Frequently Asked Questions
What is a unit and how many are there?
A unit is a class, and there are 11 total units required for a Culinary Arts Certificate. Each unit is comprised of eight four-hour sessions offered on consecutive Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday evenings.
What if I can't complete all 11 units?
You must complete all 11 units for a certificate. You can take missing units during another class rotation with permission.
Where are the classes held?
Most classes are held at the newly-renovated McCutchen House on the historic horseshoe of the USC campus in Columbia. Some classes may be held at a location off campus. Maps and directions will be provided.
Is there a required sequence to the classes?
Yes, the sanitation and kitchen skills series must be taken before all other units. However, the baking classes may be taken out of sequence.
How much does each unit cost and how do I pay?
Each unit is $550 (tuition increase to $550 begins January 1, 2010) and must be paid in advance. You may pay by cash, check, Visa, or MasterCard to our administrative office.
Are there any other costs?
Yes, there is a one time cost for approved uniforms, a professional knife and utensil kit, and the approved text and safety and sanitation test. These total approximately $600. All goods purchased become the property of the student.
Does completion of these units guarantee me a culinary job?
No. However, trained culinarians are a premium in South Carolina and the instructors for the Culinary Institute at Carolina are all working chefs who can assist you in gaining lucrative full-time employment.
What does CEC after an instructor's name mean?
The letters stand for Certified Executive Chef. This certification is maintained with the American Culinary Federation, an organization for professional chefs. There are only 3,000 CEC's in the world. The Culinary Institute at Carolina is fortunate to have so many on staff.
Can I speak with some of the chefs before I enroll?
Yes. Please provide your telephone number to the program coordinator, Becky Moody, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will call you to make those arrangements.
Are there assignments outside of class?
Yes, but this program is a professional one and the outside class assignments are limited and only apply to the professional aspect of cooking.
Do I get to eat the food I prepare in class?
Yes, almost every cooking class is accompanied by a class meal derived from the work the class is doing that day, or from the instructor's demonstrations.
Will I learn food decoration and ice carving?
Yes, all graduates will be able to prepare beautifully decorated platters and professional ice carvings.
What other certifications are involved?
The National Restaurant Association sponsors the sanitation portion of the classes and there is a nationally recognized certification of Food Safety, which is valid for five years. The National Restaurant Association also sponsors the ManageFirst© program which issues student certificates in Controlling Food Service Costs, Hospitality and Restaurant Management, Inventory and Purchasing, and Human Resources Management and Supervision.