BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Cascade Culinary Institute at Central Oregon Community College has received exemplary accreditation in all of its baking and culinary programs from the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission, making it the only culinary school in Oregon to hold that distinction.
CCI offers an associate degree and a certificate in both culinary arts and baking and pastry arts, and incorporates diverse learning experiences, such as exchange programs with other countries, a teaching restaurant, bakery kiosk and a customized food truck.
The culinary school merited the status based on full compliance of all requirements and excellent management of the program.
“I am thrilled and incredibly proud,” said Wayne Yeatman, culinary instructor and chair of CCI. “This is a reflection of our outstanding faculty, facilities and programming, and underscores how comprehensive and high-value our training is. It reaffirms our place among top schools nationwide.”
The ACFEFAC evaluates a host of criteria, including program mission and goals, organization and administration, curriculum and facilities, and involves an on-site visit. Exemplary status results in a seven-year accreditation term; normal accreditation with the ACFEFAC requires renewal every five years.
The high ranking comes at a time when culinary schools around the country are facing falling enrollments and even closing doors.
Last July, Pioneer Pacific College announced plans to permanently shutter its Oregon Culinary Institute while the International Culinary Center in New York likewise closed its doors. The New England Culinary Institute made the same decision in December.
CCI has worked with some students from these schools to ensure their credits transferred, and to ensure their education could continue at CCI without disruption or delay.
For COCC’s culinary program, which began in 1994, and for its baking program, which opened in 2012, the new accreditation level will give would-be culinary students around the U.S. another reason to seriously consider CCI, particularly now that the college’s residence hall is open for applications for fall term. The culinary program also offers a degree and certificate in hospitality management.
“This combination of factors solidifies CCI’s place on the culinary education map,” said Dr. Laurie Chesley, president of COCC. “We know we have a stellar program and a strong reputation on the West Coast, but with this top industry recognition and a changing landscape for culinary schools, we are excited to welcome even more students from across the U.S.”
The American Culinary Federation, a professional organization for chefs and cooks founded in 1929, is the largest professional chefs’ organization in North America.