Culinary Arts Program Treated to $300,000

El Vaquero Staff Writer

The department of Culinary,
Nutrition and Hospitality
Management of GCC was
awarded a grant of $300,000 by
the U.S. Department of
Agriculture Cooperative State
Research, Education and
Extension Service; the grant is to be distributed throughout three
years primarily to remedy the
underrepresentaion of Latino
students in the Culinary Arts.

Glendale was selected to
receive the grant “because the
need was great and thats how the
Department of Agriculture saw
it, and because Glendale
[College] has administered
grants well in the past,” said
Andrew Feldman, Grant Director for the Culinary Arts
Department at GCC.

Hispanics are underrepresented
in the food and agricultural
sciences; correlating to entrylevel
positions in the food industry,
notwithstanding its 70 percent
Hispanic composition. The
lack of a formal degree hinders
many Latinos from promotion to
managerial roles. “Latinos represent
14 to 15 percent of management,” said Feldman. “To us
there was a need to help Latinos
who are working already: to elevate
them into the management
ranks,” said Feldman.

GCC has consolidated their
efforts with Cal Poly Pomona’s
Collins School of Hospitality
and Management, ranked as one
of the top three programs of hospitality in the nation, to produce
a system that will create a
student cohort and guide them
in the process of transferring
from GCC to obtain their
baccalaureate degree at Cal

“Cal Poly offers a four-year
degree; also, they have more
resources,” said Feldman.
“They have a lot more
connections. It’s a bigger school
and students who end up
graduating from Pomona have
incredible job opportunities.”
Students who enter this cohort
will remain together socially and
scholastically throughout the
program at GCC, a system
designed to promote success.
In addition, the students
receive priority registration in
required classes,
specialized counseling and
culturally sensitive instruction.
“I think that [the grant] is great
for me and my chances of
getting financial aid are small
because I don’t qualify. A grant
like this could help me a lot,”
said Erick Palacios, a culinary
arts major.

“We just want them to be able
to complete the program because
they have a much better
opportunity if they get the
certificate and/or move on and
get a degree, especially a fouryear
degree,” said Feldman.

“Students can get their two years
here [GCC] and can move on
seamlessly to Cal Poly Pomona
and finish there.”

The grant will provide new
classes, articulate those
established with Cal Poly
Pomona and create work-sites
where students can gain
practical experience. “We have a
strong program now with the
Glendale Hilton where we place
a lot of students there to do
internships,” said Feldman.
Over the course of three years,
the grant will shape the extent of
influence the current
Department of Culinary Arts, at
GCC, may have: In the first year,
laying the groundwork of the
classes, recruiting potential
students by reaching out into the
community and the establishing
of work sites.

Funds from the grant in the
second and third year will be
seen through the newly offered
and reworked classes and in the
curriculum of the students. The
first student cohort will be
recognized in the spring and
enrolled in the fall of 2005.
Unconventional class times
will be made possible by the
grant allowing working professionals
to participate according
to their schedules. “I work full
time so I can only come and take
two classes per semester,” said
Palacios. “There are a lot of
students who can’t afford it. It
will help them with books,
tuition and everything they

There has been much growth
in the food and hospitality
industry, creating and increasing
the number of jobs.
The grant will allow students
to reap much benefit from an
education combined with the
timeliness of a industry in its
lucrative stages.

“This grant will open eyes and
opportunities for the Latino
students who are 17, 18 years
old coming to Glendale College
not realizing that the potential is
out there,” said Yeimei Wang,
director of the culinary, food and
hospitality programs at GCC.