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July 01, 2000
Meetings & Conventions: Taking Credit k - June 2000 Current Issue
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Taking Credit

Granted, planners learn by doing, but these extensive university programs promise to bolster on-the-job skills

By Terence Baker

Y ou already are gainfully employed as a meeting planner, so are your school days history? Not necessarily. Many planners are opting to return to the classroom to hone skills and earn formal degrees in their chosen field.

Taking courses while working full time isn’t easy, but it has its advantages, says Nicole McNeil, a student at Roosevelt University in Chicago and a meeting planner and registration assistant for the Chicago-based National Restaurant Association. “Doing both empowers you,” she says. “It’s like having the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and seeing where they all fit in.” McNeil attends five classes a week, including two on Thursdays.

Sound ambitious? It is. Howard Reichbart, who teaches meetings management at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., warns working students not to take on too much. Start with a maximum of two courses (usually comprising two classes each week) per semester. “Any more,” he says, “and the students risk losing money and energy.” Most colleges will not reimburse tuition charges after the first two or three weeks of a semester, according to Reichbart.

Laura Erkmanis started slowly. Already working as assistant director of meeting planning for the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago Kent College of Law, she enrolled in two courses at Roosevelt. Now, she is on her way to attaining a masters degree. “I came to the conclusion that getting a masters degree while working was not too far-fetched.”

The degree isn’t the only objective. “I am learning things at Roosevelt that have immediate application to my job,” says Erkmanis.

Similarly, Elaine Fellin, director of professional development at the Washington, D.C.-based International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus, found great value in the program at Northern Virginia Community College. “I do this every day, and at the college, I was finding out the reasons why and the methods how,” says Fellin. “Some people get the theory first; others the practice, but at school, you get both.”

Following is a selection of colleges and universities in the United States that offer certificate or degree programs in meetings management.

NORTHEAST

Bentley College
Center for Executive & Professional Education
Waltham, Mass.
www.bentley.edu
Program: Certificate in Meeting Management
Requirements: Two required courses, two core courses, three elective courses
Cost: $410 per course
Class times: Weeknights
Contact: Suzanne Lefebvre, program director; phone: (781) 891-2800; fax: (781) 891-3449; e-mail: slefebvre@bentley.edu

George Washington University
International Institute of Tourism Studies
Washington, D.C.
www.gwu.edu/emp
Program: Master of Tourism Administration with a concentration in Event Management
Requirements: 36 credit hours, one-third of which must be in the concentration of event management
Cost: $575 per credit hour
Class times: Weeknights; for distance-learning students, one Saturday class per month in addition to independent study
Contact: Joe Jeff Goldblatt, director/professor; phone: (202) 994-6281; fax: (202) 994-0013; e-mail: drevent@gwu.edu

Program: Certificate in Event Management
Requirements: Seven continuing education credits and a 50-hour practicum (certificate program transfers into three masters degree credits)
Cost: $575 per credit hour
Class times: Weekdays, Friday nights and Saturdays
Contact: Joe Jeff Goldblatt, director/professor; phone: (202) 994-6281; fax: (202) 994-0013; e-mail: drevent@gwu.edu

New York University
Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Travel Administration
New York, N.Y.
www.scps.nyu.edu/chtta
Program: Certificate in Meeting, Conference and Event Management
Requirements: One core course (in meeting and conference management, special events management or convention and trade show management) and five courses from management, logistics, technology and special events categories
Cost: $570 per survey course; $395 per seminar course
Class times: Weekdays and Saturdays
Contact: Carol Davidson, director of certificate programs; phone: (212) 998-9101; fax: (212) 998-4676; e-mail: carol.davidson@nyu.edu

Program: Certificate in Advanced Meeting, Conference and Event Management
Requirements: One survey course (in meeting and conference management, special events management or convention and trade show management) and five seminar courses chosen from the management, logistics, technology, and special events categories
Cost: $570 per survey course; $395 per seminar course
Class times: Weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: Carol Davidson, director of certificate programs; phone: (212) 998-9101; fax: (212) 998-4676; e-mail: carol.davidson@nyu.edu

Program: Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Tourism Management with a concentration in Conference and Event Management
Requirements: 128 credits (60 liberal arts credits, 56 major credits and 12 concentration credits)
Cost: $682 per credit hour
Class times: Weekdays and weeknights
Contact: Sharr Prohaska, director of undergraduate program; phone: (212) 998-9109; fax: (212) 998-4676; e-mail: sp27@is5.nyu.edu

Northern Virginia Community College
Business Division
Annandale, Va.
www.nv.cc.va.us
Program: Certificate in Convention and Exposition Management
Requirements: 30 semester hours
Cost: In-state, $37.12 per credit; out-of-state, $169 per credit
Class times: Weeknights
Contact: Howard Reichbart, professor and adviser; phone: (703) 323-3084; fax: (703) 323-3509; e-mail: hreichbart@nv.cc.va.us

Program: Certificate in Special Events Management
Requirements: Three credit hours
Cost: In-state, $37.12 per credit; out-of-state, $169 per credit
Class times: Weeknights
Contact: Howard Reichbart, professor and adviser; phone: (703) 323-3084; fax: (703) 323-3509; e-mail: hreichbart@nv.cc.va.us

MIDWEST

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
Department of Tourism, Conventions & Event Management
Indianapolis, Ind.
www.iupui.edu/~indyhper/tcem_courses.htm
Program: Certificate in Convention and Meeting Planning
Requirements: 17 credits
Cost: In-state, $114 per credit; out-of-state, $356 per credit
Class times: Weekdays and weeknights
Contact: Dr. Linda Brothers, chairperson; phone: (317) 274-8772; fax: (317) 274-4567; e-mail: lbrothe@iupui.edu

Program: Bachelor of Science in Tourism
Requirements: 124 credit hours
Cost: In-state, $114 per credit; out-of-state, $356 per credit
Class times: Weekdays and weeknights Contact: Dr. Linda Brothers, chairperson; phone: (317) 274-8772; fax: (317) 274-4567; e-mail: lbrothe@iupui.edu

Northeastern University
College of Business and Industry
Tahlequah, Okla.
www.nsuok.edu
Program: Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Meetings and Destination Management
Requirements: 39 general business credits, 36 meeting and destination management credits and a 1,000-hour internship under several employees
Cost: In-state, $63.15 per credit hour; out-of-state, $156.15 per credit hour
Class times: Weekdays
Contact: Penny Dotson, dean of college of business and industry; phone: (918) 458-2091; fax: (918) 458-2337; e-mail: dotson@nsuok.edu

Roosevelt University
Hospitality Management Program (includes the new state-funded Institute for Tourism Studies)
Chicago, Ill.
www.roosevelt.edu/tourismstudies
Program: Master of Science in Hospitality Management, Meeting Planning and Special Events
Requirements: Students must complete 30 semester hours (15 core credits, 12 elective credits and a three-credit thesis)
Cost: $473 per semester hour
Class times: Weekdays, weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: Dr. Gerald Bober, director; phone: (312) 341-4321; fax: (918) 458-2337; e-mail: gbober@roosevelt.edu

Program: Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, Meeting Planning and Special Events
Requirements: 120 semester hours
Cost: $402 per semester hour
Class times: Weekdays, weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: Dr. Gerald Bober, director; phone: (312) 341-4321; fax: (918) 458-2337; e-mail: gbober@roosevelt.edu

Program: Certificate in Meeting Planning and Special Events and Trade Show Management
Requirements: 120 semester hours
Cost: $402 per semester hour
Class times: Weekdays, weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: Dr. Gerald Bober, director; phone: (312) 341-4321; fax: (918) 458-2337; e-mail: gbober@roosevelt.edu

Program: Certificate in Visitor Bureau Operations (this course will be offered via the Internet as of fall 2000)
Requirements: Four courses (Sales and Marketing, Meeting Planning, Convention and Trade Show Management, and Introduction to Tourism)
Cost: $402 per semester hour
Class times: Weekdays, weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: Dr. Gerald Bober, director; phone: (312) 341-4321; fax: (918) 458-2337; e-mail: gbober@roosevelt.edu

SOUTHWEST

University of Houston
Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management
Houston, Texas
www.hrm.uh.edu
Program: Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, with a concentration in Meetings and Conventions
Requirements: 132 credit hours (68 general studies, 47 in the hotel college and 17 in meetings and conventions)
Cost: In-state, $120 per credit hour (three-credit courses are also $120); out-of-state, $254 per credit hour
Class times: Weekdays, weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: JeAnna Abbott, associate professor; phone: (713) 743-2413; fax: (713) 743-2552; e-mail: jabbott@uh.edu

Metropolitan State College
School of Professional Studies of Denver
Denver, Colo.
clem.mscd.edu/~hmt/
Program: Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality, Meeting and Travel Administration
Requirements: 120 credits (34 general studies, 29 core departments, 41 meetings credits and 16 elective credits)
Cost: In-state, $3,000 per 15 credit hours; out-of-state, $7,700 per 15 credit hours
Class times: Weekdays, weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: Cynthia Vannucci, director of meeting administration program; phone: (303) 556-3367; fax: (303) 556-8046; e-mail: vannucci@mscd.edu

University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Harrah College of Hotel Administration
Las Vegas, Nev.
www.unlv.edu/Colleges/Hotel
Program: Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management with a concentration in Convention and Event Management (Two correspondence courses, Convention Service and Hotel Catering, are offered through the Reno campus.)
Requirements: 128 credit hours (52 general education and business, 46 in the hotel college and 30 electives)
Cost: In-state, $69 per credit hour; out-of-state, $2,285 for seven credit hours (the minimum) or more
Class times: Weekdays and weeknights
Contact: Patti Shock, chairperson; phone: (702) 895-0875; fax: (702) 895-4870; e-mail: shock@nevada.edu

Program: Master of Science in Convention Management
Requirements: 36 credit hours
Cost: In-state, $93 per credit hour; out-of-state, $2,285 for seven credit hours (the minimum) or more
Class times: Weekdays and weeknights
Contact: Patti Shock, chairperson; phone: (702) 895-0875; fax: (702) 895-4870; e-mail: shock@nevada.edu

Program: Master of Science in Hospitality Administration (Meetings, Events, Conventions and Expositions)
Requirements: 30 credit hours
Cost: In-state, $1,297; out-of-state, $1,600
Class times: Weekdays and weeknights
Contact: Patti Shock, chairperson; phone: (702) 895-0875; fax: (702) 895-4870; e-mail: shock@nevada.edu

WEST COAST

California State University, Fullerton
University Extended Education
Fullerton, Calif.
www.takethelead.fullerton.edu
Program: Certificate in Professional Meeting Planning
Requirements: Nine courses and a team-project presentation
Cost: $1,055
Class times: Weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: Sue Garber, senior program coordinator; phone: (714) 278-2605; fax: (714) 278-5445; e-mail: suegarber@fullerton.edu

Program: Certificate in Exhibits and Trade Shows
Requirements: Six courses and an individual project presentation
Cost: $125 to $165 per course and $205 for the individual project presentation
Class times: Weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: Sue Garber, senior program coordinator; phone: (714) 278-2605; fax: (714) 278-5445; e-mail: suegarber@fullerton.edu

California State University, Long Beach
University College & Extension Services
Long Beach, Calif.
www.uces.csulb.edu
Program: Certificate in Professional Meeting and Event Planning
Requirements: 12 courses
Cost: $95 per course
Class times: Weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: Anna Behar-Russell, program administrator; phone: (562) 985-7972; fax: (562) 985-8449; e-mail: abehar@uces.csulb.edu

Mt. Hood Community College
Hospitality & Tourism Dept., Business and Computer Technology Division Gresham, Ore.
www.mhcc.cc.or.us
Program: Certificate in Conventions and Meetings Management
Requirements: 45 credit hours (33 in core courses and 12 electives, plus a 120-hour internship)
Cost: $38.50 per credit
Class times: Weekdays and weeknights
Contact: Court Carrier, program director; phone: (503) 491-7486; fax: (503) 491-7618; e-mail: carrierc@mhcc.cc.or.us

Program: Associates Degree of Applied Science in Hospitality & Tourism Operations
Requirements: 95 credits (25 general studies, 53 hospitality and tourism management, six electives, three meetings management, plus a 240-hour internship worth eight credits)
Cost: $38.50 per credit
Class times: Weeknights and weeknights
Contact: Court Carrier, program director; phone: (503) 491-7486; fax: (503) 491-7618; e-mail: carrierc@mhcc.cc.or.us

San Francisco State University
College of Extended Learning
San Francisco, Calif.
www.cel.sfsu.edu
Program: Certificate in Professional Meeting Planning
Requirements: 15 courses (nine core courses and six electives)
Cost: $145 per course
Class times: Weekdays or weeknights
Contact: Mary Pieratt, program director; phone: (415) 338-1533; fax: (415) 405-7290; e-mail: maryp@sfsu.edu

San Jose State University
School of Continuing Education
San Jose, Calif.
www.sjsu.edu
Program: Meeting Planning Certificate
Requirements:Nine core courses and six elective course
Cost: $145 per course
Class times:Weekdays, weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: Pat Lawson-North, program coordinator; phone: (408) 985-7578; fax: (408) 924-2616; e-mail: plawson@profdev.sjsu.edu

Sonoma State University
School of Extended Education
Rohnert Park, Calif.
www.sonoma.edu/ExEd
Program: Meeting Management Certificate Program
Requirements: Nine core courses and six elective courses
Cost: $141 per credit
Class times: Weekdays, weeknights and Saturdays
Contact: Joni Wallach, program coordinator; phone: (707) 664-2394; fax: (707) 664-2613; e-mail: joni.wallach@sonoma.edu

University of California, San Diego
Department of Education and Behavioral Science
San Diego, Calif.
www.extension.ucsd.edu
Program: Certificate in Meeting Management and Special Events Planning
Requirements: One course; must be present at all six sessions
Cost: $596
Class times: Six Saturdays or six full days (Monday to Saturday)
Contact: Kristy Higdon, certificate program director; phone: (858) 534-5823; fax: (858) 534-7483; e-mail: unexeduc@ucsd.edu

HAVE LAPTOP, WILL LEARN

Hectic travel schedule? Crazy work hours? Young kids? Tight budget? These are no longer good reasons for not taking courses. Distance learning makes it possible to learn anywhere, anytime. Even the tests are taken online. And tuition is generally lower than it is for classroom instruction.

George Washington University: The entire certificate program is offered online; some masters courses are online.

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis: One course will be offered online this fall.

Metropolitan College: Four undergraduate courses are offered, with one more coming online this fall.

Mt. Hood Community College: Some courses for the certificate and degree programs are offered online.

New York University: Some courses in the certificate programs are online.

Northeastern University: The bachelors degree is online in its entirety.

Roosevelt University: Some courses for the certificate programs are online.

University of Houston: Some courses for the certificate programs are online.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas: Four courses in the masters program are online. Starting this fall, some undergraduate courses will be online.

T.B.

NEED TO KNOW?

Do you need to brush up on risk management or catering design? Take a quick course online. George Washington University’s International Institute of Tourism Studies, based in Washington, D.C., offers Just-in-Time learning, which invites planners to attain specific skills to meet a job-related challenge.

“Just-in-Time fulfills the students’ immediate needs,” says Joe Jeff Goldblatt, director and professor for GWU’s event management certificate program. Students pay for and receive the information for one of the university’s 25 online meetings-related courses, often with no intention of starting a full course of study. Some, however, enjoy the process so much they decide to sign up for a certificate or degree, says Goldblatt. Call (202) 994-6281 for details.

T.B.

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