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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Administration

HRM program expands to San Antonio


In a recent visit to San Antonio, the dean of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management spoke with a group of about 30 students at St. Philip’s College who were interested in enrolling at a UH campus in that area.

At the Special Called Executive and Compensation Committee meeting Wednesday, the UH System Board of Regents took measures to make this possible by approving a Center for Student Excellence for a future site where the University will offer a Bachelor of Science program in hotel and restaurant management.

“In 2009, the College was approached by Silver Ventures, developers of the Pearl Brewery Project on north end of the Riverwalk. They saw a need for a hospitality program in the San Antonio area,” said a UH document describing the demonstrated need for the program.

“While the Greater San Antonio Metropolitan Area enjoys many excellent educational programs, access to a four-year Bachelor of Science degree (in) hospitality management is not available. As a result, the general population is underserved as it relates to job opportunities in one of its most important business activities — tourism and hospitality.”

According to the document, groups including the Hotel Lodging Association of San Antonio and the Texas Restaurant Association voiced concern over the dearth of quality HRM education programs in the area.

While the degree will have the same course requirements as it does at UH, the San Antonio campus will only offer upper-division classes. All prerequisites and lower division courses must be transferred from local community colleges.

St. Philip’s will lease about 12,000 square feet of office space to UH for at least the first semester while the site is under construction, and the Hilton College has leased extra office space to house the assistant dean of the program starting in January, according to the document.

The faculty at St. Philip’s has voiced nothing but enthusiasm for the start of the program.

“I am excited about the opportunities for our AAS graduates,” said Mary Kunz, professor and department chair for tourism, hospitality and culinary arts at St. Philip’s, in a June letter supporting the program. “SPC students graduate with the AAS in one of five different degrees, Baking and Pastry, Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Hotel Management and Restaurant Management.

“The University of Houston course offerings in San Antonio will make it possible for these students to continue to pursue the bachelor’s degree in a hospitality field.”

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