The Culinary Arts program provides training in all aspects of food preparation and production, and helps students to acquire skills ranging from advanced food preparation techniques to food service management. Students learn the skills needed to be successful in this expanding and evolving industry, including quantity food preparation, nutrition, catering essentials, decorative foods, wines, baking, and gourmet dining.

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    If you are creative, logical, work well under stress, enjoy the constantly evolving food service industry, and work well with people, the Southwest Tech Culinary Arts program provides a tremendous opportunity to launch your career.

    In general, people attracted to this career value the job's creative challenges and the public appreciation for their expertise. To be successful in their trade, chefs need to:

    • be fluent in English with reading and writing competency.
    • have good basic mathematics skills.
    • have a genuine interest in preparing food and working with people.
    • be in good health and able to stand for long periods.
    • have a keen sense of taste and smell.
    • be flexible.
    • be able to lift in excess of 20 pounds.
    • be ready to work as a member of a team.
    • be willing to maintain the high standard of cleanliness.

    Program Basics

    • Associate degree, requiring a minimum of two years to complete.
    • Day classes.
    • Financial aid available.
    • Special equipment and uniforms required.
    • Advance standing and Pro-Start credits accepted.
    • Students must achieve a grade of C in all core (316/317) courses to progress to the next semester and to graduate. Students must be 18 years old to operate a slicer and a 20-quart mixer.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application and $30 Application Fee
    • To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809

    Helpful Academic Background

    • High school food service courses
    • Math, science, and keyboarding skills

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Analyze food service financial information.
    • Apply principles of safety and sanitation in food service operations.
    • Plan menus.
    • Manage food service operations.
    • Demonstrate culinary skills.
    • Apply principles of nutrition.
    • Relate food service operations to sustainability.
  • Career Opportunities
  • Career opportunities include:

    • Chef
    • Sous Chef
    • Personal Chef
    • Lead Cook
    • Food Service Sales Associate
    • Chief Steward
    • Purchasing Agent

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information or to request Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    Culinary Arts Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title Challenge Exam
    (Demonstration)
    Challenge Exam
    (Standard)
    CLEP Credential Portfolio
    10-801-136English Composition 1Yes
    CLEP Test - College Composition
    10-801-196Oral/Interpersonal CommunicationYes
    10-804-107College MathematicsYes
    CLEP test - College Mathematics