Gateway Technical College has revamped its Hotel Hospitality Management associate degree program to give students a better educational experience and prepare them to enter their career with the skills to succeed -- move up the company ladder.
Students have the ability to enroll in the program now and courses will begin in Fall 2016 on the Racine Campus.
Three different career tracks provide students the ability to tailor their education to their career goals. The program also provides an even stronger focus on customer service in a “work friendly format” -- or a schedule and offerings which keep in mind that many students work while they attend college.
“Our program offers those soft skills which are very desirable to employers,” says instructor Elizabeth Dugan. “They include a sense of customer service, timeliness, urgency and the other foundations of the field of hospitality.”
Dugan says other skills tailored for the hospitality industry which students will gain include accounting, management, marketing, legal issues and leadership. Students will also perform or practice in simulated situations issues they would address as a manager in the field.
The three-part program benefits students new to the hospitality industry. Its strength, though, lies in its ability to provide skill training for the worker in the field now who is seeking a better position, or to be more proficient in the position they now hold.
“Many workers in the field need that degree to be able to work up the company ladder,” says Dugan. “Larger chain hotels also require a degree to work in many positions.”
Dugan points out the job field is a solid career option in the Gateway district – labor statistics put Walworth County, Racine County and Kenosha County in the top 10 of several different hospitality-related fields.
“We have a variety of hospitality sites in our district,” says Dugan. “From small mom-and-pop operations to the large hotels and resorts.”
Dugan says having a strong industry in the district helps graduates find positions locally, but also to have a closer look at the industry as part of their education.
All three degree tracks share common classes at the outset of a student entering the program.
Finally, students can qualify to take up to six industry certifications in their final semester, provided they have the proper work experience verifications.