CWI suspends new culinary program enrollment

broberts@idahostatesman.comApril 23, 2014 

Culinary Arts students serve refreshment at a grand opening dedication and "chain cutting" for the College of Western Idaho's Micron Center for Professional Technical Education in September 2012 in Nampa.

KATHERINE JONES — kjones@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

The College of Western Idaho says it won’t take on new culinary program students for up to five years until it can find a building with an up-to-date teaching kitchen to meet the needs of the industry.

Beginning this fall, no new students will be enrolled. The suspension does not affect the students currently in the program.

Students enroll for up to two years. The last students, out of 50 this year, are scheduled to graduate in December 2015.

CWI’s five culinary faculty and staff are expected to remain in place through December 2015.

The community college’s culinary arts program and the baking and pastry arts program are the last remaining CWI programs on the Boise State University campus. Boise State ran the Larry G. Selland College of Applied Technology before CWI was created by voters in Ada and Canyon counties in 2007. CWI took over the professional programs in 2009 and began moving them off the Boise State campus.

CWI had a lease agreement to maintain some programs on Boise State’s campus through June 2012. The culinary program was extended beyond that because a building could not be found.

Boise State is not asking CWI to relocate the program, said Jennifer Couch, a CWI spokeswoman.

“As with most industries, culinary arts is evolving and requiring new technologies to meet industry demands,” said Bert Glandon, CWI president. “CWI is hopeful that we can bring the program back in three to five years contingent upon our ability to secure funding for an adequate facility.”

CWI has been looking for several years to find a home for the program. It needs a building that can house a modern kitchen and also place where students can get real-world experience running a restaurant.

The Treasure Valley has no other program like CWI’s culinary program, Couch said. The nearest one like it is at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, she said.

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