by Terence Baker | December 01, 2006

Harper CollegeWindow on education:
Harper College in Palatine, Ill.

The meetings industry historically has been an accidental profession -- something folks fell into, enjoyed and decided to stay with. That’s changing quickly. Far fewer planners are coming up through company ranks, while a growing number are entering the field directly from college and university studies.

However they come to their jobs, novice and experienced planners alike need to stay current with trends and changes in the meetings industry -- an increasingly complex world of myriad small details, global logistics and intense marketing strategies.

“We have 15 classes on the conventions side and six on the events side,” says Patti Shock, professor and chairperson at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas’ William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. “In the future, we will begin requirements in trade shows, service contracting and international events.”

Another development: Smaller colleges, even community colleges, are getting in on the act, as the following sampling reveals.


Champlain College
School of Continuing Education
Burlington, Vt.

Program: Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Industry Management with a specialization in tourism and event management

Requirements: 120 credits

Cost: $440 per credit or $16,250 per year as a full-time student

Class times: Weekdays and weeknights

Contact: Peter Straube, director; (800) 570-5858

George Washington University
The International Institute of Tourism Studies
Washington, D.C.

Program: Certificate in Event Management

Requirements: Seven courses

Cost: $550 per course

Class times: Weeknights; weekdays for three weeks, and online

Contact: Kim Dreux-Kelly, associate director; (202) 994-3304

New York University
Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management
New York City

Program: Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Tourism Management

Requirements: 128 credits

Cost: $929 per credit

Class times: Weekdays and weeknights

Contact: Donna Quadri-Felitti, assistant clinical professor; (212) 998-7200

Program: Certificate in Meeting, Conference and Event Management

Requirements: 42 credits

Cost: $4,640

Class times: Weeknights

Contact: Donna Quadri-Felitti, assistant clinical professor; (212) 998-7200

Raritan Valley Community CollegePortal to learning: Raritan Valley

Raritan Valley Community College
North Branch, N.J.

Program: Certificate in Events Planning/Meetings Management

Requirements: 30 credits

Cost: $84 per credit

Class times: Weekdays, weeknights and online

Contact: Recruitment department; (908) 253-6688

Temple University
School of Tourism & Hospitality Management

Program: Event Leadership Executive Certificate Program

Requirements: 48 hours

Cost: $1,650

Class times: Weekends, online

Contact: Michelle Pearl, program coordinator; (215) 204-6126

University of Massachusetts
Isenberg School of Management
Hadley, Mass.

Program: Certificate in Meeting and Event Management

Requirements: 12 credits

Cost: $290 per credit

Class times: Online

Contact: Som Seng, program manager; (508) 856-5113