boygan’s Riverfront in a working restaurant setting.

The school’s catalog says the course is tailored for creative individuals who are drawn to the ever evolving food service industry. It is for those who work well with people, and have a love of food. Graduates of the program become chefs, sous chefs, specialty chefs, caterers, independent restaurateurs, bakers or pastry chefs, sales staff for the food industry, food service managers, and corporate chefs.

The former riverfront restaurant will become a European style working classroom. “Most culinary schools on campus lack the credibility of the real world experience,” said Bill Gottsacker who serves as culinary arts program chair. “It will be a hybrid between a European apprenticeship program and a typical American classroom. The course will reflect eight to 10 real world operating restaurants in all industry segments, from nursing homes to bakeries, fish houses, fast food and casual restaurants. The setting will incorporate a good deal of lab work performed on the job as well as classroom instruction.”

“The program is rich with practical experience in American regional and international cuisines,” reads the catalog.

Gottsacker said the course will highlight high end European and casual modern cooking. Students will be exposed to all aspects of international and cultural foods. A focus which is now only in the developmental stage is an emphasis on French cuisine. If the plan comes to fruition, an exchange program would have a French culinary instructor from the Lyon area teach French cuisine to LTC culinary arts students and an American instructor would teach American style cooking there.

The kitchen open to the general public is another way in which the LTC culinary school will differ from others. A window will be installed overlooking the kitchen and the students while food preparation is taking place. The public

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will be invited to review and critique the food making process and to partake of the food. The purpose of this is to provide an opportunity for students to develop the skills needed in dealing with the public, said Gottsacker who added that the hours and criteria for this are yet to be decided.

Gottsacker applauds support of the culinary arts program by local businesses and industries who see a need for the program and have generously given their time, talent, and inkind equipment. “It is expensive to set up an industrial kitchen with the right kind of equipment,” Gottsacker said.

With growing numbers of resorts, golf courses, and tourist centers in this area, the food, hotel/hospitality industry is expanding with accompanying high job placement rates. Qualified people are needed.

While chefs need to be creative, they must also develop other talents such as their mathematics skills which play an important role. “If you (as a caterer, food service manager or independent restaurateur) are not making money and don’t know why, you won’t be around long,” Gottsacker said.

A maximum of 12 students will be enrolled in the course at any entrance point. The May class is already full. The second and third class has some openings. It is a trimester program which better reflects what the industry expects — that restaurant work is continuous, Gottsacker said.

The culinary arts program application process does take some time and calls for a couple prerequisites. Completing the Serve/Safe and Wait Staff programs are required along with some knowledge of the food industry itself, said Gottsacker.

Golf course management

According to the LTC catalog the course “prepares an individual for a management career in the golf industry. Coursework emphasizes theory and application of skills needed for mid-management and supervisory level of employment in inside, outside daily golf operations and teaching the game of golf. Golf course management skills are applicable to a variety of other golf-related positions such as golf equipment and supply brands, golf course supporting software and technology companies, driving ranges, golf academies and many other careers.”

The golf course management program begins this August. Individuals who complete the golf course management program are awarded an associate degree. “Being awarded a golf course management associate degree, the student is five or six classes away from an associate degree in hotel/hospitality management,” said Jonathan Weiss, who serves as LTC hotel and hospitality management instructor. “A double associate degree achieved in two-and-a-half years makes students more marketable.”

At the technical college level educational and training programs are created to meet employment opportunities in the community. Courses are taught at a level that allows students to compete for positions in the local community. Developers of golf and hotel/hospitality complexes find they have to go outside the area to find people with the proper training, said Weiss. The golf course management program is designed to fill that need.

One does not have to be a skilled golfer to enter the program but a natural interest in the game of golf is an advantage. Most people who come to the program would bring with them some interest in the game and culture that surrounds it. Such interest facilitates everyday conversation with golfers in the workplace. “The golf course management program is about the business of golf, not the game of golf,” said Weiss. “The training is geared toward operating the business of golf, taking care of its retail aspects.” Having said that, there is one course that deals with teaching golf lessons, some training on the golf swing and the software that can be used. The course also includes the history of golf, and its traditions.

A golf team is being organized at LTC for high school students and others interested in exploring this field and playing the game. The golf team would engage in practice and enter competition.

Weiss said the school is in the process of creating an articulation agreement with University of Wisconsin –Stout and Ferris State University in order that its students will be able to transfer to these universities after completing the Golf Course Management Program at LTC. At UW-Stout the students will be able to pursue the Golf Enterprise Management bachelor’s degree. At Ferris State the students will pursue the Professional Golf Management bachelor’s degree.

The golf course management program can be “paired with other associates degrees or technical diplomas to create a career plan. For example, if paired with the horticulture technical diploma a graduate would be prepared to enter the grounds or landscaping operation at a golf course. If paired with the hotel and hospitality management associate degree would be prepared to manage the hotel or food and beverage operation at a golf course or resort.”

Ophthalmic medical assistant

This newly introduced three term program at LTC which awards a technical diploma “prepares students for employment in ophthalmologic and optometric practices and in retail optical settings. Students apply technical skills to perform prescreening and specialty testing; assist with dispensing glasses and contact lenses, and perform office management duties. The course also prepares students to maintain patient information and billing, and insurance processes.”

Examples of career opportunities are optometric assistant; ophthalmic assistant; ophthalmic medical assistant, optical assistant and contact lens technician.

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