Culinary Institute No. 8 in new, national earnings-to-debt rankings

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute has been ranked the No. 8 culinary program in the nation by GradReports in a first-of-its kind ranking based on median early career salary data from the U.S. Department of Education.

“We’ve always known GLCI offered a fantastic value proposition to our students,” said Culinary Institute director Les Eckert. “It’s gratifying to see that validated by these national rankings.”

GLCI was one of only two culinary programs in Michigan to make the top 25. GradReports rankings are the first to incorporate the Department of Education's recently-released College Scorecard data on median alumni salary and median alumni debt by college major. This allows students to make a cost-to-benefit analysis before choosing a school and major.

GLCI offers both degrees and certificate programs, including its newest baking certificate. Kathryn Hockin is a 2019 culinary associate degree recipient who is now pursuing the baking certificate and a bachelor’s degree in business. She said that NMC scholarships have helped make her education even more affordable.

"NMC scholarships have played a tremendous role in allowing me to chase after my dreams without accumulating an overwhelming amount of debt. They have given me the courage and opportunity to take my education further than I could have ever hoped,” Hockin said.

Previously, in 2016, GLCI was named the No. 11 culinary school in the country by BestChoiceSchools.

GLCI is designed to provide rigorous and concentrated areas of study for students planning careers in the hospitality and food-service industry. Many of the Institute’s programs are accredited by the American Culinary Federation, one of fewer than 200 U.S. colleges to receive that distinction. Students are eligible to become ACF Certified Culinarians upon graduation. In 2004 GLCI moved to its current location on NMC’s Great Lakes campus, where facilities include Lobdell’s Teaching Restaurant. Find out more at




Les Eckert, MBA, CEPC, CCE, AAC
Director, Great Lakes Culinary Institute at
Northwestern Michigan College


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