Northwest Florida State College is launching three new programs in the fall 2018 semester — an associate of science in culinary arts, a career and technical certificate in natural gas operations and distribution and an associate of science in unmanned aerial vehicle systems.

“The three programs we are introducing this semester are a direct result of listening to our community partners,” said College President Dr. Devin Stephenson. “We are committed to giving our region a trained workforce with skills relevant for the available jobs in Northwest Florida.”

The culinary program is designed to promote the Emerald Coast’s tourism industry by preparing students for employment in the culinary and restaurant industry.

In this program, students will gain employable skills and knowledge through classroom instruction and culinary lab experience in the following courses: Sanitation and Safety; Maintenance and Operation of Equipment; Methods of Preparation and Cooking; Perform Different Types of Food Services; Nutrition; Baking; and Dining Room and Beverage Management. Students will also receive training in communications, leadership and human relations skills.

This program focuses on broad, transferable skills and stresses understanding and demonstration of elements of the culinary industry. Careers include culinary manager, food and beverage manager, pantry cook, executive chef and many more.

The natural gas operations and distribution program will primarily be offered at the Chautauqua Center in DeFuniak Springs, with selected courses offered at NWF’s Niceville and Fort Walton Beach campuses and the South Walton Center.

This program prepares students to become gas plant operators, where their job will consist of distributing or processing gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

The unmanned vehicle systems operations program consists of courses that will allow students to develop an operational knowledge of UAV design, limitations, operations and maintenance. The program will offer four specializations: business development, fire/rescue, law enforcement and payload specialist.

This program prepares students to become unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pilots. UAV pilots must be able to remotely control a flying vehicle with a thorough understanding of weather, aerodynamics, national airspace structure, vehicle design and control, and human factors. The demand for UAVs is growing, and they are increasingly being used in a variety of industries — from the military and police, to commercial operations.

For more information on the culinary arts program, contact the Culinary Arts Program Director Julie Cotton at cottonj@nwfsc.edu.

For more information on the natural gas operations and distribution and unmanned aerial vehicle systems programs, contact our Student Success Navigators at StudentSuccess@nwfsc.edu or 850-678-5111.