I starter in culinary arts when I was in the 9th grade. Now I’m a millionaire. Not much to it if you have a good work ethic and willingness to learn outside of your traditional classroom. And in some schools you can even receive credits for working/Volunteering out of school.
The standards in culinary programs are high, and hands-on training can be a blessing majority of times , mainly for you to survive in culinary industry - commitment in order to practice , determination and perfect cooking techniques are a must . In my honest opinion i would recommend you to enroll in a culinary institute to understand "The Culinary Arts" in a broader view.
All the Best Shane .