Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Dr. David Gladstone

Second Advisor

Dr. Pamela Jenkins

Third Advisor

Dr. Martha Ward

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Robert Harrington


As externships evolved from their vocational education roots into the university setting, both the course purposes and the expectations of student changed toward deeper learning. While the students’ responsibility for gaining knowledge has increased, teaching methods designed by educators to prepare students for more critically evaluated outcomes has not evolved at the same pace. Educators still grapple over how educational design can combine the structured teacher-centered learning strategy used in university classrooms with the learner-centered approach students typically utilize in for-profit culinary workplaces.

This dissertation is about culinary externships in the urban environment. The study examined the roles, reasoning, and behavior of culinary externship stakeholders: student externs, externship sites via their externship supervisors, and educators who facilitate externships under the academic rules and guidelines of both culinary bachelor programs and the rigor demanded by higher education. Further, the study explored what factors encouraged and empowered students to acquire durable knowledge from their externship experiences and the forms of social capital they use to invest in their experience, as well as the conditions that failed to secure durable knowledge from the externship.

The findings indicate that each stakeholder approaches an externship from their own working perspectives. Further, the ability of students to socialize, utilize agency to achieve their personal ends, bear the sole weight of evaluation, and acquire practical work experience prior to the externship yielded the best outcomes. Additional questions are posed and answered within the study.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.