Nick Stern, Staff Reporter
Students who are unable to leave Albuquerque and who are working towards an associate’s degree at CNM can now consider getting a bachelor’s degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management (HRTM) from New Mexico State University without leaving Albuquerque, thanks to the collaboration between both CNM and NMSU, Program Coordinator for culinary arts and hospitality and tourism, Scott Clapp said.
What Clapp refers to as the “two-plus-two” program allows CNM students to receive their associate’s degree in two years with CNM’s Hospitality and Tourism program and then transfer to NMSU for a bachelor’s degree in HRTM without having to go to Las Cruces, Clapp said. NMSU has a small campus right here in Albuquerque located at 4501 Indian School Road NE, so students will be able to take their classes at this facility or through online classes, as well as labs that can be taken at CNM, Clapp said.
“What is really exciting about this relationship between CNM and NMSU is that they can do the whole program here in Albuquerque. For students wanting to get their bachelor’s degree, whether they have family, a job here, or whatever reason moving to Las Cruces is not really an option for them,” he said.
Clapp said that the goal is to allow students to be able to bring the full program to Albuquerque by next spring of 2014, when it will begin as a cohort, which means students will start as a group and go through the entire program together to receive their bachelor’s.
As of now CNM is in contact with previous graduates that might be interested in the program as well as contacting current hospitality and culinary students who ,ight be interested in a bachelor’s degree through the “two-plus-two” program, Clapp said. The hospitality classes teach things like event planning, understanding the processes in different areas of hospitality, general accounting, and a lot of leadership classes, Clapp said.
“Hospitality touches on everything because basically when you walk in a room, there is some hospitality going on,” he said.
Clapp said that there are many leadership classes because Human Resources (HR) is very important in Hospitality, and that leadership management in the associate’s degree program is for students who want to be in the management level of hospitality, including job titles like food and beverage manager, general manager, and head of housekeeping.
While an associate’s degree can take someone far in the culinary side of hospitality, a bachelor’s degree is what is really important in the corporate setting of hospitality, Clapp said.
The corporate side is usually looking for someone with a four year degree for catering directors, HR people and management positions, jobs that are highly sought after, Clapp said.
“An associate’s in hospitality will benefit in some ways but to really get to the management positions a bachelor’s will take them a lot further. What we have been able to do here with NMSU is provide that avenue,” Clapp said.
CNM’s Dean of School of Business and Information Technology, Donna Diller said that New Mexico State’s HRTM is a great program because they get to work with employers from all over the country for internship opportunities, and that this program works as a very effective way for students to be exposed to their desired field, and to place them around the country to work.
“New Mexico State has the most robust of the degree programs because they work with employers around the country. One of my son’s friends just graduated from there and is working in San Diego at a resort hotel,” Diller said.
Hospitality is not a small and precise study but rather covers a very broad area, Diller said.
There is the food service side, bed and breakfast, hotels, travel agencies, event-planning, catering management, and a sales side of hospitality, just to name a few, she said.
The two colleges have collaborated since 2007 and the transfer degree program was in the 2009-10 catalogs but has not been offered until now, Diller said.
“Part of what we are doing this fall is reaching out to students that are close to finishing the degree or maybe even have finished and are interested in pursuing this,” Diller said.
For more information on the Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management program, students can call the NMSU Albuquerque campus at 830-2856.