Secchia Institute culinary classes added to GRCC Lakeshore Campus menu

Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education is planning culinary classes for the GRCC Lakeshore Campus during the winter semester to meet growing demand.

The college has scheduled four introductory classes for students working toward culinary certificates and degrees.

Dr. Werner Absenger, the Secchia Institute’s program director, says the classes were planned to meet the demand of Lakeshore students looking for culinary training, but also from employers looking for highly skilled workers looking for rewarding careers in a growing, evolving field.

While the new campus does not have kitchens, Absenger says the college has planned lecture courses to meet the demand of Lakeshore culinary students. There is also potential to connect with Lakeshore businesses to offer courses relevant to employers' real-time needs.

"The culinary courses offered at the Lakeshore Campus allow students to earn credit toward our Culinary Arts Associate Degree program and several certificate degrees," Absenger says. "But without the stressors, especially for first-year students, and costs involved in traveling from the Lakeshore to GRCC's main campus in downtown Grand Rapids, where the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education is located."

The new classes are:
  • Restaurant Sanitation and Safety, which will meet 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays between Jan. 9 and Feb. 21. Because of an articulation agreement with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, students who complete the OAISD ServSafe Manager certification would not have to take this course at GRCC.
  • Principles of Food Science, which will be offered 4-7 p.m. on Mondays between Jan. 9 and April 24.
  • Food Purchasing and Cost Control, which will be offered 4-7 p.m. on Tuesdays between Jan. 10 and April 25.
  • Exploration of Food Service, which will meet 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Mondays between Feb. 27 and April 27. Students completing OAISD culinary programming will not need to take the course.
Enrollment at the GRCC Lakeshore Campus, 12335 James St. in Holland, during the fall semester has risen about 20% compared to a year ago. More than 1,200 students are enrolled at the 52,000-square-foot campus opened in August 2021 in the Shops at Westshore Mall.

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.