SCCC culinary students can now earn bachelor’s online

Pastry chef Rachel Cronemeyer at Suffolk County Community College's Culinary School in Riverhead. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)
Pastry chef Rachel Cronemeyer at Suffolk County Community College’s Culinary School in Riverhead. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

A new program enables Suffolk County Community College culinary graduates to earn a bachelor’s degree from the comfort of their own home.

The school’s Eastern Campus in Riverhead has partnered with SUNY/Delhi to launch “Stay Close Go Far,” a two-year online program for culinary alums who have already earned an associate degree from SCCC.

Susan Ulrich, campus coordinator for the joint program, said classes started in 2012. Except for four classes that are taught at SCCC’s culinary school on East Main Street in Riverhead, all program classes are taken online.

“Students are offered the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s degree without leaving their home, family or jobs — and to do so affordably,” Ms. Ulrich said. “Knowledge gained from completing a bachelor’s degree not only increases students’ skill sets,  it can open doors to career advancement.”

One of the program’s recent graduates is 24-year-old Rachel Cronemeyer, a Southold pastry chef who earned an associate degree in baking and pastry arts from SCCC in 2010. Through the SUNY/Delhi-SCCC program, Ms. Cronemeyer now has a bachelor’s degree from SUNY/Delhi in hospitality management with a concentration in culinary arts management.

Although she’d gained valuable work experience interning at Southold’s North Fork Table & Inn under famed pastry chef Claudia Fleming and worked at upscale establishments like Jamesport’s Jedediah Hawkins Inn and Kontokosta Winery in Greenport, Ms. Cronemeyer said SCCC’s new bachelor’s program helped prepare her in different ways.

“It teaches you real-life experiences,” she said. “Learning how to deal with workers and other employees is important.”

The program also taught her leadership, management and professionalism, Ms. Cronemeyer said.

“Between the classes, teaching, working in the restaurant and starting my own business [Rachel Cronemeyer Cakes & Confections in Southold], it was a ton of work,” she said. “But it was worth it. I can go toward a more corporate path, like hotels or teaching, compared to someone that doesn’t have the degree.”

Graduates with an associate’s degree from other culinary colleges can also apply to the “Stay Close Go Far” program.

To learn more, contact Ms. Ulrich at 631-548-3735 or [email protected].