by Sarah J.F. Braley | December 07, 2017
Meeting Professionals International is partnering with the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University to create a graduate-level degree program on meeting and event management for mid- and senior-level professionals. The institutions also plan to develop a related academic certificate program for nontraditional students.
 
According to MPI, the master's degree program will be available in 2019, incorporating experiential learning, simulations and industry-partner mentoring. Most of the learning will be delivered online, with meet-ups arranged on the SDSU campus to accommodate the students' work schedules; the on-campus visits will be required, but possibly just at the beginning and end of the program. The faculty will have worked in the meeting and event industry, and guest lecturers from the industry will be brought in as well. After successful completion of the program, students will be awarded a master of science degree in meeting and event management from SDSU.
 
"We are thrilled about this opportunity to co-create unique and rigorous educational programming with the globally recognized L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at SDSU," said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. "MPI continuously strives to bring more visibility and credibility to the meeting and event industry, and the new master's degree and academic certificate programs are stellar examples of how we fulfill our mission."
  
The academic certificate program will launch in 2019, too, covering select core content from the master's degree program. It also will be administered online, with meet-ups on SDSU's campus. Students completing the course will receive an MPI/SDSU academic certificate, as well as earn college credits that can be applied towards the master's degree program. 
 
"We could not be more excited about co-creating this first-of-its-kind master's degree in meeting and event management. It is about time that this profession is recognized as needing high-level knowledge, skills and abilities taught in an academically rigorous and relevant manner at the graduate level. This master's degree will assist mid- to senior-level professionals in developing their skills while still employed, benefiting both themselves and their organizations," said Carl Winston, director of the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
 
MPI and SDSU already are working together administering the Event Design Certificate program, a three-day training course that teaches a systematic 10-step visual approach to event design. The next EDC course is scheduled for Jan. 11-13, 2018, on the SDSU campus; registration is open until Jan. 1.