Joined Dec 16, 2009
I am a Sr in high school and I've been looking at going to culinary school after I graduate. I love to cook. I applied to Western Culinary and got accepted. I was to excited that i got in that I didnt even think about looking at other schools. But my culinary teacher really pushed me to look at a different schools. so I've been looking into other schools and I came across Oregon Culinary. I read a forum recently on here from a few years ago and it really opened my eyes to OCI but i still dont know if its the right choice. is there any advice out there that someone can give me?!

Thanks so much!
Joined Dec 16, 2008
Here would be some advice about WCI:

If you apply, you will be accepted. It's pretty much a guarantee unless you don't have a high school diploma or GED.

Here is something else to consider: Students at for-profits build debts if not resumes | It's Only Money - OregonLive.com
Western Culinary Institute Mislead Students Class Action

I don't know much about OCI but knowing what I know about the LCB "system" and I do find it amusing that when good news happs, LCB North America is one institution and when bad news hits, it becomes a story about the individual school.

In the end, I think your instructor is providing you great advice. If you have any further questions, please feel me to send me a private message.
Joined Feb 8, 2009
My son who works for me is a Grad of Western. If you want to become a cook go to Western. If you want to become a Chef go someplace else. I sent him their because I would have killed him teaching him the basics, all he learned at Western was the basics. I got my wish, but expected more..............ChefBillyB
Joined Dec 16, 2008

I would disagree that all schools just cover the basics. There are some amazing community college and private programs and some terrible community college and private programs as well.

In my opinion, it's a combination of the students will, drive, and discipline + the resources (chefs, kitchen space, product, opportunities) that are available that differentiates programs.
Joined Dec 17, 2009
I would suggest that you consider doing an ACF Apprenticeship. If you do not think that you have the commitment to do an apprenticeship, then, consider going to a community college program.
According to ShawGuides, there are 2 community colleges in Oregon: Lane CC, and Linn-Benton CC. I would suggest that you personally visit both campuses, and meet with the instructors, sit-in on some of the classes, tour the facilities, and see which program interests you more.
There is also the military option, but since you did not mention any inclination to join the military, I will refrain from commenting on them. They will train you better than any community college or private culinary school, because they will instill discipline. I strongly advise against wasting a fortune attending any private culinary institute or cookery school! However, the choice is ultimately yours. I advise: consider doing an apprenticeship, or enlisting in the military, if not, then, go to a community college.
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Joined Dec 23, 2009
Josh -- Here is the best advice I can give:
1 - Tour all local schools. Interact with the students and ask about their experiences. Go to the school's restaurant. Watch how the instructors interact with the students. Evaluate the food! Quiz the admissions counselors about the curriculum. Evaluate the cost-per-credit for each school you are looking at.
2 - Visit restaurants and talk to employees, cooks and chefs about their opinions on the local schools.
3 - Don't be talked into something you are not ready to commit to! You will not owe anything more than the school's application fee, up until the day you come to your first class. Then, everything changes, and you will start to incur debt.

Debt is ok, but in this industry, it needs to be proportionate to the wages you can expect to make out there. Collect as much information as you can, Josh, and you'll make the right decision!
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