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Notter School of Pastry Arts

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So I have the opportunity to attend Notter for the European baking and pastry arts diploma program. I've visited several times now. I've spoken with students and some of the chef instructors. I've watched the classes themselves- omg, I want to be there so badly!!

My main concern is that there are many terrible reviews online for the school. The consensus is that while Chef Notter and the school itself are outstanding, the office is ridiculous. Lots of ex-employees have posted different reviews. There is a high turnover for the office positions. Employees are pressured to find "leads" and sell them on the school. I've had several interactions now with people in the office and there have been enough discrepancies in what I've been told, that I am very hesitant to sign on the dotted line. People tell me one thing and then call me a day later to tell me something different. Or even worse, have me drive all the way out there only to tell me something different. The school has an F rating with the BBB.

When such an incredible amount of money is on the line, I have to be cautious. I've been vacillating on this decision for so long- it's my dream to go and my passion but I can't just jump into this after the red flags I've seen in my dealings with the office. I feel like everyone is telling me what I want to hear and I have to make the best, most informed decision I can when almost $23,000 I don't yet have is involved.

Has anyone here attended? Any words of wisdom?
post #2 of 15
If your spidey sense is on high alert, I would listen to it. Is this school local to you? There are so many other excellent school to study pastry arts. I did find that it was not listed under the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). I'm not sure if this is something that is a selling point for a school, but it would certainly indicate that they committed to providing excellence in their product.

I can't tell you what to do, but if it were me, and I was investing that kind of money, I'd be cautious. Can you speak with current students, or graduates to get their feeling for the school given what you've found out about their alleged business practices?

If you're somewhat flexible in location I'd look at the French Culinary Institute and Le Cordon Bleu has a location in Orlando and if it were me, I'd go there in a shot.

This link has some helpful tips to consider when selecting a school.
http://www.trade-schools.net/articles/selecting-a-pastry-school.asp

Good luck with whatever you decide.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
It's funny because reading that article, I can without a doubt answer a resounding yes to the questions and I feel I should run, not walk to sign up. I do believe the classes themselves are worth the price of admission. I've watched from the back as the instructors lead the classes in creating beautiful and yummy-looking desserts. I've spoken with students who had amazing things to say. I've seen the list of guest instructors- Vincent Pilon, Marina Sousa, Bronwen Webber to name a few.

Unfortunately in order to get to the classes I have to go through the office. Dealing with financial aid has been a nightmare. I have a good job at an ok bakery. I know I'll never be laid off, I get good benefits, etc. I have a straight shot to management there if I want it. I don't make a ton of money but my life is comfortable enough. However, after school is over I will have massive student loans to repay leaving me with nothing left over at the end of the month. This frightens me. The office personnel at the school have assured me time and time again that it's no big deal because after graduating from this school I can get a great, high paying job anywhere. One woman even went over the median salaries for their graduates with me. The problem is after reading the negative reviews and in my dealings with them, I don't trust them. I don't believe them when they say they have an 83% placement rate with grads. I don't believe that these people just walk into high paying pastry chef positions, especially in today's economy. I don't even want to be a pastry chef, I want to work in a bakery which limits my potential job prospects even further.

I've looked into Le Cordon Bleu and I'm not as impressed as I am with Notter but most importantly, Notter fits in with my work schedule while LCB does not.

I really, really want to go and I will be devastated if I don't. I'm trying to schedule an appt to speak with Chef Notter himself and see what he has to say about graduate's prospects and the issues with the office. Hopefully that can give me peace of mind enough to make a decision either way.
post #4 of 15
Well, I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do. I agree that it's the classes and instructors that matter. And if you can see past the office personnel, then it makes sense to move forward. You may never experience any issue with the office. There were some positive reviews from students who didn't experience any of the negativity that the employees have. Perhaps if you're able you could speak with students who are in their final stages of the program and are working with the career placement people and find out their experiences.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, it's official. I'm a student at Notter!
While there are still a few niggles of doubt due to some discrepancies between what the office told me and the truth, I'm hoping after the fifth time I asked "Are you sure?" when they answered my questions, I have the best understanding possible of what's happening re: financial aid.

I spoke with Chef Notter, he is so nice. He admitted sometimes there are some disagreements between the instructors and the office, he told me first thing- he won't BS me. He showed me some of the projects we work on in class, he introduced me to all the other instructors. It was exactly what I needed- to speak with them all about the classes themselves and how to apply what I learn into getting a dream job.

I feel much better and am so excited to get started!
post #6 of 15
Best of luck to you! We can't wait to see what you do!
post #7 of 15
Congratulations! Sounds great!
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Just want to say... I am about 2 months from graduating. Without a doubt, the chefs are exceptional. Chef Notter is a creative genius and the education I've received has far outweighed all the issues with the office (and there are several). I can highly recommend this school to anyone serious about learning anything and everything pastry related.
post #9 of 15
Hey well done! I would love to go there, but tyranny of distance and all that icon_smile.gif

Life's too short to make cake pops.
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www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

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Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply
post #10 of 15
Why on earth does Chef Notter put up with that kind of crap in HIS front office?

I had a similar runaround with a local culinary school, and cancelled my application when they were unable to answer my questions. They wanted $5000 and THEN they were going to tell me which courses I would be permitted to register for...they spent all their time telling me I didn't have high school math (which of course I do).

This schools instructors also warned me that their admissions office made things difficult for them...I can't see why on earth somebody with a good reputations thinks they need that crap??? Put in a good office manager and the problem be solved.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Baking Irene- that question has been asked by the students so many times. I know there are times he gets as frustrated with the office as we (students) get. But I don't know if he's in a position to do anything.

Regardless, the chef instructors are first class and it's for them and the education alone I recommend the school. They go above and beyond the curriculum to teach us everything we should know. I have a deep admiration and respect for them and their hard work shaping us into future pastry chefs/bakers/artists ready to join the work force.
post #12 of 15

Hi I just wanted to know how the training is going at the NOTTER School and if you where happy with your decision. I too saw the scathing reports and was worried about my investment, but I haven't seen any reports from students on what they got out of the course and if it was worth it. Please help.

 

Thanks

Joy

post #13 of 15

That's weird - when you go to the school's facebook page it looks like the school has been closed. Their website is down, and all sorts of people seem to be out of pocket a great deal! akrainis - you say you're a student there now? So is the school not closed afterall?
 

Let them eat cake. I'd rather be decorating them anyway.
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Let them eat cake. I'd rather be decorating them anyway.
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post #14 of 15

I have also seen the facebook page and their web page is down, it looks like they have closed this is such a disappointment, can anyone suggest anything else, like is the Chicago french pastry school any good??
 

post #15 of 15

I believe I remember that the school closed without notice and that students were left in the dust.

Attachment.ashx

DSchool closes as equiment is removed and offices and school is gutted out !! Student and Employees are left without dough!!!Look up link below listed Friday on baynews9 by Kelli Cook , reporter.
 

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