Clark College to relaunch its culinary institute, only public program of its type in region

VANCOUVER – Clark College is relaunching its Cuisine and Professional Bakery and Pastry Arts program, the only public, college-level culinary arts program of its type within 120 miles, and will host two information sessions for prospective students.

After four years of developing an updated curriculum and modernizing the existing kitchens and dining spaces, the new Tod and Maxine McClaskey Culinary Institute will welcome its first class of students in the fall of 2017.

The free information sessions for prospective students interested in the culinary programs are scheduled for 6 p.m., Thu., Feb. 23 and 6 p.m., Mon., March 6. Both sessions will be held PUB 161 on Clark’s main campus. Maps and directions are available at www.clark.edu/maps.

Clark College is relaunching its culinary, baking and pastry arts program and will hold two information sessions in February and March for prospective students.
A rendering of the new Tod and Maxine McClaskey Culinary Institute at Clark College in Vancouver, which will welcome its first class of students in the fall of 2017. Photo courtesy of Clark College

A $4 million gift from The Tod and Maxine McClaskey Family Foundation helped college administrators transform the existing on-campus culinary facility into a state-of-the-art teaching and dining establishment. The new building will create a community space on campus that highlights the growing influence of food on our culture and provide students with real-world experience in a production kitchen, retail bakery, full-service dining room and a variety of food kiosks. All services will be open to the Clark College community as well as the general public.

“This new facility will provide an immediate positive impact for both the college community and the culinary programs,” said Dr. Tim Cook, vice president of instruction at Clark College. “We are able to provide students with career-focused, affordable culinary education at a time when many other local programs are closing their doors. When the institute opens, it will be the only public culinary program within 120 miles.”

Clark culinary students can choose between two modern, competitive programs: Cuisine or Professional Baking and Pastry Arts. In both programs, students will learn classic techniques, kitchen fundamentals and real-world skills, and then combine that knowledge with practical experience in high-volume food production.

The new program will offer one-year certificate programs as well as a two-year associate degree. Additionally, students interested in four-year degrees can advance their culinary careers with Clark College’s Applied Management program, which offers a bachelor’s degree — or take advantage of transfer partnership agreements at Cascadia Technical Academy or Washington State University Vancouver.

“There is a growing demand for culinary and hospitality professionals in this region,” said Aaron Guerra, executive chef instructor and head of the culinary arts department. “The culinary landscape is shifting and Clark College is well suited to face the changing industry because we’re not afraid to do things differently.”

Interested in learning more about the new culinary arts programs, but unable to attend either information session? Visit www.clark.edu/culinary for more information.

Information provided by Clark College

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About The Author

Kelly Moyer has been reporting for community newspapers since the mid-1990s, including the Newport News-Times on the Oregon Coast; the Lewistown Sentinel, a daily newspaper in central Pennsylvania; the Gresham Outlook, Wilsonville Spokesman, Sherwood Gazette and South County Spotlight newspapers in the Portland metro area; and The Reflector newspaper in Battle Ground, Wash. She also is the former managing editor of Midwifery Today, an international magazine for birth professionals. Kelly, a University of Oregon alumnus and Pennsylvania native, lives with her family in Northeast Portland.

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