School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Meredith Park


Career Development, Career Progression, Constructivism, Culinary Education, Experientialism, Job Placement


Education | Vocational Education


The purpose of this experiential phenomenological study was to describe the experience of a formal culinary education and its impact on job placement, job satisfaction, and career progression for culinary school graduates who are also members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF). The theory guiding this study was experientialism focusing on construction of knowledge as proposed by Kolb’s experiential learning theory. Kolb’s theory directly relates to the vocational nature of the culinary profession and helped to answer the research question: How do participants value a culinary education in relationship to job placement, job satisfaction, and overall career progression? The sample size consisted of 15 participants from the local chapter of the ACF. The site was the location of the monthly chapter meeting. Data was collected through individual interviews, participant journals, and workplace observations. Data analysis utilized principles of experiential phenomenology to gain a thorough understanding of participant experiences. The result of this phenomenological study was the discovery of three major themes: passion, work experience, and knowledge, and creation of a related acronym for these themes, PWEK.