Coastal Alabama and Auburn Team up for Culinary Degrees

Students at Coastal Alabama Community College will soon be able to earn a bachelor of culinary science degree from Auburn University.

Coastal Alabama Community College and Auburn University have signed a culinary science agreement that will allow CACC students to take courses aimed at a new bachelor of culinary science degree at Auburn University.

Auburn is building a new culinary instruction facility, the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center, which will house well-equipped kitchens, agricultural instruction as part of farm-to-table curriculum and even game-day condos. The 142,000-square-foot complex will provide students in hospitality and culinary sciences with hands-on learning experiences.

“If your goal is to work in, or run, a kitchen, it’s much better to have gotten the direct hands-on advanced experience you will get through a bachelor’s degree,” said Ed Douglas, director and chair of the hospitality division at Coastal Alabama Community College.

For more than a decade, CACC has had agreements with Auburn related to hospitality and event planning, focused on pathways related to associate’s degrees in applied science. But this is the first opportunity for the community college’s students to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the culinary field, Douglas explained.

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Only one other degree like Auburn’s is available statewide and that is through the University of North Alabama in Florence. A culinary arts agreement between UNA and CACC is expected to be announced later this year. Careers in that field can range from daily kitchen staff to upper-level management.

Locally, CACC is developing courses to compliment an apprenticeship program recently created by the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce. More than 140 area students have signed up for apprenticeships, with a goal of using credits from the program toward culinary degrees at Auburn and UNA.

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