pulaski Technical College has purchased the culinary school's assets.
Pulaski Technical College officials expect the new programs to serve 75 students initially and as many as 250 over the next three years.
Todd Gold, who is president of the Arkansas Culinary School, and Allison Shaskan, the current executive director, will serve as director and assistant director, respectively, at the Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School.