The Institute of Culinary Education's Los Angeles campus

Los Angeles Campus Introduces First Degree Program

The Institute of Culinary Education's new Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) is now available.

The Institute of Culinary Education has launched its first associate degree program designed for those seeking an accelerated, college-level curriculum with a restaurant and hospitality focus. The Culinary Arts & Management AOS is exclusively available at our Los Angeles campus and can be completed in 14 months. This offering is an evolution based on the campus's current four career diploma programs.

The 62-credit degree program will begin on March 19 and take 60 weeks to complete with 24 courses divided into three areas of study: Culinary Arts, Restaurant & Culinary Management, and core and personal development courses. The capstone of the program is an off-site externship. The Culinary Arts and Culinary Management courses will be taught on campus in ICE's specially designed teaching kitchens and classrooms in Pasadena, and the complementary core courses will be taught online, affording students maximum flexibility in their schedules.

The six core courses are designed to pair with the culinary and management courses to provide the academic skills and information that enhances career growth. Coursework includes applying nutritional and dietary principles to fine cuisine; using verbal and written communications to enhance menus; examining the relationship between culture and food; exploring how to use time management, active listening and self-motivation for career advancement; and better understanding how psychology can impact leadership, teamwork and performance. Since these courses are taught online, students are able to study on their own schedule, from any location in California.*

The Culinary Arts & Management degree will be followed by similar hybrid programs in Pastry & Baking Arts & Management and Health-Supportive Culinary Arts & Management in the coming months.

Explore the curriculum.

“In the last few years, the hospitality industry, our regulators and higher education generally, have recognized the importance of teaching career skills that go beyond the technical skills taught within a given diploma program,” says Los Angeles Campus President Lachlan Sands, adding that these soft skills are essential for any field and will be taught through the lens of the hospitality and restaurant industry.

LA students present charcuterie in a Culinary Arts class

“We were able to build a strong associate degree program that not only focuses on the essential culinary skills, it includes the management, entrepreneurial and career skills that are sought after by our employers,” President Sands says.

The degree program is designed for people who want to go beyond the scope of our diploma programs and have a 360-degree exposure to the industry. Recent high school graduates or career changers looking for a higher education degree in hospitality will find a program carefully aligned with their aspirations. “The AOS program is a great gateway to a hospitality career for younger students, such as those just out of high school or community college, or career changers coming from a career that doesn’t have the same needs or skill set as the hospitality industry,” he explains.

ICE CEO Rick Smilow adds, “The new AOS degree is a compelling, unique and timely offering from ICE. It’s an opportunity for students to gain a foundation of hands-on culinary arts skills and essential, entrepreneurial restaurant and service business knowledge, in addition to topical knowledge and skills in subjects spanning from nutrition and food history to career planning and leadership.”

The associate degree program is designed for dedicated, full-time students. “Students can expect a high level of rigor and they will need to make a time commitment to be successful,” President Sands says. On average, students should expect to be in class roughly 22-24 hours per week. “In addition to the in-class hours, students should set aside time outside of class to prepare for their classes and for homework."

A student studies in the learning resource center at ICE's Los Angeles campus

Associate degree students will be taught by skilled, knowledgeable instructors with real-world experience who are committed to their students' success. “At our core, we are teaching a very complex series of skills in an environment that is immersive, comprehensive and challenging,” President Sands adds.

What makes ICE’s AOS program truly compelling is its pace. “In just 60 weeks, students can accomplish what normally is covered over the course of a two-year academic program,” CEO Smilow says. “A big part of ICE’s success over the years has been offering our students the opportunity to engage with the culinary and hospitality industry as quickly as possible with access to a vast range of opportunities.”

Learn more about earning an Associate of Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts & Management.

*Students must reside in California to enroll in this program.

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