I recently had the opportunity to visit the Virginia College Campus in Greensboro, NC. It was for a back-to-school open house, which provided a campus tour, back-to-school supplies for children that were in attendance and fun activities for everyone. I was immediately thankful that the event was family friendly because my 9-year-old son ended up accompanying me at the last minute. We were greeted warmly! My son received a Virginia College backpack and we started our tour. Fun Fact: Every department and classroom we visited also had school supplies for the kids.
First up was the culinary department, which truly blew me away immediately. It’s a 36-week program where the students are professionally trained and get tons of hands-on experience. The program includes a mandatory externship with a reputable company before certification. The classes are limited in size so that the students can receive personal attention. There are day and night scheduling options allowing students to fit class into their busy schedules.
Culinary Arts students are in uniform all the time or they can’t participate in class. This method really gets them ready for their careers outside of Virginia College. They are also provided career placement assistance so that they can start their Culinary Arts careers right away. Some students are hired where they completed their externship and begin their Culinary Arts career immediately. You also have the option to expand your Culinary Arts career with the Pastry Arts program, which is an additional 24 weeks.
Lunch Break: We had a meal prepared by the Virginia College Culinary Arts & Pastry Arts Department. It was delicious! I learned that everything is fresh and made from scratch, which blew me away. We had Sushi Nachos as a starter, Chicken Pho as an entrée and Chocolate Cake with Avocado Ice Cream as dessert. Everything was so flavorful and it was like eating in a five-star restaurant. The presentation was excellent, it’s like it was too pretty to eat! I was totally stuffed after lunch due to finishing every bit of that amazing meal! Hence the Culinary Arts & Pastry Arts Department totally exceeded my expectations!
After lunch I had an opportunity to tour the Pharmacy Technician Lab, which is set up like a real pharmacy. Because you get the experience of working in any type of pharmacy atmosphere whether it’s your local neighborhood pharmacy or the pharmacy in the emergency department at your local hospital. The Pharmacy Technician program can be completed in as little as nine months. I learned first and foremost that safety and being in a sterile environment are vital. This course teaches you how to safely prepare and distribute medication.
Virginia College offers a variety of certificate programs*. In addition to the Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts and Pharmacy Technician Certificate Programs, you also have: the Network Support Technician Program, Medical Assistant Certificate Program, Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Certificate Program, Business Administration Certificate Program and the Cosmetology Certificate Program. All these programs are hands-on and require an externship upon graduation. Student Cosmetology Services operates a full-service salon at affordable prices. *Not all degree choices are available at all campuses.
In Conclusion, Virginia College has great programs and scheduling options to fit into your busy lifestyle. I’ve been thinking about continuing my education as a mom of four children with a hectic schedule. It’s good to know that there are options that will allow me to fulfill my goal. I have two college-aged children, one in high school and my youngest is in third grade. I also like that you have an advisor to take you through the entire process, so you’re not alone! Visit the Virginia College website for additional information.
Disclosure: Thank you to Virginia College for sponsoring this post and being such a great host. All opinions expressed are 100% honest and completely my own.