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School of Hospitality to offer an online graduate degree

Georgia State’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality announced on Oct. 23 it will offer an online graduate degree in hospitality management starting fall 2015, according to a University release.

The one-year online graduate program is the first to be offered by the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, according to the release.

“Intended for established hospitality professionals, and for those new to the discipline, the online program will offer the same rigorous coursework as the traditional degree program,” the release states.

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The course curriculum will include financial management applications in hospitality enterprises, global trends in the food service industry and sustainable operations in hospitality, according to Robinson’s website.

Debra Cannon, director of the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration, said the one-year online curriculum will offer the same courses as the traditional the in-class program and in the same sequence.

“The one-year program is consistent with our current cohort in-person program,” she said.

The coursework involved also earns students a Certificate in Sustainable Hospitality Management, according to Robinson’s website.

Cannon said the specific coursework comprising the certificate will include examining the facets of sustainable energy, recycling and using locally grown and produced materials.

The focus is designed to involve and train employees for engagement in sustainable work behaviors, according to Cannon.

Cannon also said methods of industry sustainability that are being taught are already used by successful businesses in Atlanta such as Ted’s Montana Grill.

“Our focus is the return on Investment of sustainability for hospitality businesses and what makes business sense for being proactive in protecting the environment while also making a business financially sustainable,” Cannon said.

She also said online graduate degrees will create flexibility for working professionals already in the hospitality industry who feel they are unable to enroll in a Master’s program.

Last year, the school conducted a survey of its enrolled undergraduates and most responded saying they preferred the online option. Approximately 35 students then admitted to the program, according to Cannon.

“The online program will offer flexibility since coursework can be completed whether it is midnight or 5 a.m.,” she said.

The School of Hospitality Administration is also expecting to see significant interest in the program from current undergraduate students, according to Cannon.

“We have lost several students who were admitted (to the in-class program), had paid their deposits and planned to start the graduate program but then were relocated to another part of the country or world,” she said.

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