Culinary-Maritime certificate approved for fall 2023

Carolyn Fairchild, GLMA culinary internDownload a high-resolution photo of Carolyn FairchildTRAVERSE CITY — Next fall, NMC will offer a new Culinary Arts certificate with Maritime emphasis, a specialty field with high industry demand and high salaries, following unanimous approval by the Board of Trustees Monday. Creation of the certificate is an objective within NMC’s strategic plan. It originated in an 18-month reimagining project for the Great Lakes Culinary Institute, which sought to increase enrollment and improve GLCI’s future sustainability.

For the past five years a small number of culinary students have completed an internship onboard NMC’s training ship State of Michigan. That collaboration was due to demand for cooks seen by another NMC program, the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. Those culinary students were employed immediately upon graduation.

“Skilled culinary staff is critical to a well-managed vessel. The maritime industry continues to see this need across all areas. I would 100 percent encourage any culinary student who is seeking adventure while honing their craft to pursue a career at sea,” said Jenny Johnson, director of Labor Experience and Recruitment at Crowley. The Florida-based company has hired past GLCI graduates for its shipping division, which includes more than 200 vessels, in addition to recruiting graduates of NMC’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy. Based on that demand the reimagining committee chose to create a formal certificate. It is the first time a state maritime academy has partnered with a culinary program to provide this credential to serve the commercial maritime industry.

It combines and repackages existing curriculum in both the culinary and maritime programs and maximizes assets like the State of Michigan when it is not at sea.

Megan Cook, GLMA Culinary InternDownload a high-resolution photo of Megan Cook“This certificate creates a unique offering that will distinguish the Great Lakes Culinary Institute from other programs. It also gives our students more options and meets the needs of industry,” said NMC President Nick Nissley.

The program’s first-year enrollment goal is 20 students. In the fall semester, students will take culinary courses offering foundational theory and practical applications of savory cooking, butchery, baking, sanitation, nutrition, food and beverage operations, and menu planning. They will apply for and earn necessary maritime credentials while in the program as well.

In the spring, students will take a specialized galley cooking course–the only new course–on the training ship while it is in port. Students will then complete an internship on the State of Michigan or a commercial vessel. Graduates with this certificate can sail as credentialed mariners on U.S. flag vessels, in Great Lakes service, in the steward department in culinary positions such as second cook.

Students whose goal is to sail on an ocean-going vessel will need to complete additional training on a commercial vessel. Within the next three years the Great Lakes Maritime Academy will amend its U.S. Coast Guard approval to offer this course in Traverse City.

Read more about the Great Lakes Culinary Institute, which is accredited by the American Culinary Federation.

Read more about the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, which offers a bachelor's degree in maritime technology.

State of Michigan galley images: 2022 intern Carolyn Fairchild, top; 2021 intern Megan Cook, bottom.

Release date: August 23, 2022

For more information:

Kerry Fulcher
Great Lakes Culinary Institute Admissions Specialist
(231) 995-1196


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