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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.

For Industry

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. 

For Students

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.

Earning the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement

To earn the ProStart National COA, a student must pass the National Restaurant Association’s Year 1 and Year 2 exams, and complete 400 hours of mentored work experience.

From how to hold a knife properly to ensuring your restaurant makes money, Foundations of Restaurant Management & Culinary Arts teaches you what you need to start a career in restaurants.  The textbooks give you:

  • An insider’s look at working in restaurants
  • Exciting labs to practice your skills

The curriculum blends front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house content in two textbooks.  Starting with an overview of the industry, you’ll move into kitchen essentials – including equipment and culinary techniques – and management essentials like communication and customer service. 

You’ll spend time in the kitchen honing your ability to cook restaurant quality meals and learn how to keep your guests coming back.  You’ll become immersed in hot topics within the industry, such as sustainability and global cuisines.  Just as important, you’ll become armed with the skills to find and keep a job within the restaurant industry.

Access the companion sites:

Level 1 Companion site:

Level 2 Companion site:


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