Jun 21, 2018  
2016–2017 Student Handbook—Texas campus 
2016–2017 Student Handbook—Texas campus [ARCHIVED]

General Information

This section includes additional information that will be helpful to you during your time as a student at The Culinary Institute of America.

Cell Phones and Personal Electronic Devices

The respectful use of cell phones and other electronic devices is an important element of your CIA education as you prepare for success in the foodservice and hospitality industry. Therefore, students are expected to adhere to the following guidelines concerning use of these devices on campus:

Use in Laboratory Classes

With your instructor’s approval, you may use cell phones and other electronic devices in laboratory classes for the following purposes:

  • As a timer
  • As a clock
  • As a calculator—for class only; not for tests
  • For research—only if it is part of class
  • To take photos to use for building your portfolio
  • To take videos—of demos only
  • In emergency situations

Examples of inappropriate use of electronic devices in class include:

  • Playing games
  • Using social media sites or apps
  • Sending or reading personal e-mail
  • Talking
  • Texting
  • Reviewing course guides or timelines
  • Reading or consulting recipes
  • Taking or watching videos other than of demos, as above
  • Walking and texting at the same time
  • Anything else that the instructor considers disruptive to the class

In addition, at the instructor’s discretion, you and your classmates may be asked to refrain from using or to keep your cell phones face down on your desk during lecture.

Use in Lecture Halls

Electronic device use is never appropriate in lecture halls. The only exceptions will be for emergency situations or specific educational need with prior instructor approval.

Use Outside of Classes

When you are not in class, you may use these devices:

  • In common areas, while you are stationary
  • In dining areas, while you are stationary

Use of Earbuds and Headphones

For safety reasons, no earbuds or headphones are allowed in kitchens, bakeshop areas, or hallways of academic buildings. This includes times when you are cooking or transitioning through a kitchen or bakeshop for the purpose of a meal.

Consequences for Inappropriate Use

Any violation of these guidelines may result in dismissal from class, a recorded absence, and/or reduction of your daily grade at the discretion of your instructor. You will be referred to Student Affairs for violations outside of the classroom environment.

CIA Professional Development

The CIA is here to support you throughout your career, with custom educational programs and materials designed to further your professional development. Through the college’s custom education programs, you can:

  • Contact CIA Consulting to design or participate in custom courses in areas such as culinary arts, baking and pastry, culinary technology, menu R&D, foodservice management, and professional wine studies at foundation, intermediate, and advanced skill levels.
  • Put your skills to the test by earning CIA ProChef® Certification at one of three levels of industry-recognized achievement.
  • Follow your passion, enrich your understanding of beverages, and add a credential and industry connections that can give you a competitive career advantage during the two-semester Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate Program.
  • Participate in conferences for industry professionals.
  • Reinforce your skills or train your team with a wide range of educational materials from the CIA. Available in a variety of media—from DVD and online to print publications and apps—these training materials cover knowledge areas as diverse as cooking methods, confectionery, front-of-the-house management, and more.

Please visit www.ciachef.edu/academics or call 1-800-888-7850 to learn more.

Dining Services

Student dining at The Culinary Institute of America is much more than a typical college meal plan. It’s an important part of the campus culture at the CIA, fostering community and teamwork by preparing and sharing meals together. Most important, student dining is a vital part of a CIA education, both for those students preparing the meals and those partaking in them. The college’s unique dining program is driven by the curriculum and provides the campus population with a vast array of menu options each class day.


The CIA provides one meal per instructional day—either lunch or dinner—as part of your required board fee. The main meal is served as part of the instructional day, at specified times either at midday or in the evening, depending on the session to which you’re assigned. You must be in uniform to be served, and may be asked to present your student ID card. You must also maintain the dress code during mealtime. The meal program may be modified in the event of severe weather, power outages, or other extreme conditions.

Dietary Restrictions

Understanding that some students may have medical restrictions—including food allergies and sensitivities—that affect their diet, the college’s Learning Strategies Center (LSC) staff is available to assist in addressing these limitations as they apply to the technical requirements of the curriculum. If you have a dietary restriction, you must provide medical documentation of that restriction to LSC staff. For information about reasonable accommodations for class assignments, product handling, and/or student dining options as related to medical dietary restrictions, please contact the Learning Strategies Center.

E-Mail and Student Portal Responsibility

Students are responsible for checking their e-mail accounts and the student portal (CIA Main Menu) on a regular basis. The faculty and administration communicates with the student body through their college-issued e-mail account and CIA Main Menu. Additionally, you may access your grades, class schedules, billing, and other important information from CIA Main Menu. We recommend that you check both resources often.


The CIA has high-quality kitchen, bakeshop, and dining room equipment for use as teaching tools. It is important for these items to be available for student use during all class times. As a result, no one is allowed to borrow CIA equipment. China, flatware, and glassware are not to leave the kitchen or dining room to which they are assigned. Removing them from campus is considered theft. You will face disciplinary action and fines if you’re found to be in unauthorized possession of CIA equipment without proper approval documentation.

Exhibition and Showpieces

CIA students frequently prepare food displays and centerpieces to be exhibited at off-campus functions and shows. If you prepare an item for a show, you will create your artwork under the supervision of a CIA instructor. The results are entered as CIA showpieces and may not be used for personal functions.

Identification Cards

Identification cards are issued to all students and you must carry yours at all times. If you lose your card, you can get a replacement from the administrative assistant in the third floor Administration Offices. A $20 nonrefundable fee will be placed on your student account when a replacement card is issued to you.

Students are warned that the alteration or forgery of any information contained on a CIA-issued ID card, or of the card itself, is a serious violation of the Student Code of Conduct. You are not permitted to give your identification card to anyone under any circumstances.

Location of Information

Information pertaining to subjects important to CIA students is available online and in campus offices and publications. Please see Location of Information in the CIA Academic Catalog to assist you in finding the information you may need.

Outside Employment

If you accept part-time or occasional employment to perform culinary services for outside organizations, you do so as a private individual and not as an agent of The Culinary Institute of America. Any request from an outside organization for services intended to represent the CIA or on behalf of the college must be authorized by the vice president of admissions and marketing at the main campus. In all cases, the CIA reserves the right to control the use of its name in connection with any services performed by its authorized agents.

Photography, Videos, and Intellectual Property

Periodically, photographers and videographers will be on campus to take photographs that may be used in CIA advertising, in publications, or on our website. As a condition of your enrollment, you grant The Culinary Institute of America the right to reproduce, use, exhibit, display, broadcast, distribute, and create derivative works of college-related photographs, videotapes, or other electronic media that include your image or your participation in classes for use in promoting, publicizing, or explaining the college and its activities. If you do not wish to have your image or class projects used by the CIA in this way, please see the student services coordinator.

Also, you are not allowed to use any intellectual property of The Culinary Institute of America (including, but not limited to, CIA photography, videos, and logos) without the permission of the director of creative services at the Hyde Park campus (845-451-1488).

Required Information

All CIA correspondence is sent to your CIA e-mail address.

Students must provide the student services manager with the following information: permanent address and current phone number, emergency address and current phone number, and a local address. Everyone must supply a current cell phone number (or a land line) at which they can be reached. Each semester, it is your responsibility to update this information with the student services manager.


Nao Latin Gastro Bar

Imagination is key to the exploration of Latin American cuisine and beverages at Nao Latin Gastro Bar. Every day is a culinary adventure and an opportunity to sharer a meal, a story, and the company of good friends.

Discounts and Reservations

All students are entitled to a 10% discount for themselves and three guests at Nao. Call 210-554-6484 to make your reservation.

Service Charge

A key component of the education process at the CIA is learning how to deliver outstanding service. As an enrolled student in a restaurant class or as a student worker in a restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America, you are not permitted to accept tips. This is in accordance with IRS regulations and the CIA Student Code of Conduct (see Section 7  ). If you are registered for a restaurant class and are found to be taking a tip in that class, you will fail the class. If you are an employed student working in a restaurant and are found to be taking a tip, you will lose your privilege to work on campus for the remainder of your stay at the college. The CIA’s adherence of this no-tipping policy as a campus-wide directive allows for the best possible customer service at all times.

In light of this policy, and to keep your experience focused on education, we have included a 17% service charge on each restaurant check. All monies from the service charge are returned to students through scholarships, support of student activities, and the purchase of graduation jackets.

Telephone Messages

We strongly suggest you let your family and friends know your cell phone number. The CIA isn’t equipped to handle a large volume of telephone messages, so only your emergency calls will be taken through the switchboard.