North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has extended its partnership with Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech), building on its current Hospitality and Tourism Administration program and helping to create a pipeline for the next generation of hospitality and tourism professionals.

Starting in fall of 2018, NCCU will welcome students with an associate’s degree from the Wake Tech hospitality program into upper-level courses for the Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Administration. This agreement provides a seamless transition from community college into the NCCU School of Business and a chance to complete their B.S. in two years.

NCCU will grant full academic credit for approximately 60 hours of courses earned through Wake Tech’s Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management program, as well as support services and access to NCCU resources, such as the Darden Laboratory, a culinary teaching laboratory.

“NCCU is grateful to enhance our partnership with Wake Technical Community College to continue to offer top-notch educational and experiential opportunities that are truly reflective of industry’s evolving demands,” said Wanda Lester, Ph.D., interim dean of NCCU School of Business. 

NCCU and Wake Tech currently have another existing partnership leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. 

“Wake Technical Community College is delighted to further enhance our already strong relationship with North Carolina Central University,” says College for Culinary, Hospitality Management, and Baking and Pastry Arts Department Chairman Jeff Hadley. “This agreement will formalize a pathway for the talented students who graduate from our Associate in Applied Science, Hospitality Management to continue their education and earn a higher degree. We anticipate that 10-15% of the program graduates will choose to do this.”

Demand for hospitality workers is high. In 2017, the hospitality and tourism sector accounted for 313 million jobs, or almost 10 percent of total employment, according to a recent World Travel and Tourism Council report. Nearly 1 million hospitality jobs in the United States remained unfilled at the end of April 2018, accounting for more than 15 percent of all unfilled jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest release.

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Originally published June 15, 2018 by Kia C. Bell.