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Academic Programs

Hospitality programs of study are available to high school students. Check out the map of program locations to see if a WV HEAT program is in place in your area! Instructional standards are available through the West Virginia Department of Education.

ProStart introduces students to a wide variety of careers within the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry. Students study and practice professional food preparation, international cuisines, food safety and sanitation, customer service relations, cost control, and marketing. ProStart is a two-year course of study developed by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) and administered by the NRAEF and WV HEAT in West Virginia. ProStart students learn the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for success in restaurant management and culinary arts careers. Students may also earn an industry certification through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and college credit. Students are given the opportunity to participate in both the WV HEAT student competition for scholarships and Skills USA leadership development.

Lodging Management Program introduces students to careers within the lodging industry. Students study and experience multiple aspects of the lodging industry including the rooms division, general department and facilities management, marketing and sales, and food and beverage services. The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute designed the programís curriculum and the Certified Rooms Division Specialist (CRDS) credential. Students are given the opportunity to participate in both the WV HEAT student competition for scholarships and FCCLA or DECA leadership development. LMP is a two-year course of study developed by the American Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Institute (AH & LA EI) and administered by the AH & LA EI and WV HEAT. LMP students study and practice the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for a successful career in lodging management. Paid internships and credentials from the AH & LA are available through LMP.

Hospitality Certification Program, developed by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, is a one year curriculum that gives students the real world knowledge and skills needed for a long-term career in the lodging industry. The program provides training for hospitality positions in the rooms and food and beverage divisions of a lodging operation, including front desk, reservations, housekeeping, bell services, restaurant service, banquet setup and service, and more. Guest service, professionalism, and career exploration are other important components of this program. Fee for the line-level certification for all students who successfully complete the program - giving students a real jump-start on their careers can be waived. More than a dozen certificates are available to successful students.

Travel and Tourism Management students focus on the development, research, packaging, promotion and delivery of a travelerís experiences. There are a broad range of jobs in this pathway. Employees may be involved in developing a heritage area for the enjoyment and education of visitors, creating guide books, planning trips and events, managing a customerís travel plans or overseeing a convention center. Technical skills are location-specific, and some training is handled on the job. Students are given the opportunity to participate in both the WV HEAT student competition for scholarships and FCCLA or DECA leadership development.

Event Planning Management educates students to identify venues for potential programs, review proposals, negotiate discounts, determine food and beverage needs, incorporate transportation needs, and make overall recommendations for event programs. Opportunities exist in corporations, associations and non-profit organizations, government agencies, event planning suppliers, and event planning firms. Social media, client buy-in, sustainability and professional development are among the top issues facing event and meeting planners in 2010 and beyond.

Hospitality Entrepreneurship explores the development of a hospitality based business in West Virginia from creative concept to the components of a commercially viable business. Coursework includes the Travel West Virginia course, as well as courses in entrepreneurship.

Parks and Recreation students focus on the state parks and recreation in West Virginia.

Hospitality Career Information

The Hospitality Careers website is available to teachers and students who want more information on the variety of careers offered in the hospitality industry. This site profiles ten tourism sites or attractions and 30 people who have chosen this industry as a career. Descriptions of the duties, salary ranges and quotes from the employees are included. The site is available to anyone, but was developed as a resource to educators who may need an online hospitality careers resource as part of a career exploration curriculum.

Get College Credits Now!

Articulated credit is available to ProStart and Lodging Management Program graduates. A Post-Secondary Passport listing colleges and universities that participate is available from WV HEAT.

Scholarship Opportunities

College Scholarships for ProStart and LMP graduates are available through the National Restaurant Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Additionally, The West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association Educational Foundation currently offers scholarships exclusively to West Virginia students.