GCC to offer new Hospitality and Tourism Certificate in fall 2013
Posted on Thursday January 17th 2013
Starting in the Fall semester 2013, Greenfield Community College’s Business & Information Technology Department will offer a one-year certificate in Hospitality and Tourism. The Hospitality and Tourism Certificate (HOT) is part of the Business & Information Technology Department’s response to workforce needs in the region. The HOT Certificate is “stackable,” meaning that students will be able to apply their certificate to the Business Administration Transfer Associate degree option or the Liberal Arts Hospitality and Tourism Associate degree option. Both of the Liberal Arts degrees are part of GCC’s articulation agreement with the University of Massachusetts and may be applied toward a bachelor’s degree program at UMass.
Speaking about the need for the HOT Certificate, Kathy Vranos, Co-Chair of GCC’s Business & Information Technology Department said, “Tourism is a strong part of our regional economy. This certificate program gives people a stepping stone into this industry. We checked with area employers about whether this would be a desirable educational foundation for potential employees and we heard a resounding ‘YES!’ This one-year certificate is a milestone part-way through a student’s pursuit of further education. While our goal is for students to continue their education beyond the certificate level, we recognize that our students work part-time while attending GCC. This free-standing certificate will help them get growth-oriented employment in their chosen field and ‘stacks’ into two degrees.”
Entry-level jobs in the Hospitality and Tourism field include front desk work in a hotel with growth potential for assistant management tracks, event planning coordinator positions, and restaurant server positions with growth potential to management. Many GCC students have expressed interest in working in hotels, casinos, restaurants, and related hospitality and tourism businesses.
Sher Hruska, GCC’s Chief Academic and Student Affairs Officer, said, “GCC is surrounded by a gorgeous area rich with memorable tourism opportunities. We are pleased to be able to offer the new Hospitality and Tourism certificate as a way to enhance area services and also to provide this educational and professional stepping stone for students who seek to complete a two or four-year degree in the future. A strong, experienced faculty will be providing this new program.”
GCC President Bob Pura said, “This is an exciting development that meets the needs of our students and our community. This certificate helps students learn skills needed for an entry-level position AND provides the basis for pursuing an associate degree and beyond. This certificate is also a good fit for our community. Hospitality and Tourism are vibrant and growing areas of our economy, part of the region’s creative economy. Our hospitality and tourism program reflects the focus on sustainability in our region, including superb restaurants committed to supporting local farms and serving locally grown food.”
The HOT Certificate is the first of six new workforce certificates under development by GCC’s Business & Information Technology Department. Like the HOT certificate, when formally approved, all of them will be both free-standing certificates and “stackable” toward associate degrees. All of these new certificates are being developed in response to projected labor demands in our region. When available, these certificates will open up a number of new pathways toward associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees.
For information about the HOT Certificate and the Business and Information Technology Department, contact: Kathy Vranos, (413) 775-1471, firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Mary McClintock, ’82