Food Education

Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food, an academic division NorthWest Arkansas Community College, is America’s first regional cooking school. Our focus is hyper-localized and holistic, traversing the entire food experience from crop to cuisine. Infused with artisanal methods like butchery and distillery, Brightwater’s programming offers education and experience previously only acquired through apprenticeship. Brightwater offers students a dynamic educational experience in Culinary Arts, Artisanal Food, Pastry & Baking, and Beverage Management by delivering a combination of technical skills, broad industry knowledge, and specialty cultural exposure.

In partnering with The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University, Brightwater provides fusion programming that combines the studies of nutrition, nursing and culinary arts, allowing students to study food through the lens of wellness.

Academic & Assessment InnovationScholarships
Bread Roll With Flour Sprinkles

Academic & Assessment Innovation

Brightwater will change the paradigm of culinary arts education in the United States through the use of technology, micro-credentialing, e-portfolios, and competency-based education. The curricular pillars emphasized in every course include food systems, entrepreneurship, inquiry-based learning, professionalism, cost control, and food safety. Furthermore, the potential for collaboration is boundless with three neighboring educational institutions—The Thaden School, Bentonville’s Ignite Program, and Crystal Bridges’ new modern art facility, which focuses on the visual arts, performance arts, and the culinary arts.

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Cloves Of Garlic


At Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food, we are committed to offering an immersive, affordable culinary experience. To accomplish this goal, we offer a number of scholarships thanks to a number of generous individuals and organizations throughout our community.

Financial Aid

At Brightwater : A Center for the Study of Food, we have several resources available to students in need of financial assistance.

The Financial Aid Office administers the Title IV federal aid program that includes the Pell grant, Federal Direct Student Loan program, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity grant, and the Federal Work-Study program.

To apply for Federal Financial aid, you must first complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid to determine your eligibility for Federal financial assistance.

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