The Clark State Community College Agriculture Department will offer a new course of study in Food Science and Technology beginning in the fall semester of this year. Students will receive an Associate of Applied Science and will have a transfer pathway option to The Ohio State University upon completion and graduation.
Business and Applied Technology consultant Tonja Kunzler is coordinating the program for Clark State. She said food science is a growing industry. “People are becoming much more knowledgeable and educated about their food. People are paying more attention to what is in their food,” she said.
The program was developed from a collaborative analysis of information received from the Global Impact STEM Academy and feedback from industry professionals. The Food Science program will be housed in the former South High School location in Springfield, Ohio.
The Food Science program will offer six new courses: Introduction to Food Science, Introduction to Food Processing, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, Food Marketing, Food Laws and Regulations and Advanced Topics in Food Science.
“Advanced Topics in Food Science is a culmination class,” said Kunzler. “Students will use all of their information to create a product, package it, create processes, research laws and regulations and present it to the class.”
A complimentary curriculum of general education requirements has also been developed for students studying food science. Kunzler said the program will prepare students to work as food science technicians in food processing, quality assurance or even receiving. “You’re creating new products; you’re trying to meet the mass quantities while fulfilling consumer health requirements.”
Kunzler said Clark State is reaching out to STEM program students about the new Food Science program. “Food Science will be a great option for students,” said Kunzler. “The program will provide a new and exciting avenue of science for students to pursue.”
The Food Science and Technology program is currently pending approval from the Ohio Board of Regents, but once in place Aimee Belanger-Haas, interim dean of Business and Applied Technologies, said students will be able to choose a career path based on their interest.
“There are a multitude of good paying career fields in food science,” said Belanger-Haas. “They can develop and improve foods, alter a food product’s nutritional value, flavor, texture or appearance, as well as its packaging and production processes. The possibilities are endless.”