Tompkins Cortland to Add Two New Degree Programs
The Tompkins Cortland Community College Board of Trustees has approved the addition of two new associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree programs: Culinary Arts and Sustainable Farming and Food Systems. Each will be sent to SUNY and the New York State Education department for final approval. If approved, each program will begin enrolling students for the fall 2014 semester.
The two new programs will be closely partnered, with an on-campus farm providing a real-life classroom for students studying sustainable farming and food systems, while also providing crops for students in the culinary arts degree program. The sustainable farming and food systems program will teach the skills involved with planning, growing, and marketing a diverse crop mix of sustainably grown food while working closely with local food retailers, restaurants, and the College cafeteria to provide an outlet for the farm’s produce. The program should appeal to students with diverse career goals and will be customizable based on those goals: Students wishing to become farmers may choose course such as marketing, management, and pest control; while those wishing to work more broadly with community groups in advocacy positions can take courses that emphasize social issues, ecological relationships, and ethical considerations.
The culinary arts program is designed to provide students the strategies and tools necessary to operate an effective restaurant kitchen, hotel food and beverage outlet, catering company, or other food operation. Coursework will emphasize sustainable, healthy, and holistic practices, and will include experiential learning in the form of two classes where students will learn working in a local restaurant.
Several new classes will be created for the two new degrees, including three “Food Systems Seminars” that will serve both programs. The seminars will look at topics including the path that food takes from the farm to consumers, environmental impacts, and food justice and food sovereignty.