Profile on the PIUS Culinary & Business Centre
If you thrive on the creative energy of the kitchen and crave the excitement of a fast-paced environment that will lead to a stimulating career in the culinary industry, then St. Pius X Culinary Institute in Ahuntsic is the place for you. Equally, if the fascinating corporate world entices you to prepare for a career in business, the business sector of Pius invites you to choose from its different commercial programs that will lead you to a rewarding career. Pius also offers you the chance to sit back and enjoy a fine meal in the warm ambiance of its dining room. There is something for everyone here!
The Pius Culinary & Business Centre on Papineau Avenue North boasts 12 vocational training programs, answering to the recent surge in popularity of trade schools. On the culinary side, it offers Professional Cooking, Food and Beverage Services and Contemporary Professional Pastry Making (a four- month program taken after the completion of the culinary program). The business programs include Accounting, Professional Sales, Travel Sales, Starting a Business, Secretarial Studies, Legal Secretarial Studies, Hotel Reception and Computer Graphics.
Depending on the program, the prerequisites for admission to Pius range from Secondary III to V English, French and Math. Most Pius students are 18 years and older and are interested in a vocational career. All programs at Pius are tuition free.
The culinary program trains over 300 students per year in day and evening programs which run anywhere from 12 to 16 months and cover 24 modules including Buffet, High Volume and Table d’hôte. Graduates are prepared to work in restaurants, hotels, hospitals, health care and educational institutions.
Real-life experience is gained in the Pius dining room, open to paying customers for lunch from Wednesday to Friday and dinner on Thursday and Friday. Meals are prepared in conjunction with the service module being studied at the time. Students aim to meet the expectation of diners and are provided with critical feedback which is taken very seriously at the administrative and educational level.
The culinary program includes two internships per student. While Pius provides leads for these field experiences, students are encouraged to find internships on their own, allowing them the opportunity to market themselves and gain independence and confidence while proving themselves in the industry.
The Pius culinary staff is comprised of many talented chefs with a variety of gastronomic experiences. Most chefs have completed their certification in vocational education or are currently pursuing their certificate.
At Pius, students with special needs are integrated into the program and teachers adapt their teaching to their students’ needs. “We believe in inclusive education and our teachers are there in order to provide education to diverse learners,” shared Pius Vice-Principal Demetrios Giannacopoulos.
Pius hosts events that provide its students hands-on experience, such as the EMSB Career Fair and the Chairman’s Luncheon at Christmas. As well, Pius recently hosted a Work Orientation Training Path mentorship workshop and a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the EMSB headquarters. It will host a fundraiser for both Cedarcrest Elementary School in St. Laurent and Galileo Adult Centre in Montreal North.
The Pius Business Centre’s programs are also unique, boasting state-of-the-art classrooms where information and communication technologies (ICT) are part of the preparation and delivery of the teaching/learning activities. Teachers teach students to use ICT to develop competence and acquire knowledge, and effectively and creatively integrate technology into learning and evaluation situations.
Wherever possible, hands-on experience is offered through the learning modules. For example, students in the hotel reception program have access to a mock reception room that creates an authentic learning environment in which students can practice the skills they have acquired. Teachers keep up-to-date with the changes in curriculum and make every effort to address students’ individual learning needs. When students are ready for their internships, they are confident in their abilities.
Pius is the only EMSB vocational centre that offers both Professional Sales, Travel Sales, and Hotel Reception. All business programs have a practical component where students must complete an internship. Many students find jobs in the companies where they have completed their field experience.
The Computer Graphics, Secretarial and Accounting programs are vibrant parts of the centre that attract many students. Here too, state-of-the-art technology is used in the creation and teaching of the modules. Students are provided with on-line resources (such as websites) to facilitate their learning.
For information on Pius’ programs, or to make a reservation for lunch or dinner, visit www.piuscentre.com.