K8, this has nothing to do with your friend's situation, but I thought I'd throw this out there and get people's views about this:
I've been told that the culinary schools have enormous rates of attrition. In Austin, something like 60% of the kids who sign up quit after the first year. The schools recruit like crazy. There can be 600 kids in an incoming class, and classes start three times a year, I think... Lots of parents, at their wits' end because their high school graduate doesn't know what to do next with her life, pay the enormous fees because their child is accepted at the Culinary much easier than at a college...
Y'know what though, Foodie52, umm, the Austin school in particular that we are both familiar with has as the last session, a 6-week stint in their snack bar or their restaurant, Ventana. Y'know what??? The only thing I can think of is they could have a department that feeds into the eating establishments but as an intro session, apart from the degree as a remedial class. I think that would be the only other thing that they could possibly do to up the anty.
And, Chef Quinn is always available to the students for assistance. I called him twice and he was wonderful. There is a peer tutor system available for students also. In fact, Chef-boy, my kid formerly known as Chef-wanna-be, was one of the tutors.
You just gotta want to.
In our particular case, Chef-boy's girlfriend lives in Austin--you connecting the dots with me here on this one??
Ok, my kid was bussing at Automatic Slim's here in Memphis during high school. He got another job up the food chain and lined up a friend to do the Slim's job. The friend was a fish out of water absolutely went belly up just couldn't handle it. I mean I went down there one night & I could hardly handle being in there as a patron the place was jumping so much--wall to wall people, live music, the food, the bar--ok I was actually sitting just outside the door come to think of it. But Jonathan handled it easily.
Culinary school is no place for someone who needs to figure out who they wanna be when they grow up. When all you need is a job in the industry to get the immediate understanding of what it's all about, like Steve said.
Umm, that school is $o freaking expen$ive. My boy wanted to quit just because of sticker shock buyer's remorse a couple times early on. We were dying. He had to work real real real hard to convince us to let him go in the first place. He now has the equivalent of a 2 year degree with a 4.0 and perfect attendance. He did his old parents proud. sniff. He is craving more school though. Some science & stuff.
Jonathan could not understand how kids could sign up for school & not show up for classes. I broke the tuition & stuff down to an hourly rate--I can't remember now--but I explained how much it was costing him to attend per hour. Was it $25 an hour?? I can't remember but it's a lot.
So now, Jonathy is across the street from Slim's at The Peabody. He has benefits. He has a nice job. He's completed all his classwork, graduates in January. He has wide open advancement possibilities if he continues to work his scrawny ass off. Still has the pretty girlfriend too--kid's doing good! There's a picture of him in his sister's wedding cake demo. A rare extern who can handle the line. Go just past 3/4 down the first page--he's in the tux on the far right in the cake cutting picture.
Y'all can forgive me for bragging on my kid. He kind of figures into where the discussion was going.