A unique partnership between Kent Career Tech Center and Ferris State University (FSU) that provides high school culinary students with college courses, was honored with the 2014 Trends in Occupational Studies Outstanding Educator Team of the Year award.
Given by a higher education consortium, the team received their award at the 2014 Trends in Occupational Studies Conference hosted by Northwestern Michigan College at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, Michigan.
The team was nominated for their work in developing a collaborative, innovative partnership between the Tech Center and Ferris State University, directly benefiting area students, according to Susan DeCamillis, director, Business Programs/Academic Affairs at Northwestern Michigan College. The conference annually recognizes a team of educators for their demonstrated ability to combine leadership and teamwork to impact, learning, student performance, and student outcomes.
“It was such a proud moment for me to accompany our staff and our outstanding FSU partners as they were honored for the dedication to students and their futures that this award symbolizes,” said John Kraus, Tech Center principal. “A great deal of hard work and expertise has gone into this successful partnership, and I’m so pleased to see it recognized.”
The Culinary Management partnership launched in 2010 and offers the Tech Center’s high school students a simple way to can earn important culinary certifications and college credit while still in high school, and even more if they return for a 13th year. Over 300 students have taken advantage of this opportunity and earned over $500,000 in college credit from FSU.
Kent ISD Superintendent Kevin Konarska explained that while college credit is a part of each of the 20+ programs the Tech Center offers, the partnership with Ferris is special. “We are thrilled with the opportunity our Ferris partners are providing to students. This makes it so easy for students to begin their college career. All they have to do is walk down the hall to one of the Ferris instructors’ classrooms.”
The Tech Center program offers training on the main campus on the East Beltline and the new Downtown Market, plus the program operates the first and only 3-Star Green Certified Restaurant in the Michigan! Students enrolled in the Hospitality/Culinary Program learn foundation skills in year one, including bakery production, food preparation, guest services and hospitality. Second year students return to specialize in the Advanced Culinary or Advanced Pastry program and can begin taking FSU courses.
Students earn certifications from the National Restaurant Association and Ferris State University, including SafeServ, Ferris State University Culinary Management Certification, and Ferris State University Food Institution Management Certification. KCTC Hospitality/Culinary graduates enjoy successful careers as caterers, bakers, pastry chefs, banquet/restaurant managers and owners, dieticians, and food and beverage managers.