My youngest son is half way through his Junior year in high school and it is like a light bulb had gone on. The truth is my son finally met a teacher that seems to be inspiring him to think of his future. I never thought my son would have any interest in attending college but lately he has been considering it and has made the time at school to take part in on campus college visits. We recently toured Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, Florida. Between its four campuses across the country, JWU offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, education, nutrition, hospitality, physician assistant studies, and engineering and design.
We had a great time touring the campus and learning about the unique features that JWU has to offer its’ students. I was very impressed with the culinary studies. The program does more than teach the students how to cook. They plant their own spices, fruits, vegetables, and even cocoa trees. There is a classroom set up like a dining room so students learn table settings, dining room etiquette and more. Most of their food is either fresh and made fresh with only the essential items purchased.
Johnson & Wales University Culinary Program
JWU also boasts an amazing fashion merchandising & retailing program for students who are interested in the business side of fashion, such as merchandising, fashion events or buying. As part of their tuition, the students get to travel to New York during fashion week. As part of the learning process the fashion program has a pop up shop where students sell merchandise that has been used for curriculum purposes in the previous year. This fun activity gives the students the ability to see what goes into creating your own store from the cashier, sales people, setup, and more. All of this is done in the class rooms at JWU.
Johnson & Wales Fashion Program
What I found very intriguing about our visit to JWU was the unique style of teaching and class rooms. While some classes do take place in a traditional class room others are modeled after the program the students are enrolled in. For example the culinary classrooms are state of the art kitchens. The fashion class is set up like a boutique and the hospitality class room has the appearance of a hotel lobby
As you can see instead of a room of desks in a row facing a teacher the students are immersed in their studies literally. Another unique feature of JWU is where most universities require the student to get their core classes out of the way JWU’s gets the students immediately into their course of study with their major classes being a priority from day one. I think this is a great way to keep the students interested in their studies and encourages them to remain in school. The thought is theory is a great place to start but reality is a must when students are trying to enter the workforce. For this reason, they help the students with the interview process and have relationship with many business where the students are required to intern and often times will result in being hired.
I was very impressed with their eLab and how they do more for the students then just teach. The e-Lab is a great place for the students to get help with creating and entrepreneurial idea, and implementing strategies to launch the product through finance, marketing and advertising. A perfect example of how JWU helps and encourages the students is their yearly “Shark Feast” which is very much like Shark Tank seen on TV. The students are required to explain the thought behind their idea, how they would market and advertise it, how it would profit, and their key audience. What an amazing learning experience and opportunity for students to think outside the box and even possibly leave the university with an idea, investors, and running their own business.
While we were visiting we were excited to see the outcome of a cake decorating contest the students took part in. The cakes were nothing but AMAZING! In addition their were many unique and fun wedding cakes on display.
I was so impressed with the university that I shared my experience with my family at Thanksgiving. Little did I know that my brother-in-law was a student at JWU during their first culinary class at the North Miami campus. He said since his time at the school it has grown tremendously. He recommends the school as an alum.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnson & Wales University. The opinions and text are all mine.