Explore Visit Apply Donate
  •  Take a closer look at our program.
    Take a closer look at our program. 
    Culinary/Hospitality Program.
    96% Graduate Employment/Transfer rate
    That's right! Ninety-six percent of SCC's 2021 graduates found work or continued their education.
    Graduate Report
    Culinary/Hospitality Program.
    96% Graduate Employment/Transfer rate
    That's right! Ninety-six percent of SCC's 2021 graduates found work or continued their education.
    Graduate Report
     Culinary/Hospitality program video!
    Culinary/Hospitality program video! 
    Culinary/Hospitality Program.
    96% Graduate Employment/Transfer rate
    That's right! Ninety-six percent of SCC's 2021 graduates found work or continued their education.
    Graduate Report
    Brandon Harpster.
    Faculty Spotlight - Brandon Harpster
    Students can expect a complete hands-on real-world focused program.
    More About Brandon


  •  Estimated Cost: $9,295

    Program Length: 1-4 semesters

    Locations: Lincoln

    Start Term(s): Fall / Spring / Summer

    Awards Offered: AAS / Cert / Diploma

    Program Description

    Best-Culinary-Schools-2022-Badge-webIf you want to master the art of cooking in our new, state-of-the-art learning centers in the Great Plains Culinary Institute, then our Culinary/Hospitality program is perfect for you. Our learning spaces are designed to simulate the type of spaces consistent with industry standards. You will be well prepared for a successful, rewarding career.

    Our program is four full-time terms with a majority of our classes offered during the day to allow you to work in the food service industry during nights and weekends. You will gain hands-on, practical experience in Course Restaurant, the ultimate working classroom. Students work in all facets of the restaurant including preparing, cooking, serving and hosting. We offer three focus areas for you to specialize in:

    • Culinary Arts
    • Hospitality Management

    If you are in the Hospitality Management focus, you may receive your diploma from the National Restaurant Association Hospitality Education Foundation. You must complete the designated NRA courses, pass the NRA course finals with a 75% and complete the required work experience.

    Our Culinary/Hospitality program prepares you for a fast-paced career in this industry. You will be a successful if you:

    • are detail oriented and able to work on a team
    • like variety – no two days are alike
    • possess the ability to multitask efficiently
    • have the endurance to stand an entire shift if needed
    • thrive in high stress environments
    • are willing to accept criticism and adjust your style if necessary
    • are creative with your recipes and presentation
    • are passionate about serving others

    You can start the Culinary/Hospitality program in Fall, Spring or summer terms. Follow these steps to finish your application:

    1. Want to learn more about SCC? Come see how SCC will help you achieve Your Path to Possible! Schedule a campus visit!
    2. Need help exploring career opportunities or navigating the admissions process? Schedule an appointment with an Admissions Counselor.
    3. Ready to apply? Complete an Application for Admission.
    4. Submit ACT, SAT, Next Generation Accuplacer, or Accuplacer test scores (reading and math) or official college transcripts showing completion of post-secondary coursework in English and math to the Admissions Office at any SCC location.

    Special Program Requirements

    • All Culinary/Hospitality students must obtain a Lincoln-Lancaster County Food Handlers permit.
    • You are required to purchase a set of professional knives, professional uniform and appropriate shoes.
    • You are responsible for your own transportation to off-campus and co-op learning sites.

    If you want a rewarding career where no two days are alike, then the culinary/hospitality field is for you. Our most successful alumni are dedicated and driven by helping others as well as creatively inspired by working with food. If you have several years food service experience combined with a degree in hospitality, restaurant or food service management, you will have the best job opportunities. Our graduates report an average starting salary of $30,160. Career options include:

    • Baker
    • Cake Decorator
    • Chef
    • Cook
    • Dietary Manager or Dietary Tech
    • Dining Supervisor or Dining Associate
    • Executive Pastry Chef
    • Grill Cook
    • Line Chef and Line Cook
    • Manager or Assistant Manager
    • Sous Chef

    The Southeast Community College Culinary/Hospitality program is accredited by:

    The American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission
    180 Center Place Way
    St. Augustine, FL 32095

    Both the Culinary Arts focus and Baking/Pasty focus are accredited.

    Academic Completion Statistics

    YearAAS Graduation
    Rate (%)
    Job Placement
    Rate (%)
    ACF Certification
    Rate (%)
    2019 (Culinary or Baking/Pastry Focuses)21.1%96%90%
    2020 (Culinary or Baking/Pastry Focuses)30.9%100%100%

    States where educational requirements are met by this program’s curriculum – Nebraska.

    Students who complete this program may, on a voluntary basis, receive the American Culinary Federation’s (AFC) certification. This certification is recognized nationwide. More information may be found at the American Culinary Federation’s website.

    Other States may have additional educational requirements, and SCC has not made a determination of whether or not this program’s curriculum meets the educational requirements of any other State.

    Southeast Community College is a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement Institution (NC-SARA) institution. As such, SCC is unable to offer online or distance courses to students in the following areas at this time: American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

    Rob Epps, Instructor/Program Director
    Certified Working Pastry Chef
    Related Work Experience: 17 years
    BS, Bellevue University
    AAS, Southeast Community College
    1-800-642-4075 ext. 2526

    Brandon Harpster, Instructor
    Certified Executive Chef
    Related Work Experience: 23 years
    BA, New England Culinary Institute
    AAS, Southeast Community College

    Abby Hoch, Instructor
    Related work experience: 13 years
    BA, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    AAS, Southeast Community College

    Gerrine Schreck Kirby, Instructor
    Certified Executive Chef
    Certified Culinary Educator
    Related Work Experience: 40 years
    BA, Doane College
    MA, Doane College
    AAS, Des Moines Area Community College
    1-800-642-4075 ext. 2461

    Melissa Oerman, Instructor
    Registered Dietitian
    Related Work Experience: 19 years
    MS, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    BS, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Amber Pankonin, MS, RD, LMNT, Instructor
    Registered Dietitian
    Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist
    Related Work Experience: 15 years
    BA, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    MS, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    AAS, Southeast Community College
    1-800-642-4075 ext. 2466

    Vicki Rethmeier, Instructor
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    Related Work Experience: 25 years
    MS, New Mexico State University
    BS, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Katie Skinner, Purchasing Manager/Lab Assistant
    Related Work Experience: 8 years
    AAS, Southeast Community College
    Attending New England Culinary Institute

    Mike Vandenberg, Executive Chef - Course
    Certified Executive Chef
    Related Work Experience: 20 years
    AAS, Southeast Community College

    Kim Williams-Lamb, Instructor
    Related Work Experience: 14 years
    AAS, Southeast Community College


    SCC Student Success Rate

    Culinary Grads Working in Nebraska

    SCC Grads continuing their education in Nebraska