If you have a taste for a career in the culinary arts and hospitality field, Jackson College offers the ingredients to get you started!

Jackson College offers an associate degree in culinary arts and hospitality management program, as well as certificate, concentration and skill set options. These short-term options can help students get to work right away while they continue toward their full degree. Classes are offered at JC @ LISD TECH, Jackson Central Campus and Jackson Area Career Center.

“The culinary program at Jackson College prepares students to go out and get started in the market,” said Chef Diane Newell, instructor. “If students have a passion for cooking, they already have a head start. The palate doesn’t lie. With the skills learned and the professionalism taught our students go out in the culinary industry with the upper edge of success!”

Students prepare for careers in a restaurant, hospitality or institutional setting. Professionals have a variety of responsibilities that may include preparing food, supervising and coordinating the activities of food service workers or dining room employees, planning menus, estimating daily or weekly needs, ordering and maintaining inventories of supplies and equipment, and keeping records of meals served. The program also provides a foundation for continued culinary arts studies at a four-year college, the chef certification through the American Culinary Federation (ACF) as well as the NRAEF ManageFirst and the ServSafe National Certification.

Students interested in food preparation need to have good basic math skills, must communicate well interpersonally, and need to know science, both for food preparation and safety issues regarding pathogens and diseases. Career opportunities are good, but students need to realize they will have to work their way up. Newell said some students come in to our program because of being inspired by watching famous chefs on Food Network, and begin to realize that those celebrities have years of experience behind them.

Graduate Jimmie Garland decided on the program since he’d always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen. “I like to make people happy, and what better way to do it than with food?” he said. “The job opportunities are growing all the time.” Students in culinary arts and hospitality program practice their skills at several dinners prepared for community members and other special events.