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Frequently Asked Questions

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SRJC Culinary Arts

How many certificates does the department offer?

We offer five certificates, including:
Front House Operations
Culinary Arts
Baking & Pastry
Restaurant Management
Dining Room Service

Do you offer an AA degree?

We offer two AA degrees:
Culinary Arts
Restaurant Management

Do I need any previous cooking experience to enroll?

No, the curriculum in these programs is designed to accommodate the novice cook as well as individuals with some cooking experience.

Will I be a chef when I finish my certificate?

No. We are training professionals for entry-level jobs in the food business. You must work your way up the career ladder in the industry to become a chef.

Do you have a job placement program?

Yes. Our Culinary Career Center connects students and graduates with opportunities to work special events and also assists those seeking part time or full time employment.

How long does it take to get my certificate?

All of our courses are in 8 week blocks. There are two 8 week blocks offered in both the Fall & Spring semesters. We also offer one 8 week block of classes in the Summer. Blocks should be taken in order (Block One, Block Two, etc) The certificates are designed for full-time students to complete in the following time-line:

Front House Operations: two 8 week blocks
Culinary Arts: four 8 week blocks
Baking & Pastry: two-three 8 week blocks
Restaurant Management: three 8 week blocks + electives + an internship
Dining Room Service: one 8 week block

The current State of California schedule reductions to higher education are such that students should plan on another one to two blocks to complete an individual certificate. You can find the most current schedule of classes from the SRJC website

Do I have to take classes full time?

No. You may tailor your class schedule to take a full load, or just a few courses at a time. You must complete the pre-requisites of the first block before continuing, but it's fine to spread the classes out over several blocks.

Is there an application process for getting in the program?

No. All of our programs are open enrollment. You simply fill out an application to enter into the College system, and then you can register for classes. You can fill out an application in person at Admissions and Records in Plover Hall on Elliott Ave, or on-line.

Are there prerequisite classes I must take?

Yes. The prerequisites classes are the Block One classes attached to each certificate.

Do I have to repeat the prerequisites for each certificate?

No. You only need to successfully complete a prerequisite course once, even if you are working toward more than one certificate requiring the same course.

Is there room in the classes? I've heard they fill up quickly.

The classes do fill up quickly. Once you get stared in the program, you will have priority registration, and it gets easier to get into classes. If the classes you want are full, and you are unable to enroll, show up to the first class and ask the instructor if there is room to add. If so, you will be given an add code at that time. Instructors do not have add codes until the first day of a class.

Do you cater or take special orders like wedding cakes?

We are not currently offering catering courses or services. The baking classes do not take special orders. We plan for adding a catering certificate to our program as soon as the California State budget allows for community college program expansion.

How much does each certificate cost?

As of Summer, 2012, course tuition at the College is $46/unit
Most of our classes include food fees, which vary, depending on the class. An estimate of the total certificate costs are as follows:
Front House Operations: $895
Culinary Arts: $2,449
Baking & Pastry: $2,170
Restaurant Management: $1,201
Dining Room Service: $453

Do I need a uniform?

Yes.
The Front House Operations class uniform is:
Black dress pants
Burgundy dress shirt
Black bib apron with the SRJC Culinary Arts logo
Sturdy, close-toed black dress shoes

The Culinary and Baking certificate uniform is:
White chef's coat with the SRJC Culinary Arts logo
White apron
Long, black/white checked chef's pants
White skullcap
Sturdy, close-toed shoes

Where can I get the uniform?

You can purchase the uniforms from the JC bookstore. Please plan ahead! Uniforms can take as long as 2 weeks to arrive and some cooking classes demand you be in uniform on your first day.

Do I need my own set of knives and text books?

Yes. You will need to buy a set of knives for your culinary classes. You should wait to purchase your knives until you are in the Knife Skills class. If your class requires a book, you should plan on bringing the book to the first day of class.

Where are classes held?

All of our classes are held in the new Culinary Arts Center across the street from the main Santa Rosa Campus. The building address is 1670 Mendocino Ave. The Culinary Center phone number is 522-2800.

Will I need to go to another cooking school after I get a certificate from SRJC?

No. No matter where you go to culinary school, you will have to start at entry level in the professional food business.

Who should I contact to get more information?

Front House Operations and Restaurant Management
Betsy Fischer: bfischer@santarosa.edu 524-1758
Culinary Arts & Baking and Pastry
Cathy Burgett: cburgett@santarosa.edu 521-7930
Jim Cason: jcason@santarosa.edu 527-4623
Michael Salinger: msalinger@santarosa.edu 527-4591
Shelly Kaldunski: skaldunski@santarosa.edu 524-1843