I'm going for it
When DH gets back from his conference at the end of the week, we can talk finances. In the meantime, I'll do the application and get my college transcripts over there. It's an associate's degree in culinary arts from the culinary division of ECPI University, a for-profit school.
The admissions rep gave me a tour of the facilities; they have several kitchens and a bakery, as well as lecture and computer classrooms. They also have a receiving/storeroom where meats and produce come in and students break down everything from whole chickens to a side of beef. The school has several clubs, including gardening, media, and baking, and they encourage you to get involved with one or more of them, to get to know each other and expand your skills and knowledge in ways that interest you.
The program is 15 months long; it requires one long (10 weeks) or two short (5 weeks) externships to graduate. They help you get externships at local or "destination" food service locations, from restaurants to hospitals/nursing homes to amusement parks like Colonial Williamsburg or Disneyland.
I'm really excited about this. It's been a while since I felt this positive about something