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 SkillsUSA leadership development.

Baking and Pastry prepares students for various aspects of baking and pastry. Students will start with the very basics of the industry such as how ingredients work together in order for them to make a commercial, sellable product. Other content includes various breads, cookies, pies, cakes, tortes, plated desserts, chocolate and sugar work. This course will help prepare students for either going into a baking and pastry program at a culinary school or work in a bakery right after graduation.

Hospitality & Tourism Program introduces students to the management, marketing and operations of travel and tourism specifically in West Virginia and the travel and tourism industry as an entity. This Program of Study focuses on "hands on" and academic activities geared toward management opportunities and skills in the industry. The core courses in this program are Introduction to Hospitality & Tourism and Travel West Virginia. To complete the program, students choose two final courses from one of five specializations:

  • Event Planning and Design - students 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.
  • Parks and Recreation - students focus on the state parks and recreation in West Virginia. Students will study of the role of natural resources in the pursuit of leisure and tourism, design and implementation of programs for recreation and tourism, a broad range of leisure activities, combined with the identification of customer's needs and expectations, and the matching of the two for a complete experience.
  • Hospitality, Travel and Tourism - students focus on the development, research, packaging, promotion and delivery of a traveler's 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 customer's travel plans or overseeing a convention center. Technical skills are location-specific, and some training is handled on the job.
  • Adventure Tourism - students develop understanding for the great outdoors and recreation adventure. Students are provided with a unique and beneficial opportunity to experience the travel and tourism adventure industry in wild and wonderful West Virginia. Topics include prominent naturalists and philosophers of the outdoor movement, agencies that provide outdoor recreation opportunities, basic environmental issues impacting outdoor recreation, assessment of outdoor recreation activities and eco-tourism issues.
  • Entrepreneurship - students explore the development of a hospitality based business in West Virginia from creative concept to the components of a commercially viable business. Coursework includes elements of management, entrepreneurship and preparation toward a future career as hospitality based entrepreneur.