Food Service Assistant

Technical Diploma
Hospitality and Tourism Cluster Icon

Why choose Food Service Assistant?

  • Quickly earn a diploma while continuing to work toward the full associate degree.
  • Culinary experiences have reemerged as a desire among consumers post-pandemic, and there is regional demand for workers to serve in food service roles.
  • This program is the perfect first step to launching your career in the culinary arts, a career included in the Wisconsin Technical College System Top 50 High Demand Fields List (2014–2024).
  • A career in culinary offers many different specialty areas and roles, where you can use your creativity to provide a great dining experience for consumers.
Earning a technical diploma in food service is a great way to explore a career in culinary arts. If you love food and getting creative in the kitchen, you can develop the skills needed to launch your career in this exciting and rewarding field.

Program Locations

Wisconsin Rapids Campus
500 32nd Street North
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494

What You'll Learn

Mid-State’s Food Service Assistant technical diploma program provides the entry-level skills needed for employment in the food service industry. Students will learn and practice skills in cooking, nutrition, menu planning, and serving. All courses count toward Mid-State’s Culinary Arts associate of applied science (AAS) program.

During this program you will experience a hands-on learning environment. Whether you’re preparing food in our state-of-the-art Culinary Kitchen lab or serving food to guests in our Gourmet Café, you’ll gain valuable industry knowledge to prepare you for real-life experiences. Start by learning about food science, which provides valuable information about the nutrition, makeup, preparation, and preservation of the food we eat. Then practice your culinary skills by preparing recipes using a wide variety of techniques and ingredients. Finally, earn your industry-recognized ServSafe Manager Certification.

Estimated Entire Program Cost

Cost based on the 2023/24 academic year.

  • Tuition & Fees: $3,563.10
  • Books: $594.85
  • Supplies, Uniforms, and/or Exams: $443.50
  • Total Estimated Cost: $4,601.45

Financial Aid Eligibility

This program is eligible for prorated Financial Aid based on length of program and/or number of credits. Aid may not be enough to cover all program costs.

Cost of Attendance

Learn more about Cost of Attendance, an estimated budget that includes categories of expenses a student can expect to incur while attending. 

This course has options available to receive credit for prior learning (CPL) or work experience.

Term: 1
  Catalog# Title Credits
  10316112 Sanitation for Foodservice Operations  1
  10316121 Food Science 2
  10316125 Introduction to Food Production  3
  10316126 Culinary Applications 2
  Term Total   8 Credits
Term: 2
  Catalog# Title Credits
  10316128 Introduction to Foodservice 3
  10316129 Culinary Internship 2
  10316130 Introduction to Baking 2
  10316138 Garde Manger 3
  Term Total   10 Credits
  Program Total   18 Credits



Chef Ryan graduated Phi Theta Kappa with his culinary arts associate degree from Nicolet College. He holds certifications in culinary assistant, hospitality and restaurant management, controlling foodservice, and baking. Ryan has spent most of his working life in the restaurant industry, having progressed up the ranks in both kitchens and dining rooms to ultimately owning and running a successful restaurant in northern Wisconsin. He has a continued passion for the industry, which he is excited to instill in his students. Prior to teaching full-time for Mid-State he also taught part-time at Nicolet College.

“Knowledge is much like working in the hospitality industry—it doesn’t do us any good to hold it just for ourselves. Sharing our experience and talent with others makes the world a better place. This is my reward for being an educator. I not only get to share my knowledge but also get pushed to grow and learn from my students and other industry professionals. I am always pleased to see where our graduates end up after their training!”


  • Cook
  • Food Service Worker
  • Food Service Specialist
  • Line Cook
  • Sous Chef


High school students are eligible to enroll in this program and all courses required. Learn more about Mid-State Fast-Track.

“As the owner of a coffee shop and café... I am in this business to be able to offer an exceptional experience to my customers, and I can only do that with a strong team that is well-trained in food safety, kitchen operations, and efficient use of café resources. I'm excited by the opportunity to be a part of any culinary or hospitality student's journey to the career they are working towards."


Choose Your Path

Career pathways help you take your education one step at a time to maximize your investment and make college fit your life. Earn a credential and start using it in the workforce. Continue with another stack of related courses to gain a more advanced diploma or degree.

TransferDual CreditCredit for Prior Learning

Food Service Assistant Pathway