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Council of trustees advances Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism to Harrisburg for approval

Hannah Shumsky, Rocket Contributor

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On March 22, the SRU Council of Trustees voted to advance the new Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism (MSHTM) Program to the Office of the Chancellor for final approval.

The MSHTM Program was designed to fulfill the demand for more education within the industry, according to James Dombrosky, assistant professor of hospitality, event management and tourism. Recent national events, including Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, reflect the need for competent management.

“It’s the need for management that has the ability to make decisions, to think critically, to think analytically to do everything they can to prevent these kinds of things from happening,” Dombrosky said.

This will be the first program of its kind in the PASSHE system. The MSHTM is the only online program within 350 miles, with the closest programs being Temple University and Johnson & Wales University. Penn State and Kent State are the only regional programs within 150 miles, and the MSHTM provides an opportunity to fulfill this regional gap.

According to Dombrosky, the part-time MSHTM program is designed for students with full-time employment and is expected to appeal specifically to “career advancers and career switchers.”

“We’ve learned from talking to other master’s degrees programs in this field that they get a lot of students enrolled who majored in something outside of hospitality and tourism,” Dombrosky said. “The career advancers are those who did major in hospitality and tourism, but they want to accelerate their career advancement and/or expand their opportunities.”

This 30-credit program will be offered online, with students taking six credits in the spring and fall semesters and three credits in the summer for two full years. Courses include: Global Dynamics of Tourism; Leadership and Management for Hospitality and Tourism; Performance Management for Hospitality and Tourism; Financial Fundamentals for Hospitality and Tourism; Marking for Hospitality and Tourism; Revenue Optimization for Hospitality and Tourism; Service Management for Hospitality and Tourism; Hospitality Business Law and Risk Management; Meetings, Conferences, and Event Management; and Master’s Project for Hospitality and Tourism.

Before the program can be implemented, Karen Whitney, interim chancellor of PASSHE, must grant approval. A decision is expected within 30 days. If approved, the MSHTM program will begin in the spring 2019 semester.

“We really feel that it will provide increased opportunities for students, provide needed management in the industry and for the region and enhance the reputation of the Slippery Rock Hospitality Program, both undergraduate and graduate,” Dombrosky said.

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Council of trustees advances Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism to Harrisburg for approval