Thoughts For Food

Insights into the Mind of a Culinary School Student

Life In The CIA: The New Program


Sorry for the prolonged hiatus everyone! The class schedule has been running me ragged, but I am back and I have PLENTY to write about.

One major thing making the rounds amongst CIA-hopefuls is word of a new program layout for incoming students. And yes, this is actually happening and as of my making this entry, is in effect at the school right now.

Essentially, the school is getting rid of the traditional “block” schedule in favor of a more traditional college-style course layout. This means both academic and kitchen classes will be alternating on a weekly basis and throughout both AM and PM timeslots. So, one week will be all academic classes, the next will be all kitchen classes. This is to lighten the workload on the students and possibly the teachers. This new schedule, by the way, only affects incoming students and not students already here at the CIA (myself and my classmates, for example). I have heard little complaints from the new students about this change. The majority of the discontent around campus stems from students who are already here and many chef-instructors as well; myself included.

The one major detriment of the new schedule is that the newer students will have nowhere near the amount of hands-on learning that those who benefited from the block schedule did. Yes, class length was much longer and very rough on the students, but that was for a good reason. It was to prepare them for the rigors of the industry and to get them used to what they would experience on externship. By changing the schedule to make it easier, you’ve just given every new student a huge disadvantage. They will nit be ready for the harsh life that the food industry demands of them. When faced with such facts, even new students have agreed with me in saying that they may not be as ready as they would like to be. In addition, the transition period of the old schedule to the new schedule means that there are some changes that affect the whole school. many production kitchens that would be serving lunch or dinner, no longer do so until the new students reach that level. This of course, means that it will become even harder to find a meal on campus. Luckily, what some kitchens are doing is hiring temporary workers from the students still on campus to work and make food, until the newer students reach the production areas. Still, this is a major detriment to the student body as a whole and one that, to many of us who disagree with the school, was not thought out very well by the faculty. Whether or not this new schedule will work out for the better, only time will tell.


Author: NJ_Chef

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and aspiring food-writer. 28-year old chef, blogger, eSports fan, gamer, jack-of-all-trades and master of none.

5 thoughts on “Life In The CIA: The New Program

  1. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about
    this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit,
    but other than that, this is great blog. A fantastic read.
    I’ll certainly be back.


  2. is this new program going to be like this throughout the entire AOS program?


  3. Ouch… Sad to hear negative reviews on the new program because I am starting in September 😦 Any possibilities they might change it back? You should post your blog on the CIA’s Facebook page like Aubrey. I am pretty sure many future students would like to read what you have to say about the CIA and how it is like there.


    • I’m sorry! I don’t mean to deter you from the program 😦

      It’s still a really good program. One of the best in the country by far! These are just opinions from some of us who think that the new program still needs to be ironed out a bit before it was implemented. We’ll see how it runs. Who knows! It could prove us all wrong! And thanks for the tip! I’ll be posting links on the CIA FB page from now on πŸ™‚