New high school in New York focuses on hotel studies

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New York City has opened another high school devoted to the hospitality industry, the School for Tourism and Hospitality in the Bronx.

One of its partners is New York University, which will accept graduates that meet NYU’s entrance criteria. NYU offers undergraduate degrees in hotel and tourism and sports management.

The four-year high school is starting with its first class of ninth graders— 135 students enrolled — and will phase in additional classes as students move through the program. Students study the New York State core curriculum, and elective courses focus on travel and tourism, said David Martin, the school’s principal.

In their first year, students work toward getting certification as a front desk representative through the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s educational institute. Next year, they will work toward their second certification, that of a front desk supervisor. Students also do job shadowing.

In the third year of the program, students take courses that focus on entrepreneurism, marketing and technology. In the final year, they will participate in a “virtual enterprise,” creating and launching a virtual business, Martin said. Students write business plans, do marketing, look at trends, balance the books and pay taxes — all the functions of an actual business.

“We want to expose students to all facets of the industry,” Martin said. While the school is focused on tourism and hospitality, he many of the skills it teaches cover universal principles of business that apply to industries beyond tourism.

New York has other high schools that focus on tourism and hospitality, such as the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism in Brooklyn and the High School of Hospitality Management in Manhattan. What differentiates the School for Tourism and Hospitality is the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s certification program. Martin said that the school’s focus is on hotels but that it plans to reach out to airlines and airports in the future.

NYC & Company, New York City’s marketing and tourism organization, is on the school’s advisory board. Other supporters of the program include Sheraton and Benchmark Hospitality. The school is seeking other industry partners, Martin said.

Correction: The High School of Hospitality Management in Manhattan focuses on hospitality studies. Food and Finance High School specializes in culinary studies.

Follow Kate Rice on Twitter@krtravelweekly. 

Hospitality school students 

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