Students at The Culinary Institute of America undertake specialized curricula that feature a strong foundation of hallmark learning outcomes unique to the college’s mission, and general education learning outcomes common across most colleges and universities. In this way, CIA students develop both professional competencies as well as general education (liberal learning) competencies.
CIA Hallmark Learning Outcomes
The Culinary Institute of America is a distinctive institution by nature of the focused set of programs and the strength of its alumni network. These institutional learning outcomes describe the four hallmarks of a CIA education:
- Foundation for a Developed Palate: CIA students will learn to distinguish a variety of tastes and flavors and the foods, beverages, and preparation methods that create them. Through this process, students will also develop a rich sensory vocabulary.
- Understanding of Food Systems: CIA students will examine local and global food production and delivery systems, including resource allocation, food safety, environmental impacts, and cultural practices. Students will recognize the social responsibility for creating and supporting sustainable food systems.
- Leadership: In all educational settings, as well as in extracurricular activities, CIA students will consistently practice high standards of professionalism, organization, collaboration, and resilience. These standards, along with respect for diversity and strong ethical and discipline-specific skills, provide the foundation for students to develop into leaders in their chosen area of the food world.
- Technical Proficiency and Creative Excellence: CIA students will develop a strong foundation of technique that requires repetition, persistence, and discipline. Upon this foundation, students will simultaneously gain the tools needed to cultivate creativity and innovation.
CIA General Education Learning Outcomes
In keeping with best practices in higher education, foundational liberal learning is infused throughout classes in all departments and programs. While not every general education learning outcome may be a central focus in every class, every CIA class addresses at least one or more of these outcomes.
- Oral Communication and Teamwork: Communications must be clear and well-organized with regard to subject, purpose, and audience. Students will demonstrate the skills required to work collaboratively and professionally in a team, including their ability to engage in effective communications and manage relationship challenges.
- Written Communication: Students will demonstrate the ability to produce writing that is well-organized, coherent, and readily understandable.
- Quantitative Reasoning: Students will demonstrate competence and ease in working with numerical data and in interpreting numerical information.
- Technological Competency: Students will demonstrate the ability to use technology to promote learning and support task completion.
- Critical Thinking and Reading: Students will be able to formulate arguments, opinions, or solutions based on objectively analyzed evidence and understanding of contextual issues. Students will be able to read critically: that is, analyze and interpret stated and implied meaning and draw conclusions from evidence, and to interpret meaning in context.
- Evidence-Based Reasoning: Students will demonstrate understanding of how evidence can be used to advance knowledge and inform scientific research, analyze ethical issues that are inherent in research and practice, and apply previously acquired knowledge to make effective decisions.
- Information Literacy: Students will be able to find relevant information, evaluate its usefulness and reliability, and utilize it in an effective and ethical manner.