- Changes occurring in our society affect the food service industry
and cause a growing demand for trained food service workers.
This has stimulated the need for vocational training programs at
many levels. The federal government has recognized this need and
provided funds for establishing and carrying out certain vocational
The Oregon Department of Education, Division of Community
Colleges and Vocational Education has been developing training guides
built around the cluster concept and has sought assistance with this
planning. Thus a desire to study existing food service program
guides and to help those developing training programs was created.
The purpose of this study, therefore, was to analyze existing
curricula designed to train students in high school, community college,
and vocational school programs for entry-level or semi-skilled
work in the food service industry, and to develop a composite of
curriculum information which could be adapted by those developing
programs for training students in each of those types of schools for
jobs in food service organizations.
Ten vocational food service curriculum guides were analyzed.
This gave rise to many questions about the organizational patterns
presented, such as number of clock hours and years to complete the
programs, and the various subject matter clusters included. Therefore,
a questionnaire was developed and sent to 127 schools having
on-going food service programs to obtain more information and curricular
materials. Thirty four percent were returned and usable.
Analysis of data obtained was difficult because of the many different
combinations of courses, programs, and formats used. However,
these factors were of particular significance: Community
colleges offered a wider variety of food service programs than either
high schools or vocational schools. High school vocational education
programs averaged 2.6 years in length while vocational school programs
were more concentrated, averaging 1.8 years. More clock
hours were spent in the vocational school programs than in the other
two types of schools.
Subject matter clusters, topics, and subtopics named in the
guides were generally the same as those reported by questionnaire
respondents. All programs studied included the nine subject matter
clusters under one name or another but classified as: Orientation, Sanitation, Food Preparation, Equipment, Safety, Table Service,
Personnel Relations, Purchasing, and Cost Control. Most programs
allocated the largest block of time to the Food Preparation cluster.
Data received and evaluated were the bases for the recommendations
which are presented in the composite. The composite is
presented as a chart of three sections, one each for high school,
community college, and vocational school programs. Each section is
made up of the recommended number of years and of clock hours required
to complete the program. Subject matter clusters with a list
of topics and subtopics under each, and the amount of time to be
allocated to each cluster completes the composite. Instructions for
using the composite by any who may be designing food service training
programs are also included.