Boise State University will launch its new hospitality program this fall.
The College of Business and Economics will offer a completely online program for people interested in joining the thriving hospitality industry. There will also be internship positions, which will not be online.
Over the past couple of years, resort towns across the state have been booming as outdoor recreation has become increasingly more popular in response to the COIVD-19 pandemic.
Leaders in the Idaho hospitality industry, such as Brundage Mountain Resort and Bogus Basin, were big advocates for bringing a large program to the state.
“This is a program that we developed in response to an industry request from the resort and hospitality industry. (I think what pushed that) was post COVID with everybody staying close to home, resorts (have) done really well. Particularly those in Idaho,” Boise State professor Dr. Kent Neupert said.
There are two paths a student or prospective student could take within the program.
One is a certificate that Neupert said would provide team and management skills for people within the hospitality industry. The certificate also offers internships. The program can be completed in one year.
The second is a two-year program to earn a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Management with an emphasis in Resort Hospitality Management. That program is for someone who has completed an associate’s degree in hospitality management or was in any two-year program. Within that program, students will learn leadership skills, financial understanding, financial analysis, and management skills.
“The certificate really allows them to get some basic learning that might move them to a team leader role or allow them to stand out for their employer,” Neupert said. “The bachelor’s degree, of course, allows them to have a lot more flexibility. So a way to advance themselves, increase your earning potential, give them a lot more professional flexibility.”
Neupert said with either program, students could participate in up to three internships to get hands-on experience in the field they are studying.
“I think it really gives people the flexibility to live and work in the communities where they want… in a way that also helps provide them with growth for their career,” Neupert said.