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UNA offers degree in culinary arts

FLORENCE (AP) — The University of North Alabama is the state’s first four-year public college to cook up a culinary arts degree.

The Alabama Commission on Higher Education approved a proposal to create the program in late June. A food and nutrition course will be offered in August. Students majoring in culinary arts will also be required to have a business component as a minor.

University President Bill Cale said there is a need for professionals in the culinary arts “who are trained not only in food preparation but also in the business and management side of food operations.”

The program has drawn interest from current students and those in the community, said Jane Wilson, chairwoman of the Department of Human Environmental Sciences.

She said the goal is to produce graduates who know their way around a kitchen but also are able to handle the day-to-day business of managing a restaurant.

“Of course, we’ll have specific courses in baking and pastries as well as food and beverage costing and facilities management,” she said. “Besides the courses in cooking, we’ll have a commercial lab, and students will be able to use commercial equipment.”

No director has been named for the culinary arts program, but classes have already been set. The program will partner with the Shoals Culinary Center and Florence High School, which offers a culinary course as part of its career-technical program.

“There is interest from the local hospitality industry in working with us, and we are in communication with area educational entities about possible coordination of effort and sharing of resources,” Cale said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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