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Hospitality Conversations:

 Examining the Learning Options
 Available in the Hospitality Field

by John Hogan, July 6, 2010

Serving as a corporate educator in CHRIE (the Council for Hotel, Restaurant and, Institutional Educators) for six years, I had the opportunity to interact with many committed and caring professionals at a wide range of programs.  One needs only to conduct an online Google or Bing search to discover the incredible number and types of programs now available in hospitality education. Within that wide range of options, I decided to contact an educator I personally know who has been involved with a new, start-up program in Maryland.
Jennifer Calhoun, MBA CHE  has been involved in the hospitality field for over 20 years.  She served as the President of J&J Calhoun Associates, where she developed and facilitated workshops for all levels of staff  in tourism, hospitality and educational organizations.  She was also the Director of Seminar programs for the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, where she designed learning  programs that delivered measurable training focused on improving human performance for all levels of staff in the industry.
After earning her Master’s degree at the University of Central Florida, she wanted to direct her energy on a new project and she accepted the position as Director of the Hospitality and Tourism Institute at Prince Georges Community College ( in Largo. Maryland.  As with my most recent hospitality conversation with another educator, I wanted to address the dramatic changes in  the global shift in travel and employment opportunities . With that in mind, I asked the following questions about the students of today in community colleges:

Can you share an overview of the Community College Student of Today ? Will you describe a success story from your first graduating class?

There is no single profile of the “community college student of today”, but there are many components and descriptions.  We have working adults who are looking to advance their careers, as well as the more traditional student who was more recently a high school graduate. There are people who may have lost their job in the recent economic downturn and they are looking for ways to improve their competencies so their next position will be better. Others are looking to start their own hospitality businesses. We have several mothers and daughter studying together.  
We had our first graduate, Katrina Joynes in 2009, who graduated with a certificate in Hospitality Services Management.  Katrina  is one of seven children from Eastern Shores of Maryland, and the first graduate from college from her family.  She is currently the Sales Coordinator at the Hampton Inn and Suites at the National Harbor. Katrina is the first of our success stories, and there are others following.

How are these students preparing for the changes in regional or national hospitality?

In 2010, we had 12 graduates in certificates and Associate of Applied Science degrees. We are certainly preparing the next generation of hospitality workers by working closely with an Executive Advisory Board to identify changes and trends in the industry and incorporating these into academic and professional certification programs and courses.
Many programs have advisory boards.  How does your board actively show local support?
Active is the key word in the question.  We have a  24-member HTI Executive Advisory Board (EAB), which meets six times per year . This very diverse group reaches many sectors of the community including:

  • local employers, business owners and executives
  • trade association executives
  • state and county economic and workforce agency representatives,
  • college leaders,
  • public school representatives
  • industry and county stakeholders
Their focus is to collaborate on ways to contribute to defining HTI’s mission, vision, and goals.  They work  to contribute to the fulfillment of that mission including both short and long-range goals. Since its inception, three committees were formed based on the strategic plan focusing on: 

1. Image and Marketing
2. Education and Training
3. Funding and Scholarship

Professor Calhoun was recently honored for her work as director of the Prince George’s Community College’s Hospitality and Tourism Institute. She received the 2010 American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute’s Lamp of Knowledge Award for Outstanding US Educator at the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute’s Summer Summit in June 2010.
She is responsible for leadership, program planning, marketing, recruiting, and determining the Institute’s goals and curriculum development priorities.. She is the primary liaison between businesses, government agencies, and professional associations.

Professor Calhoun is a Founding Associate of a consortium of successful corporate and academic mentors delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing the hospitality industry. Services are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.

“ The most successful people are those who are good at plan B.”

James Yorke, Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics and Physics and chair
 of the Mathematics Department at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Keys to Success 
Hospitality Tip of the Week

Focus on Hotel Service
Use actual examples and case studies of both successful and poor examples of service to guests in training classes. Have different staff share these examples for a genuine impact on real world scenarios.


KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my new 2010 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings will focus on a wide variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles and HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS. My segments Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success will be featured at appropriate times in the year as well.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at [email protected] anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements …………. 

And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

Autographed copies of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES are available from THE ROOMS CHRONICLE,  and other industry sources. 

All rights reserved by John Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management.   The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication 

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.


Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
[email protected]

Also See: The Changing Landscape in Global Hospitality Education and Training / John Hogan / June 2010

How to Find the Right Manager to Effectively Lead Your Hotel / Dr John Hogan / May 2010

An Open Letter to Hospitality Students in their Junior Year / John Hogan / April 2010

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