California School of Culinary Arts / Awful experience
I had a dream of becoming a pastry chef and decided to attend the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, CA. I enrolled in the Baking and Pastry program. A 7 month course with a tuition fee of $30, 000.00 After the admission reps told me how wonderful the school was and about all of the students that went on to successful careers I signed up. They also told me that I could expect to make $45, 000.00 starting our after graduating. Unfortunately for myself and many others we realized too late that we had been lied to and taken advantage of. The first warning sign was during the course of our studies our chefs told us that about 50% or more of the information they were teaching us we would never use in the "real world" but they would still show us anyhow. The school told us there was job placement available, which was a joke. It was just a list of help wanted ads ranging from jobs and Pizza Hut to small time bakeries, none of which offered a $45, 000.00 a year salary. 90% of the job listings were barely above minimum wage. We had students in our class who could barely cook and do anything right and somehow they were being passed through to the next level. It turns out the school looks better the more students that graduate. As a result of passing through less then adequate students the school started getting a bad reputation among the culinary world, so saying that you graduated from this school was actually hurting your chances of landing a job. The worst part is after we had graduated a friend of mine that I had met at school managed to get a job at a small bakery making a measley $8.00 an hour. It turns out that the owner of the bakery had applied to teach at the school. She refused to take the job after the school had told her that she was expected to "pass" students through regardless of their skills. The school also told her that it doesn't really matter how much she knows about cooking as long as she can "act" like she does and can intimidate the students into thinking she knows what she is talking about. Myself and others are now stuck with enormous loans that we can't pay or barely pay with absolutely nothing to show for it. I'm am tired of hearing time after time of all the stories of students being ripped off by trade schools and the loan company Sallie Mae. When are they going to be held accountable for the destruction they have caused us and the economy? It is not right they can get away with this and they need to be held accountable. It makes me sick that they take someone who has a dream to better their life and they destroy it.