Friday, December 9, 2016

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San Diego State University Creates New School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

By Gina Speciale

San Diego State University has created the nation’s newest School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

The program, established in 2001, was elevated to the status of an official SDSU school by the Faculty Senate at its meeting earlier this month, in recognition of the program’s growth, major presence in the San Diego business community and high academic standards.

The new school will now include what were formerly the hospitality and tourism management program and the department of recreation, to collectively serve more than 700 students with 10 full-time and 11 part-time faculty members.  Carl Winston, director of the current HTM program, will serve as the first director of the new school.

“Creating a school from our existing hospitality and tourism management and recreation academic offerings reflects both the maturity of these programs and the significant role these areas of economic endeavor occupy in the San Diego’s business community,” said SDSU President Stephen L. Weber.

The new school will be housed in the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts (PSFA), with students continuing to take courses both in the College of Business and PSFA.

“Hospitality, tourism and recreation are cornerstones of San Diego’s economy, “said Joyce Gattas, dean of the college of PSFA. “Through the creation of this new school, SDSU is better poised to ensure a steady stream of well-trained young business people to help San Diego maintain its competitive edge in these important fields of study and work.”

The two academic functions represented by the new School of Hospitality and Tourism Management have a distinguished history at SDSU.   The department of recreation has graduated hundreds of students since its creation in the early 1960s, and the six-year old HTM program has already exceeded its initial goal of 450 students enrolled.

“We are deeply appreciative of the recognition the university has bestowed upon us, as the HTM program has matured so rapidly,” Winston said. “We recognize fully that without the phenomenal support of the business community, we would not be where we are today.”

The business community, both locally and nationally, has been a major provider of internships, guest lecturers and funding for the HTM program, Winston said.  Currently, HTM students are required to have two paid, supervised internships to graduate.  Students in the program typically graduate with nearly 2,000 hours of work experience.

Students in the new school can earn a degree in either hospitality management, with an emphasis in one of four areas or in recreation and tourism management, with in an emphasis in one of three areas.  Students studying hospitality management must maintain a 3.0 grade-point-average throughout their freshman and sophomore-level study, the highest academic performance requirement of any hospitality school.