Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Robert Ackerman

Number of Pages



Since 1981, the number of associate degree culinary arts programs in the United States increased from four to 261. Little academic literature exists about these programs and their diversity makes clear comparisons of culinary programs difficult. This study addresses the research question: What are the common characteristics of associate degree culinary arts programs and to what extent can each of these characteristics be used as indicators for evaluating the quality of the programs?;The researcher performed content analysis of 232 associate degree culinary arts program requirements worksheets to determine the typical curriculum. She analyzed information from guidebooks and websites to develop a database of the characteristics of 261 programs; The researcher conducted a thorough literature review of quality assessment theories and ranking and accreditation systems. Using Dillman's (2002) Tailored Design Method, she developed a survey to assess culinary educators' and industry chefs' perceptions of the importance of teaching specific professional and general education subjects in associate degree culinary arts programs and of using certain program characteristics to determine program quality; The survey was mailed to 296 culinary educators and 1107 active chef members of the American Culinary Federation. Five hundred ninety-four surveys were returned for a response rate of 42.33%. The researcher determined the mean importance ratings of the subjects and program characteristics. The most important professional courses were by highest mean score, were Sanitation, Basic Cooking/Hot Foods---Lab, Food and Beverage Cost Control, Menu Development, and Saucier. The most important general education classes were Business Math, Computer Concepts, Public Speaking, Business Writing, and English Composition. The five important quality indicators were Sanitation of Kitchen Laboratories, Industry and Subject Experience of Faculty, Required Internship, and Placement Rates. Statistically significant differences existed between the opinions of the educators and chefs regarding 20 subjects and 17 potential quality indicators; The researcher used the results of analyzing the databases and survey responses to develop a recommended curriculum and lists of quality indicators for associate degree culinary arts programs. Culinary educators, foodservice industry employers, the American Culinary Federation, and potential students and their families can use the findings to evaluate and compare associate degree culinary arts programs.


Associate Degree; Characteristics; Culinary; Culinary Arts; Degree; Educators; Identifying; Indicators; Industry; Programs; Quality; Quality Indicators; Survey

Controlled Subject

Education, Higher; Community colleges; Home economics--Study and teaching

File Format


File Size

5795.84 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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