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Ending Mod 5: Applying for Graduation with Distinction

It is the end of yet another Mod Chef Fan’s but this is a very different ending because this ending means that I only have 3 months left of on-ground classes here at NECI. Many of you have noticed that I have been spending at lot more time updating my blog and keep a much better track of what I am posting. This has been both a difficult and fun task because it gives me a very great way to check if I have done a project. I know that if I have made a blog post about it has been turned in and is graded or about to be graded. I have also been doing this because I am going to be applying for Graduating with Distinction. What this basically means is that I get handed a packet of extra requirements to have done and completed before I leave school for my last internship. I also have to have my last internship set up and completed.

It is at this point in time that I am very proud to announce that as of 10am this morning I am 100% complete in every one of my Mod 5 and previous classes. The only thing left to do is to wait for the grades to come in. I have also found and accepted a Job offer at Amangiri and will be turning in my goals shortly. Everything else is approved and set to go, so now is as good a time as any to submit my application for Graduating with Distinction. Make no mistake it is a lot of extra work and a lot of note keeping across all of my years at NECI and is something that I am very proud of, but I still have to apply and it is not a guaranteed fact that I will get it. With all of that being said I present to everyone my application for Graduating with Distinction:

Graduation with Distinction Packet & Application

 Rationale:

Graduation with Distinction was created to recognize students who have chosen to challenge themselves beyond the requirements of an already rigorous program. Students who qualify will enhance their own education, and will contribute to the NECI community and the professional community by organizing and participating in a variety of activities and events.  This award is designed to recognize exceptional performance in the production lab and dining room as well as in the classroom.

While New England Culinary Institute is committed to maintaining a cooperative learning environment, each student is responsible for his or her personal achievement and the standards for successful completion of the Graduation with Distinction program are intended to be very high.  The Institute also wants to encourage and recognize exceptional student effort and demonstrated leadership capability.

Students who earn Graduation with Distinction will receive recognition at the graduation ceremonies, a special distinction emblem on his/her diploma, and a notation on his/her transcript.

This Graduation with Distinction Packet contains instructions on minimum requirements and outlines procedures to follow in order to receive the Graduation with Distinction honor.

It is the student’s responsibility to request a Graduation with Distinction packet following a discussion of the program during orientation and to follow the guidelines and requirements discussed within the Packet.  Students are encouraged to discuss their involvement in the Graduation with Distinction program with instructors and program administrators, and to seek ongoing guidance on their projects from the Dean of Students, Dean of Culinary Affairs, and/or the Department Chair of their program.

 Requirements:

In order to qualify for Graduation with Distinction, a student must meet the following minimum requirements over the course of the program:

  • Meet Standard or Exceed Standard in the area of Professional Behavior evaluations
  • Achieve “Exceeds Standards” for a minimum of 30% of all standards associated with the program
  • Internship(s) must be pre-approved by the Placement Committee for their appropriateness to a Grad with Distinction.  Evaluation by internship supervisor(s) must indicate a high level of performance on the job.
  • Student may receive one course Incomplete, but the course must be Complete by the end of the term in which it is received (or student must have a plan in place to complete)
  • Receive no demerits
  • Have no unexcused absences

The applicant must demonstrate and document ONE of the following extra educational efforts:

a.) Research Paper: (may be completed during internship).  Conduct a significant research and writing      effort, which investigates some aspect of food and the industry.  Rough draft must be submitted to Dean of Students, Dean of Culinary Affairs, and or Dept. Chair in Mod/Term 3; final paper must be presented to faculty or faculty/student panel by end of  (2nd) residency. Minimum 10 pages.  This may be the same effort used for the Academic Research Scholarship.

b.)     Menu Project: (completion during residency is required).  Create an entire menu with 6 apps, 8 entrees, 6 desserts.  Menu layout, nutritional analysis, mise en place lists, and costing required. You must work with a Faculty Mentor to arrange the menu project and presentation.  The menu project must be submitted to the Dean of Students, Dean of Culinary Affairs, and Faculty and approved prior to presentation.  Conduct a professional presentation of the menu project to a faculty or faculty/student panel, and prepare 4 items (chosen by Dean of Students & Faculty) for the panel.

c.)      Baking and Pastry Menu Project: Create a Dessert menu with 2 artisan breads, 1 show cake, 1 plated dessert, and 2 different Petite foures. Menu layout, nutritional analysis, mise en place lists, and costing required. You must work with a Faculty Mentor to arrange the menu project and presentation.  The menu project must be submitted to the Dean of Students, Dean of Culinary Affairs, and Department Chair, and approved prior to presentation.  Conduct a professional presentation of the menu project to a panel consisting of faculty, students, Dean of Students, and Department Chair.

d.) Portfolio of work: (must be completed during residency).  Create a comprehensive, professional documentation of your learning and achievements throughout the program; portfolio must demonstrate a high level of commitment to self-reflection and improvement.  Must include: overview of class work and evaluations; goal-setting, job-search and internship plan; internship assessment and renewed goal setting; extra-curricular activities, and updated resume.  Minimum 30 pages.

e.)      Research Project: (completion during residency is required).  Plan and conduct a research project involving the following steps.  Look critically at an issue (genetically engineered food, Slow Food, organic menus, service/guest management trends, etc.) and  research this topic.  Choose an existing outlet/restaurant and seek ways to improve and develop that site by using your findings. Work closely with restaurant managers, members of the administration, and instructors to negotiate the issues inherent in your project. For example, you might decide to take a business proposal for change and enlarge upon it, putting your ideas to work in one of the outlets for a short while and then evaluating the project’s success. The final project must be submitted to the Dean of Students & Dean of Culinary Affairs & Faculty/Dept. Chair and must include a brief summary of written work and any additional, relevant aspects of the study.  Attach additional sheet(s) to report on the other research efforts.  The Dean of Students and Dean of Culinary Affairs, Dept. Chair will select an appropriate instructor to approve, read, and critique the research effort.

The applicant must complete and document EACH of the following community activities:

  • Organize an educational event.  Minimum ONE event.  The event must be hospitality-industry related and must involve a minimum of 8 students.  This may be either an educational event for students or a food & beverage-related, group community service project.  (Survival Meals or Recreational Student Activities do not qualify for this requirement)
  • Service to NECI:  Minimum of EIGHT activities.  Student exhibits a willingness to “step to the plate” within NECI’s own community.  Sample activities: peer tutor, ad hoc committees, instructor try-outs, student work pool for kitchen/dining room support, assist with Alumni or Admissions events, special projects to assist NECI chefs, recreational student activity planning, survival meal execution, etc.    Paid work shifts may be counted for up to 25% of this requirement; students may not ‘volunteer’ or work unpaid for any NECI work shifts beyond this 25%.
  • Participate in a professional organization through volunteer activities.  Minimum ONE event.

Submitting the Graduation with Distinction Packet:

The student must submit a completed Graduation with Distinction Packet for review by a Faculty Committee one-month prior to leaving on internship (in programs with two internships, please submit 1 month prior to each internship).  The Packet must include appropriate staff members’ signatures.  The Packet will be reviewed again one month prior to graduation and must contain an internship performance update.

If necessary, a student must submit a Waiver Request to Dean of Students asking that a certain prerequisite be waived due to extenuating circumstances.

Accelerated and Advanced Placement students may participate in the Graduation with Distinction Program.   Interested students may speak with the Department Chair, Dean of Culinary Affairs, or Dean of Students and Faculty.

 GRADUATION WITH DISTINCTION

APPLICATION

 Program:

                       Bachelors of Culinary Arts                  

Anticipated Graduate Date:

           July 2013         

 Please submit application to the Dean of Students & Faculty

and your Program’s Department Chair or the Dean of Academic Progress

1. Documentation of your Educational/Research Effort

The expectation is that all projects and portfolios represent significant efforts outside of regular class assignments, developed in conjunction with an appropriate NECI instructor.  All Educational/ Research projects and portfolios must be pre-approved by an appropriate instructor who reads, critiques and approves the effort.  Portfolios must be submitted for review at least once each term.  Attach additional sheet(s) if more space is needed, or to report on additional research efforts.  For students submitting research papers, this may be the same submission as The Culinary Research Scholarship (must be submitted prior to Mod 3) or Second Internship Research Paper.

Description:

It is with great pleasure that I present this very blog as an example of not only a portfolio of work from all of my time here at NECI but as also multiple research projects. Across all of the tabs and pages that are on the top of this blog are links to everything I have done while in NECI. Starting out with it’s very own creation in my first year and month here at NECI and has been updated regularly with everything of importance that has happened since I began. Everything I have had for homework has been posted and updated on this portfolio and you will find something from every class here at NECI present. Mixed in with everything else are pictures as well as research papers that I have present all throughout Mod 5. I am going to continue to update this blog and already have everything laid out and in place to be able to continue updating this portfolio for a very long time.

2. Educational Event/Group Community Service:

The objective is to exhibit developing leadership skills, not just by participating in activities, but also by organizing them. Describe below one educational activity for students that you organized and participated in.  The event must be hospitality-industry related and must involve a minimum of 8 students. It may be either an educational event for students or a food & beverage-related, group community service project.  (Survival Meals or Recreational Student Activities do not qualify for this requirement).

Include in your description the particulars of the activity, such as date, time, location, nature of the event, outcome, and so forth.  You will need to have the campus Student Services Coordinator approve and acknowledge in writing that you have successfully completed your activity.

Description of Activity:

In year 1 and 2 of my time here at NECI and while a member of Student Council one of the events that I helped organize and set up was the Growing Local Fest. Along with working with staff and other vendors for the event itself I helped sell and make different refreshments for the NECI booth. This event required that I help gather volunteers, and organize the set up of the VCFA green for the event itself.  For a more complete idea of what happened at the Growing Local Fest please click the link and read what I have to say on the even, checkout the photos and three is even a video that highlights what happened at 2nd annual Growing Local Fest .

 3.  Participation in the NECI Community: 

The expectation is that the Graduate with Distinction stands out within NECI’s own community by getting involved.  Describe your efforts to contribute to our community.  Sample activities include: peer tutor, ad hoc committees, instructor try-outs, student work pool for kitchen/dining room support, assist with Alumni or Admissions events, special projects to assist NECI chefs, recreational student activity planning, survival meal execution, etc.    Paid work shifts may be counted for up to 25% of this requirement; students may not ‘volunteer’ or work unpaid for any NECI work shifts to help meet this requirement.

Summarize below each of the eight NECI service activities you have participated in.  Include dates, times, type of activity, faculty member you coordinated with, and give a summary of how this increased your involvement and awareness of NECI.  You will need a faculty or staff member to acknowledge in writing that you have completed each of these activities.  Attach additional sheet(s).

 Description of Activity:

Please check out my Community Involvement tab at the top of this page to see all of the different categories and post on ways that I been involved in both NECI and other professional activities. This also is where you will find all of the different community service activates I have done across all three years of my time at NECI. Since I need to list a minimum of 8 activities that I have done for the school, please click on the links below to see a general listing of events that I have helped with or done across my time here at NECI

4.  Professional Development through organizations:

The purpose of volunteering with an organization is to develop an awareness of the professional resources and networking opportunities available to you in the food and beverage industry.

List below at least one volunteer activity that you have participated in.  Typical organizations might include: ACF, VICA/SkillsUSA, AIWF, Chefs Collaborative, Vermont Fresh Network, Woman Chefs, & Restaurateurs, or a host of others.  Discuss particulars of the activity and the group you were involved with, such as nature of the group, membership periods, contributions to the group, activities of the group, outcomes, and so forth.  You will need the organization’s staff person sponsor to acknowledge in writing your participation.  Attach additional sheets as needed.

Description of Activity:

I am a member of the ACF, and as a member I was given the chance to be a commis for a Certified Executive Chef Exam that was held at NECI for a potential chef. I volunteered my time for this event and was invited to be apart of this event by Chef Mark. For a more detailed description of the event itself as well as a few pictures that I was given permission to post please click on the link above.

5.  Internship Update:

The expectation is that the student will seek an internship(s) that will challenge him/her, and that internship performance will reflect a strong level of motivation and commitment.  Summarize your internship(s) below, indicating where you went, your rationale for your internship choice, a summary of activities and challenges, and a self-assessment of your performance.  Mention any special events or additional responsibilities that added educational value to your internship.  Attach additional sheets as needed.

Internship Location: Amangiri                                            

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3 Comments on “Ending Mod 5: Applying for Graduation with Distinction”

  1. Grandma March 23, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    God, what an awesome young man………I am so impressed with you and what you are doing. Lots of hugs from Grandma.

  2. Tori March 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    I’m sooo proud of you!! You’re doing so amazing, Grant. 🙂 You’ve worked so hard and I know you’ll be graduating with distinction. You deserve it!

  3. Jennifer July 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Wow, just the fact that you applied and finished all the requirements says a lot. Impressive!

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