As the Internet has grown in the past decade, we have seen how it has opened communication and learning beyond traditional methods.
People from around the world can chat and exchange ideas as if they were in the next cubicle. Now HFTP and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) have brought together experienced hospitality professionals who live many miles away from each other into a modern classroom setting to further study and enhance their understanding of the hospitality business. They will study together without having to host each other at their respective properties or in a blackboard-decorated classroom. Distance learning through the Internet will be their link.
UNLV, with input from HFTP, is offering a complete online hospitality masters program. Students will have the opportunity to earn an Executive Master of Hospitality (MHA) with a concentration in either hospitality technology or finance from one of the leading universities in graduate hospitality education. The program is designed to give hospitality professionals the opportunity to increase their professional value, without having to disrupt their own careers.
Distance learning, a modern-day version of correspondence courses, is a method for people to enhance their education through the Internet. The advantage to this type of advanced degree program is that enrolled professionals will not only be learning from one of the 50 hospitality faculty members at UNLV, but also from each other. This allows the students to bring in real situations and challenges into their classes, and in return, take solutions learned in class to the work place. The courses have been developed to include student/teacher interaction, as well as student to student interaction. To promote discussion among students, there is an interaction page with a bio and picture of all students who are participating. Students are also required to comment on each other’s assignments, and soon there will be conference discussions using hear-me technology.
The course is designed to run for two years, and to take about 10 hours a week. Besides the interaction between the students and professors, students also have online access to UNLV’s library journals. To complete the requirements for the degree, students must take seven required courses, and three supporting courses. The required courses are as follows:
Human Resources and Behavior in the Hospitality Industry—This course examines the many facets of employee relations and organizational behavior in the hospitality industry, with special attention to labor legislation, wage and salary administration and developing trends.
Financial Analysis for the Service Industries—This course will review problems and cases in applying accounting and financial information to executive decision-making in the hospitality industry.
Research Methodology—An examination of research methods including scientific methods, literature review, sampling, statistics, research design and analysis techniques.
Marketing Systems—The development of marketing and advertising systems for the hospitality industry based on both the need to create new markets and the need to respond to significant shifts in social and economic patterns.
Hospitality Service Management—Examines service marketing and management concepts relevant to the hospitality industry and explores how these concepts can be applied to service delivery systems in the hospitality industry.
Independent Study—A consultation course consisting of individual student effort under the guidance of the instructor. Students are assigned to investigate a topic in their own organization. This course will be based on action learning principles.
Professional Paper—A professional paper whose contents will serve as the focus for the final oral examination. Students are assigned to investigate a topic in their own organization. This course will be based on action learning principles.
In addition to these courses, students design a specialty for their degree by choosing three supporting courses in a specific area of concentration. These courses are custom created for the program, with input from HFTP. Additionally, participants do their independent study and their professional paper in their area of interest. With this mixture of coursework, half of the program’s credits relate directly to the student’s area of concentration.