Students from the Genesee Career Institute (GCI) had an opportunity to work side-by-side with Mott Community College’s (MCC) Culinary Arts faculty and students Friday, Oct. 5 at a Culinary Arts Workshop hosted by the College.
“This was a great opportunity for our students to gain experience with community involvement,” said MCC Chef Mark Handy. “It gives MCC Culinary Arts students an opportunity to share their college experience, along with demonstrating their knowledge and skills learned in our program.”
Partnering with MCC provided GCI students with hands-on lab experiences they need while GCI is conducting a major renovation of their own facilities. “Service learning opportunities such as these provides reciprocal benefits for MCC and our community partners,” said Debra Gibes, Faculty Director for Experiential Learning. “We appreciate the CGI chefs working with our Culinary Arts program to make this event a success,” she added.
Forty-five GCI culinary Arts students were paired with six MCC students and chefs in three different rotating hands-on lab experiences for 90 minutes each. Students in the café lab set up a luncheon buffet service and learned different table service styles. In the Bakery Lab students baked rolls and breads, and in the Kitchen Lab, students prepared three soups from scratch.
GCI students said they enjoyed learning how to make braided bread and the Applewood Café’s signature turkey and white bean chili. “We had a great bunch of students, they were very enthusiastic, they had a lot of fun, and had a lot of great questions,” said Handy.
Service Learning opportunities are part of the MCC Culinary Arts Department commitment to partnering with GCI to strengthening working relationships with vocational education programs in the surrounding area.
Service Learning is a method of study in which students apply course concepts to the “real-world” through volunteer service within the Greater Flint Community. Meaningful service is paired with critical thinking and reflection to create a worthwhile experience and deeper learning of key course objectives.
Experiential Learning is learning through reflection on doing. It focuses on the individual’s experience, and is a way to connect academics to the “real world” by actively participating in the world, not just reading about it. Mott Community College is committed to supporting the development and integration of meaningful, active, hands-on experience for students as a method of meeting learning objectives and community needs.