BEND, Ore. – Oregon State University - Cascades is adding a new bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, filling a need for highly-skilled employees in one of Oregon’s most important industries.
OSU-Cascades will begin offering hospitality management classes in fall 2015. The multi-disciplinary degree program will prepare graduates for a wide range of hospitality careers within a corporate setting, in a hospitality operations setting, or as an entrepreneur. Among the possible career fields are hotel management, cruise operations, conference services, restaurant ownership, and food and beverage services. It is the only degree program of its kind in Oregon.
“We are thrilled to offer a program that will attract students and faculty, and provide talented interns and graduates for the lodging and restaurant industry in the state and region, ultimately increasing its significant contribution to Oregon's economy,” said Becky Johnson, vice president of OSU-Cascades.
The branch campus’s newest degree is the first four-year hospitality degree to be offered in Oregon in more than 20 years and will cater to the state’s hospitality and tourism industry, the second-largest industry in Oregon.
OSU-Cascades is an ideal location for a hospitality management program. Tourism and hospitality businesses are among the largest employers in Central Oregon and the industry is currently experiencing a surge in growth.
The hospitality management program will be led by Executive-in-Residence Todd Montgomery and will be offered through the OSU College of Business. The multi-disciplinary program will include classes in management, human resources, food and beverage operations, technology within the hospitality sector, and service delivery.
Students will also complete a business minor with courses in marketing and accounting, and be required to participate in internships and other work experience programs. The program is expected to draw interest from high school students, community college transfer students and culinary institute graduates.
“Our goal is to prepare our students for key positions in the hospitality industry in Central Oregon, throughout the state and beyond,” Montgomery said. “We want to give them the skills and tools they need to be leaders and innovators in the hospitality field.”
Budget cuts forced the closure of a similar hospitality degree program at OSU in the early 1990s; students then sought programs and careers outside of the state. Industry leaders in Oregon have been advocating for the program’s return and support from the state and local hospitality and tourism industry helped make the new degree possible. In 2012, the branch campus received gifts totaling $320,000 to develop the new program.