By The Telegram

Garden City Community College has received approval from the Kansas Board of Regents to start a culinary management program, according to Bruce Exstrom, vice president of instructional services.

The program prepares students to manage a restaurant kitchen, or catering operation. Instruction provides hands-on experience in planning, supervising and managing food and beverage preparation; menu preparation; culinary health and safety; cost control; purchasing; problem solving; personnel management; event planning; and applicable laws and regulations.

"We are working with several adjunct instructors to provide delivery for fall," said Exstrom. "USD 457 has a culinary program and we look forward to providing a seamless transition to GCCC for interested students."

Students wanting to start the culinary program right away can register for the upcoming fall term, which is scheduled to begin Aug. 21. Contact the GCCC Instructional Services Division at 276-0441, or admissions at 276-9608.

Upon completion of 67 credit hours, culinary management students will receive an associate in applied science degree. The new program also allows students to exit after one year of instruction with a culinary manager assistant certificate.

Workforce projections made by the Economic Modeling Specialist International agency indicate that between 2010 and 2022 first-line culinary supervisors and serving worker occupations will grow by 11.1 percent in southwest Kansas, southeast Colorado, and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles. EMSI data also shows more than 150 culinary job openings annually in this region.

Garden City Community College continues to expand program offerings and opportunities for student in the region in the area of hospitality management and food safety. In 2010, GCCC and Fort Hays State University signed agreements making it possible to earn bachelor of business administration degrees, without leaving Garden City, in the fields of management, Tourism and hospitality management, human resource management and marketing.

In 2011, GCCC received $1.7 million via the TRAC 7 grant from the Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program. The grant program has expanded GCCC's animal science program to include food safety. Through these expansion efforts it became evident that a culinary program focusing on food and beverage management was the next step.

At the completion of the culinary program, students will be able to:

Demonstrate customer service skills and professional and ethical conduct according to industry standards.

* Apply proper safety and sanitation principles to meet industry standards and governmental regulations.

* Demonstrate professional communication techniques among customers, members and industry partners.

* Utilize leadership and management skills in all settings.

* Maintain professionalism in all interactions with customers, team members, faculty and industry partners.

* Cultivate a wide range of culinary and dining room service skills.

* Demonstrate proficiency in skills for a production kitchen.

* Explore all facets of Food Services management including purchasing, receiving and storing products, inventory control, maintenance of equipment and troubleshooting mechanical failures.

* Perform mathematical functions related to food service operations.

* Develop fundamental culinary knowledge and skills.

* Examine all facets of planning, preparing and managing a catered event.