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RLC Culinary Arts program establishes first articulation agreement

Chefs and entrepreneurs alike have a new option to continue their education through Rend Lake College and beyond with a new articulation agreement with Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU-C).

RLC graduates with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts Management can now transfer seamlessly into Carbondale’s Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Administration. The transfer students would begin the four-year program at SIU-C as juniors and complete classes on campus for the remaining two years.

Chef Robert Wilson, Culinary Arts Lead Associate Professor, said creating this agreement with SIU-C was important to students who wanted to continue on for an advanced degree, but not leave the area.

“We started this project about five years ago, and it took until recently to agree on a 2 + 2 approach. With this agreement, students graduating with an associate degree can enroll at SIU as a junior and only need to complete 60 more credits,” explained Wilson. “Right now, we’ve only had two students continue on to SIU, but we hope to see more of that in the future.”

RLC graduates will have to have an overall grade point average of 2.0 with a required list of classes to be completed at RLC. Many of those courses fall in the culinary arts program, but also include general education courses in business, communications, computer science, English, and psychology.

Once they transfer, RLC students will be in the Hospitality and Tourism Administration program at SIU-C, which falls in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Wilson said this is a bonus, because a hospitality degree expands opportunities beyond a two year culinary arts degree.

“With an associate degree, a student can become an executive chef, a restaurant manager, and even a restaurant owner, but with a bachelor’s degree, that same student can become a general manager at a hotel and be the chef’s boss,” said Wilson. “A bachelor’s degree opens up a lot more mid- and high-level corporate management jobs.”

To learn more about RLC’s Culinary Arts program, contact Wilson at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1332 or wilsonr@rlc.edu.