SAISD and Culinary Institute of America partner to create high school pilot program

News Release

SAISD and The Culinary Institute of America partner to create high school pilot program

May 16, 2017 – San Antonio ISD today announced a partnership with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to establish a college transfer-credit culinary program, which will be piloted at a District high school beginning this fall. First teachers, then SAISD students will have the opportunity to earn their culinary chops by training in collaboration with the world’s premier culinary college.

The initiative focuses on developing a pipeline of CIA-trained instructors and ultimately providing a smooth path to a CIA degree for SAISD students who see themselves as the next generation of chefs and culinary leaders. The college has trained the likes of local chefs Johnny Hernandez of La Gloria, Steve McHugh of Cured, Andrew Weissman of Signature, Diego Galicia of Mixtli, and Michael Sohocki of Restaurant Gwendolyn.

"This new partnership presents an invaluable opportunity for SAISD students," said CIA President Dr.Tim Ryan. "The collaborative effort between the CIA and SAISD opens the door for them to succeed on the college level and pursue their higher education goals right here in San Antonio. The vibrant food scene in San Antonio will also benefit from the enhanced talent pool including these young culinarians."

This spring semester, three SAISD instructors—one each from Brackenridge, Sam Houston and Lanier high schools—began a fellowship at CIA’s San Antonio campus, in the Pearl complex, to prepare them to teach courses that meet CIA learning-outcomes standards in SAISD culinary classrooms. In early May, the instructors passed the CIA-developed ProChef exam, paving the way for the pilot.

2017-18 pilot at Lanier HS

Lanier High School will implement the pilot program this fall, where CIA-certified SAISD instructors will co-teach, creating a model for the ongoing development of instructors. Students aspiring for a culinary career will learn “job ready” skills as well as have the opportunity to receive up to15 hours of college transfer credit that would be applicable for advanced placement at CIA campuses in San Antonio, New York or California.

The partnership includes plans for additional teacher fellowships for training at the CIA, with the goal of providing college transfer credit opportunities for additional high schools –Brackenridge, Burbank, Highlands and Sam Houston. 

SAISD will implement a model industry curriculum at all SAISD culinary programs that is aligned to the CIA learning outcomes and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for high schools, which will be ready to roll out in the fall of 2017.

“This partnership with CIA is another example of how we are embracing innovation to advance our educational mission and ensure that we are providing our students not only with quality and rigor but with diverse options,” SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez said. “We are fortunate to have a premier institution such as CIA in our backyard, and we seized the opportunity for a partnership that will build within SAISD a pipeline of high-quality culinary instructors who can offer our students the best in high school culinary education.”