Culinary school partners with university


Courtesy GRCC

A culinary program and university have partnered to create a pathway to a career in hospitality management.

Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education students now have a clear transfer pathway to the four-year degree program at Ferris State University.

Students who earn the associate of applied arts and sciences in GRCC’s pre-hospitality management can transfer their credits to Ferris State University’s hospitality management program.

Werner Absenger, program director for the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, said GRCC decided there was a need for the articulation agreement after reviewing graduation data, which showed many students were transferring to earn bachelor’s degrees in hospitality management. This partnership is to help ensure those transitions are as smooth as possible.

Absenger said coursework covers culinary operations, business administration, logistics, event and menu planning, and health, safety and insurance regulations, among other topics.

“The curriculum is flexible and hands-on,” he said. “Students will gain essential business knowledge and learn from industry experts while gaining extensive practical training with an emphasis on front-of-the-house and business skills.”

Hospitality graduates often get careers where they plan, supervise and manage food and beverage preparation and service operations, restaurants and catering services. Positions could include hotel and restaurant managers, wine sommeliers, event coordinators and concierges.

There is an increasing need for people with these skills, Absenger said, so people with degrees in these fields will find themselves in demand.

Those who are interested in the new program may contact the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at (616) 234-3690 or

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