ProStart (Foundations of Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts) is a career-building program developed by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) and managed locally by National Restaurant Association Solutions (NRA Solutions). The program is a partnership between the Arkansas Hospitality Association Education Foundation (HEF), the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) and in cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Education, and high schools statewide.
ProStart gives high school students a taste for success in the restaurant and foodservice industry by blending both classroom learning and work experience to produce the culinary and management leaders of tomorrow. The program involves over 95,000 students in more than 1,900 schools across 48 states, territories and districts. The ProStart program sets the standard for introducing high school students to a rewarding career in the restaurant and foodservice industry–the cornerstone of our nation’s career-and-employment opportunities.
The ProStart® National Certificate of Achievement (COA) is an industry-recognized certificate that signifies a strong foundation in the basic management and culinary skills considered critical to success by industry leaders.
This means you can be assured that a credentialed ProStart graduate is cross-trained in all aspects of a restaurant’s operations and is ready to hit the ground running. A student who has earned the COA has demonstrated a commitment to and knowledge of the industry, reducing turnover and training costs.
The ProStart National COA is your passport to the future. Earning the COA can give you a leg up in your job search, and opens the door to collegiate opportunities. Numerous restaurant, foodservice and hospitality programs offer benefits to ProStart graduates. These include scholarships, class credits and credit towards work experience requirements. To learn more about the benefits offered to ProStart graduates at more than 60 colleges and universities, download the National ProStart Collegiate Passport. (http://www.nraef.org/Public/Meet-ProStart/Passport)
Students who have completed the requirements of the ProStart program are awarded an industry-recognized certificate – the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement. To earn the certificate, students pass two national exams, demonstrate a mastery of foundational skills and work 400 mentored hours.
Students who receive the certificate are eligible for NRAEF scholarship opportunities and course credits at more than 75 of the country’s leading hospitality and culinary arts colleges and universities.
Students who successfully complete the ProStart final examination and ServSafe certification, while meeting the classroom and mentored internship requirements, will have a chance to earn college credit from numerous in-state and out-of-state postsecondary institutions. An articulation agreement encourages postsecondary education while avoiding duplication of efforts and classes for students, and in the long run, saving students time and money!
Arkansas ProStart students with proven skills and a commitment to the industry are given the chance to showcase their abilities in the Arkansas Student Invitational. The state ProStart competition is composed of two distinct competitions: the culinary and management competitions. The two winning teams, one culinary and one management, represent Arkansas at the National ProStart Invitational.
Teams participating in the culinary competition must demonstrate their creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course meal in only 60 minutes. Their performance during the practical session is observed and rated by judges from industry and leading colleges and universities.
Teams participating in the management competition demonstrate their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a restaurant proposal, delivering a verbal presentation, and applying critical thinking skills to challenges managers face in day-to-day operations. Their performance is observed and rated by judges from leading colleges and universities and industry professionals.
Thank you to the 2014 ProStart Student Competition Sponsors:
The National ProStart Invitational® is the country’s premier high school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. The 13th Annual National ProStart Invitational was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 3-5, 2014.
Top ProStart® students from 43 states and territories competed in the event. This talented group of students showcased their passion and skills in front of nearly 1,000 friends and family, educators and industry leaders. In addition to those who watched the competition on-site, nearly 10,000 people followed the event via a live stream.