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06 September 2012

HACC’s Culinary Arts program earns prestigious seven-year national accreditation

      HARRISBURG – HACC’s culinary arts program is “exemplary,” according to the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF) Accreditation Commission and worthy of a seven-year accreditation attesting to its excellence.

      The culinary arts associate degree program and the certificate in culinary arts program  offered by the Benjamin Olewine III Center for the Study of Culinary Arts and Food Service Management at HACC received the prestigious accreditation following a visit by the accrediting team and a 3,000-page self-study submitted by HACC’s culinary program.

      “The seven-year accreditation is very significant because it shows we fulfill all their requirements and, in fact, surpass them,” said Getachew Kassahun, CHA, CFBE, chair of HACC’s Hospitality and Tourism Department. The programs were previously accredited for three years.

      Accreditation assures that HACC’s program is meeting established standards and competencies set for faculty and staff, curriculum, program mission and goals, organization and administration, facilities and student services.

      HACC’s program was especially recognized for its sustainability practices, including recycling its plastic and aluminum, an on-site herb and vegetable garden, and sending its fire oil for recycling, Kassahun said.

      With the “exemplary” status comes the privilege of using a special ACFEF insignia seal on pamphlets and information about HACC’s culinary program.

      The accrediting team – which consisted of an ACFEF staff member, post-secondary educator and industry chef – also noted the program is endowed by two external funding sources and has its own vision, mission and goal statement, Kassahun said.

      “What’s exciting for students is that we have an accredited culinary arts education program that is not only excellent in quality but is also affordable,” he said.

      The American Culinary Federation is the largest professional chef organization in North America, with more than 22,000 members in 230 chapters.

      HACC’s Benjamin Olewine III Center for the Study of Culinary Arts and Food Service Management provides students interested in cooking as an art and a profession with distinctive educational options to become professionals. Students can pursue an associate degree, certificate or diploma in the field.

      Students profit from diverse instruction techniques ranging from the classroom to on-campus labs in the Olewine Center at HACC. They also have supervised on-the-job experiences through Bricco, a commercial restaurant venture forged by the Olewine Center and Harrisburg Hotel Corporation, managing partner of The Hilton Harrisburg.
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