LA PLATA, Md. (Sept. 2, 2009)—The College of Southern Maryland will offer hospitality, food service, and front office operations courses starting Tuesday, Sept. 8. College officials cite anticipated growth in area tourism jobs as the rationale for the new offerings.
"Nationally, 25,000 new hospitality management positions are created each year, but only 5,000 people graduate with degrees in hospitality management," said College of Southern Maryland Associate Professor and Hospitality Management Program Coordinator Bill Williams. With anticipated growth in the hospitality industry in the next five years, according to the National Restaurant Association, that gap in trained managers will only widen, Williams said.
"We recognize that hospitality management is a high-demand career, especially within the metropolitan D.C. area," said CSM Chair of Business and Technology Division Jeff Tjiputra. "We want to give our students and the Southern Maryland community the benefit of a degree program that will put them at the front of the line when hotels, resorts and restaurants are hiring."
To meet that need, CSM will offer an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Hospitality Management beginning with three new courses this fall.
Developing the hospitality management curriculum, with more than 30 years of experience in hospitality instruction, educational program management and operational training, Williams was most recently director of education and workforce development for the Connecticut Hospitality Educational Foundation.
Williams served as dean and associate professor at University of New Haven Tagliatela School of Hospitality and Tourism where he implemented a service learning requirement to enable students to engage in pre-professional real-world experiences and built an industry-endorsed credentialing system for use in developing academic coursework and practical work experiences.
A former member of the board of directors of the Connecticut Restaurant Association and member of the Council on Hotel and Restaurant Trainers, Williams received his bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant management and master's degree in industrial relations from the University of New Haven in West Haven, Conn.
"The growth in tourism in Southern Maryland is what drew me to this job," said Williams. "The proximity of the new National Harbor and Washington, D.C. convention facilities provides many career opportunities for Southern Maryland residents. I am excited to bring my knowledge of the hospitality industry and curriculum development to CSM."
"Many businesses in the hospitality industry hire from within," said Executive Director of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce Ken Gould. "The idea that CSM has created a program to address the training needs of Southern Maryland businesses is fabulous."
Beginning this fall, CSM's La Plata Campus will offer three core hospitality management classes. Introduction to Hospitality Management, HPM 1015 meeting on Mondays from 7:15 to 10 p.m., will introduce students to the broad spectrum of the leisure services industry including food service, lodging, travel/tourism, recreation, gaming and entertainment, meetings and conventions.
Managing Service in Food and Beverage Operations (HPM 1210) meeting on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 3:50 p.m. introduces students to commonly used practices/principles that food service professionals use to create and deliver guest-driven service and build guest loyalty. Students will learn how every aspect of food service operation contributes to the guest experience.
Managing Front Operations (HPM 1110) meeting on Wednesdays from 7:15 to 10 p.m. presents students with a systematic approach to managing the front office by examining critical management functions, interdepartmental dynamics and guest satisfaction at hotels, resorts and timeshare properties. The course looks at business forecasting, budget planning, automated systems and the effects of blogging and social networking.
All classes begin Sept. 8 and include classroom lectures, guest speakers, hands-on applications and trips to area facilities.
In addition to the hospitality management courses, the program will have a required summer internship with a major national corporation such as Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Disney, or with one of 50 opportunities under development.
"These can be life-changing," said Williams of the internship experiences. "Work experience with an established national employer is hands-down the best way to enter the hospitality industry."
CSM's program will also develop co-op education courses with establishments in Southern Maryland. At the end of the program's second year, there will be an opportunity for students to choose an 'externship' with a major national corporation before transferring to a bachelor degree program. Articulation agreements for Maryland state colleges offering bachelor's degrees in hospitality management are in development.
"Restaurant sales are expected to increase 2.5 percent nationally in 2009 to $565 billion-that's $1.5 billion a day-and that has not gone down even during tough economic times. Maryland's restaurant industry is also expecting an increase in restaurant sales this year-totaling $8.3 billion in sales," said Williams.
According to Williams there are 24.4 jobs created for every $1 million spent in the hospitality industry. Between 2010 and 2019, Maryland expects a 12 percent growth in restaurant food and beverage employment said Williams, who added that he wants Southern Marylanders trained to fill those jobs.
For information on CSM's Hospitality Management Program, visit http://www.csmd.edu/BAT/BUS/HospitalityManagement.htm, or contact Williams at whwilliams1(at)csmd.edu .