The first class of Capilano Colleges new 16-month Destination Resort Management Diploma program starts Sept 6. While many post-secondary programs are straining to meet enrolment demands there are 16 seats remaining in this unique co-op tourism program.
"We have 18 students and were thrilled about that for a first-year program," says project manager Stephanie Wells.
Wells, who will also be teaching an introductory course in event management, has worked in the tourism industry for 20 years and believes the course provides students with the tools to create a solid career in an industry that has not, until recently, been highly regarded.
"Many towns and cities are now looking to tourism to regenerate their economy. Students in this program will have the academic background along with a co-op work term to give them industry experience," says Wells.
The program combines a 60-credit course load (typical of a two-year diploma program) with 500 co-op work hours.
"Our instructors have worked in industry so they will bring their real life experiences into the classrooms and share their failures and successes.
"We have an industry advisory committee that has provided great input on how we can ensure that students are hearing from industry professionals, they support the co-op placements and have provided insight on possible assignments and projects," explains Wells.
The expected outcome will be that students will possess a portfolio of professional calibre work to show potential employers upon graduation. On paper, it appears to be the ideal program for someone wanting to make tourism his or her career. But who is the ideal student for this program?
"The ideal student, in my opinion, is one that has worked in the industry for a couple of years and is looking to carve a long term career. However, it is also a great program for those who are considering a career shift," says Wells.
The cost of the program is $7,360 tuition, plus books. Interested parties are encouraged to apply on line at www.capcollege.bc.ca , then send in a cover letter and resume to the attention of Stephanie Wells, Project Manager, Destination Resort Management.
Capilano College will further be expanding its tourism training with a program jointly developed with Royal Roads University, called Strategic Leadership in Tourism. Aimed at graduates of accredited tourism programs and industry professionals, the six-month program consists of five courses, two held in intensive Whistler workshops and three completed through online learning.
The program will launch Oct. 24 with a five-day residency in Whistler. Students will return to Whistler in May of next year for a four-day retreat to complete their course of study. Then self-guided learning will allow people to continue with their careers while upgrading their skills.
The program is designed for people who have three to five years of management or entrepreneurial experience in tourism, hotel management, and hospitality or leisure and recreation services.
For more information on the Resort Management Program or the new Strategic Leadership in Tourism program, visit www.capcollege.bc.ca or call 604-892-5322.