Georgian College launching BAKE program
By Doug Picklyk
Beginning in the fall of 2017, Georgian College in Barrie, Ont. will be launching its new one-year full-time Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate Program. “Students are interested in this type of programming and the demand is coming from them,” notes Anthony Borgo, faculty champion for the program. “Baking has long been on the list of ‘desired’ college certificate and diploma programming.”
According to Borgo, planning for the program started several years ago, and an official Statement of Interest was submitted in the spring of 2015. The process required approval by the college president and board of governors, followed by approval from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Finally the program was listed within the Office of the Registrar at the college and with the Ontario College Application Service so students can begin applying now.
The program will include mandatory classes in basic and advanced baking and pastry production, food service and safety courses as well as introductions to entrepreneurship and small business operations.
Borgo designed the curriculum in conjunction with Georgian’s internal curriculum quality assurance team as well as Kate Nugent, educational chair with the Ontario chapter of the Baking Association of Canada.
“This BAKE program’s curriculum was designed to deliver students the best ‘touch, taste, feel the difference’ hands-on training,” notes Borgo. “Students will study traditional and contemporary baking methods, the basics of pastry, cake decorating and contemporary dessert plating. Through classroom lectures, students learn baking theory, nutrition, trade calculations, sanitation, food safety and business concepts to support skills used in the daily operation of a bakery.”
The first cohort of students will be ready for industry in the summer of 2018. “I believe what will make this program great are the people that work here,” says Borgo. “Our faculty team are from industry, they are business professionals, they are subject experts, they are good people, and they are committed to delivering our program philosophy.” That team will include Amy Bracco, Theresa Ryan-Dowsett, Vita Giglio, Patricia Rock, Dimuthu Perera and Borgo.
“We believe our students are looking for an exciting, entertaining and hands-on learning experience. And we believe our students are looking for programming that prepares them for lifelong career success with strong industry connections,” he says. “We want to connect them with the amazing women and men who work in the baking industry as farmers and ingredient purveyors and processors; workers manufacturing baking machines, equipment, and tools; distributors of packaging; and the many fantastic sales people who service the baking industry in Canada and abroad. We believe there is a market of students interested in the pursuit of craftsmanship.”