What’s a Culinary School Success Coach and Why Do You Need One?

If you run into challenges during culinary school, who can you ask for help? How about a dedicated Success Coach whose focus is supporting you through school?

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September 30, 2020 7 min read

Online culinary school can provide a path to education that may otherwise not have been available to aspiring chefs and future food professionals.

But while we designed the online programs at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts for maximum flexibility, we also recognize that it’s not enough to just enroll students and hope for the best. That’s because regardless of what your situation is like when you first enroll in culinary school, sometimes circumstances change and life gets in the way.

Loss of employment, an illness in the family, an unexpected bundle of joy, a global pandemic — surprises like these can throw a wrench in the works and make it difficult for students to complete their education.

That’s why we created the Success Coach program, to help online students navigate these difficulties and support them into the next phase of their lives. Learn more about Escoffier’s Success Coaches — who they are, and how they can help you.

Who Can Benefit from a Success Coach?

Any student who is facing additional obstacles during their online culinary school program can benefit from the help of a Success Coach. These difficulties can range from technical trouble to financial issues to health problems to family struggles.

Students don’t attend school in a vacuum. Challenges in their personal lives often spill over into their schooling. With that in mind, this dedicated support team will help students to stay on track and keep these issues from derailing their education.

“I think that people’s experiences in life – both positive and negative – can uniquely equip them to bring joy into other people’s lives. I think for a lot of our students, bringing joy to others is why they are here. They love feeding people, seeing others find excitement in their food, and seeing that beauty and joy spread through their community. Knowing that we are helping students find meaning in their work fills me with happiness.”
Jess Stanfill, Associate Director of Student Services

What is a Culinary School Success Coach?

The Success Coach position was created to help students excel in their learning environment.

Escoffier’s online programs are designed to be accessible to culinarians anywhere in the world and from all walks of life. Often, students have part-time or full-time jobs, families, and other obligations. They may be former or active duty military, or they may be just out of high school. They could be starting a second or even third career. They may also work in rural areas and have limited access to ingredients or technology.

This means students often need personalized help as they work their way through their curriculum. We want to ensure that no student is prevented from completing their degree or diploma program because they needed help and couldn’t get it.

“I struggled with school in the past for years, but with the help of Career Services and my Success Coaches, I graduated on time. I put a goal in place of getting 95% or higher in each of my baking courses and I did exactly that.”
Kellie Trimble, Online Pastry Arts Graduate

The primary goal of a Success Coach is to provide support and resources to help a student through their program. Coaches listen and empathize with the struggles that students are facing — and help them to put it in perspective.

They also try to connect students to their own community resources, so they can find the tools they need to figure out a solution. For example, if you can’t get a consistent internet connection in your home, maybe your Success Coach could help you brainstorm where else you could get a secure connection to upload assignment photos and watch your Chef Instructor’s video feedback.

Male culinary student taking photo of seasoning and cut vegetables

Why Do You Need a Culinary School Success Coach?

Online culinary students come from all walks of life, which means they face unique challenges.

You may breeze through your online program. Or, you may run into a stumbling block that you’re not sure how to get over. Having a Success Coach at your disposal gives you someone to reach out to for help.

What may begin as a minor problem can snowball into a much bigger issue. One low-income student in a rural area lost access to her primary mode of transportation — which meant she couldn’t get to work or buy her ingredients for school.

Instead of letting the student get overwhelmed, her Success Coach helped her to break down the issue into steps. First on the agenda: figuring out how the student could get to work and keep earning an income.

If there’s one thing we’ve all learned since March 2020, it’s that you never know what’s coming next. No one could have expected the COVID-19 pandemic to change life so dramatically. That’s why having access to a Success Coach is so important. It puts someone in your corner, working with you to keep you focused on your goals.

“Students have such a varied experience and need, that you just have to directly go into their space and let them know that we’re here to help. Once they’ve connected with us, we really latch on, book follow-up appointments with them and keep the momentum of support going throughout their whole experience at Escoffier.”
Jess Stanfill, Associate Director of Student Services

How Do Culinary Students Connect with their Success Coach?

Students will be assigned to one Success Coach throughout their entire enrollment at Escoffier, so they can build a personal relationship.

After students begin their classes, the Success Coach will reach out to introduce themselves and let the student know how to reach them in the future.

But while academic coaches at other schools sit back and wait for students to reach out, Escoffier’s Success Coaches take a proactive approach. Chef Instructors will often contact a student’s Success Coach when the student is showing a low grade or low participation. This lets the Coach start the conversation and remind the student that they’re there to help.

And after that initial contact, coaches will then book follow-up appointments to keep track of the student’s progress.

“Our goal is to see a student become so self-sufficient and high performing that they don’t need our help! We want to get to a place with our students where our conversations are about their exciting accomplishments and achieving their future goals.”
Jess Stanfill, Associate Director of Student Services

Accessibility and Support

Our calling at Escoffier is to bring a culinary education to students all over the world and at all different points in their lives.

Female online culinary student working on her computer in the kitchen

Food and cooking bring people together. And the culinary community needs your unique voice and your unique style. So our Success Coaches are there to help you on this leg of your culinary journey.

If you’re considering culinary school on a ground campus, you can count on help there, too. The Boulder and Austin campuses both have Student Success Managers that provide support to students.

And during and after you’ve completed your online or on-campus program, you can look forward to continued support with Career Services assistance.

To get started with your online culinary education, contact the Admissions Department with questions.

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