The Culinary Institute of America

  • Frequently Asked Questions for Parents

    What do I do if my son/daughter is having issues with his/her current roommate?

    For many of our students, sharing a room with someone may be a new experience. It can be both challenging and rewarding. While we believe it is an important opportunity for students to learn to resolve issues on their own, we are always available to help and support the resolution of any issues or concerns. If your son/daughter tells you they are having problems with their roommate, we suggest you start by doing the following:

    • Ask them if they have tried talking to their roommate about the problem. You might be surprised to learn how many students never share their concerns with their roommate.
    • Suggest they speak with their Resident Assistant (RA) or Residence Director (RD). Most of the time, concerns can be resolved during a conversation between the roommates. Our Residence Life staff is trained to help facilitate those conversations and help students resolve their issues.
    • If attempts have been made to resolve the situation and it simply does not seem to be working, your son/daughter may request a room change by going to the RA/RD office, located within their residence hall, and speaking with the RD responsible for their building.

    Please note: Due to our constant flow of students leaving and arriving on campus every three weeks, a room change can often take up to six weeks to take place. And that change is based on whether or not we have a room available.

    What happens on Move-in Day?

    • All new students move into their residence hall from 1–5 p.m. the day before they are expected to start New Student Orientation or Returning Extern Orientation.
    • When you arrive on campus, go directly to the residence hall that your son/daughter has been assigned, where a member of the Welcome Team will greet you.
    • While your son/daughter goes with one of the RAs to check into their room, the Welcome Team will help you unload your son/daughter's belongings to a staging area.
    • Once your son/daughter completes check-in, the Welcome Team will help you move your son/daughter into his/her room.
    • That evening, your son/daughter will take part in a Campus Tour, a New Student Meeting, and a Pizza Social with the Residence Life staff who work in their residence hall.
    • Parents will attend a Parent Meeting while their students are on the campus tour.

    Please Note: If you are planning on doing anything with your son or daughter after they have moved into their room, we suggest that you do so before 5 p.m. or after 9 p.m. so that they do not miss any of the important activities planned for them on that day.

    Can we bring extra furniture for my student's residence hall room?

    In accordance with New York State Fire Safety Regulations and our own school policies which are designed to make our residence halls as safe as possible, we do not allow any furniture to be brought in to the residence halls from the outside. Your son/daughter will have the following pieces of furniture in their room:

    • An extra-long (XL) twin bed
    • A student desk with chair and built-in bookcase
    • A dresser
    • A built-in closet or a stand-alone wardrobe

    For more information, please follow this link.

    Does my son/daughter need to move out of their residence hall during summer and winter breaks?

    The residence halls close down two times each year; summer break (last week of July and the first two weeks of August) and winter break (starting the weekend before Christmas and ending after January 1). The actual dates can be viewed on the Academic Calendar. When the college is closed for these two breaks, your son/daughter must leave the campus, but they do not have to move their belongings from their room. The only time(s) that your son/daughter needs to move their belongings out of their room is when they leave for externship and when they graduate from either the associate or bachelor's degree programs.

    What time does my son/daughter need to be out of the residence hall when leaving for externship, school breaks, or after graduation?

    Students are expected to be out of the residence halls no later than 10 a.m. the day after their last class. Typically this means that they need to be checked out of their room by 10 a.m. on Saturday.

    Is there extra storage available for my student to use on campus? Can they store extra items in their room?

    Students are allowed to store items under their bed and in their room closet. Typically, the rooms are not designed for storage. Too many items in the room can prevent egress and access during an emergency, which is against New York State Fire Code. Guardian Storage, a private company located less than a mile from the college, is where students can rent storage units of various sizes. This can be very helpful when a student is leaving on externship and doesn't want to bring all of their items home, only to have to move them back after their externship is completed.

    Does my student need a car on campus?

    As with any college campus, parking is always a challenge. We don't encourage students to bring a car to campus during their first year. The college provides two main transportation options for students who do not have a car on campus—Weekend Bus Service and Hertz 24/7.

    Weekend Bus Service
    Every Saturday during the school year, the college provides a bus that travels along Route 9. It picks up students at the college and makes stops at various shopping plazas before making its way back to the college. Students can ride this bus for $1 each time or they can purchase a semester-long pass for $5, which is good for unlimited use of the bus on the weekends.

    Hertz 24/7
    The college has partnered with Hertz to provide students with access to a vehicle on an hourly basis. Students sign up for a free account through the Hertz 24/7 website and can reserve a car to use any time for as little as $8 per hour (gas and insurance is included in the price). This can be very helpful when students want to go to the mall, go on a day trip to nearby cities and towns, or just go grocery shopping. We encourage students to sign up for their free account before they arrive on campus, as it can take up to 10 business days to receive the required Key Fob necessary for access to the rental cars. There is no cost if a student has no occasion to use their account.

    What is the size of my student's room?

    Please follow the links below to see what a typical room looks like based on the residence hall that your son/daughter has been assigned to:

    What resources are available to help my son/daughter be successful at The Culinary Institute of America?

    The primary objective of the offices within Student Affairs and Academic Affairs is to ensure that your son/daughter will graduate from the CIA and go on to pursue a successful career. To achieve that objective, there are numerous resources available. Aside from the individual faculty and chefs your student will be working with every day, we suggest that your son/daughter make connection with the following resources:

    Within each residence hall the Office of Residence Life employs resident assistants (RAs) and residence directors (RDs). RAs are student leaders who serve as valuable resources for all students. They are full-time students so they can answer a lot of questions about the various classes and instructors on campus. RDs are full-time professionals with college degrees who are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the residence hall and can help students connect with all of the proper resources on campus.

    The Library Learning Commons
    Professional staff, services, and resources are available to students looking for help to advance their skills and get the most from their CIA education. Services include:

    • Individual and group study areas that are perfect for studying or collaborating
    • Tutoring services
    • Guidance with writing, math, and other academic courses
    • A custom-designed kitchen space for practicing knife cuts and piping skills
    • Availability of mentors
    • Disability services
    • Learning, study, test-taking, and time management strategies
    • Library research assistance
    • Workshops

    Whatever a student needs, our friendly staff is available to help. The Library Learning Commons is on the fourth floor of the Conrad N. Hilton Library.

    If your son/daughter needs resources beyond those provided by The Library Learning Commons, the staff there will connect them with proper additional resource.

    If my son/daughter has been seeing a therapist and/or psychiatrist at home, how can I help him/her set up appropriate care while they are at school?

    You can call the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at 845-905-4241 to request a confidential consultation with one of the therapists. Or, if you are planning a campus visit, call CAPS in advance to arrange a meeting for you and your son/daughter to discuss the transition to college.

    Please note: If your son/daughter will be under the age of 18 when they come to the CIA, we ask that you sign a consent form for them to receive confidential counseling services on campus. We find that many students need a place to talk in confidence, and having your consent already on file makes it easier for them to speedily access our services. The consent form can be found online.

    If you have any other questions, please feel free to e-mail us at and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.

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