New path for hospitality business management students

Illustration by Lerner College Staff

The employment of entertainment and sports occupations are projected to grow 22% from 2020 to 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, faster than the average for all occupations despite the major impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry. The University of Delaware has one of the best undergraduate hospitality programs in the world, with 97% of students employed or pursuing further education after graduation. This program is now opening its doors to allow even more qualified students the opportunity to find success as Blue Hens.

UD and Brookdale Community College (Brookdale) in Lincroft, New Jersey, recently signed a new agreement for the transfer of Brookdale Associate Degree Program in Hospitality Management and UD’s bachelor of science degree program in hospitality business management, housed in the Department of Hospitality and Sport Business Management at UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.

“This agreement will help our graduates achieve a seamless transfer to University of Delaware,” said David Stout, president, Brookdale Community College. “This is an important agreement which focuses on student success. We are always pleased to build new bridges toward four-year institutions and to assist our students in moving on toward advanced degrees.”

Bruce Weber, dean of UD’s Lerner College, said he looks forward to welcoming these Brookdale students to UD’s campus. “The Lerner College is thrilled to partner with Brookdale Community College to support the continued education of their outstanding hospitality management students through this agreement,” Weber said. “We know that this partnership will continue to advance our mission to deliver inspirational education and pioneering scholarship. Our efforts with Brookdale are driven by our will to build an inclusive community that beneficially transforms business and society.”

This agreement is the latest in UD’s efforts to expand opportunities for more students to experience the exceptional educational opportunities offered by UD through partnerships with other academic institutions. In December 2018, the University celebrated a historic first when UD President Dennis Assanis and the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE) President ZHUO Zhi partnered to create the SWUFE-UD Joint Educational Institute of Data Science. 

The Hospitality and Sport Business Management Department has also partnered with Delaware Technical Community College and is working toward similar articulation agreements with other institutions in Delaware and beyond. Starting this fall, the department began offering a dual-enrollment course for Delaware high schoolers, allowing them to experience a college-level hospitality course and earn college credit. These are just a few examples of the many ways that the Lerner College is working to foster intellectually curious and globally‐minded lifelong learners with a leadership mindset.

Committed to expanding educational opportunities, UD and Brookdale have agreed that graduates of the Brookdale hospitality management program who have completed the associate degree with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher will automatically be accepted into the hospitality business management baccalaureate program at UD.

“We are delighted to be working with Brookdale to expand the educational opportunities offered for the qualified BCC students to continue in UD’s hospitality business management major for their bachelor’s degree,” said Srikanth Beldona, chair of UD’s Department of Hospitality and Sport Business Management. “Our hospitality business management curriculum is based in business management, with specialized hospitality industry courses and experiential learning opportunities in our on-campus learning labs led by faculty with extensive industry experience and academic credentials.”

The hospitality industry was hit particularly hard during the coronavirus pandemic but future projections are positive and the industry is constantly changing and innovating. UD’s hospitality business management program is at the forefront of this innovation, preparing the future leaders in the hospitality industry to face any future challenges or opportunities that may arise. 

“Many of our students need a bachelor’s degree to advance in the workplace, and UD is interested in further enhancing the management skills of our graduates,” said Norah Kerr-McCurry, dean, Institute for Business and Social Sciences at Brookdale. “Our students, who choose to move on to this four-year institution, will be able to accelerate their educational journey through this new agreement.” 

UD’s hospitality program is consistently ranked as one of the best hospitality programs – large enough to lead and small enough to care personally for each student. They offer a variety of experiential learning opportunities in the hospitality industry including Vita Nova, a fine-dining student managed restaurant, the Courtyard Newark at the University of Delaware hotel, study abroad opportunities, and career fairs and networking events with four-star companies.