CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state Division of Tourism is giving the thumbs up to a new tourism degree at WVU. The University recently announced it’s created a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management under the College of Business and Economics.

WVU previously offered an area of emphasis in tourism but this move creates a program unto itself.

Jacqueline Proctor, with the state Division of Tourism, called the program a win/win.

“[WVU] is focusing on helping to educate and create a workforce for the tourism industry for the state,” explained Proctor. “It’s really spectacular!”

University officials said WVU is already a “living laboratory” when it comes to hospitality and tourism. There’s food service at the Mountainlair. They partner with Morgantown’s Waterfront Place Hotel, for student access to “both front-door and back-of-the-house operations.” Then there are dozens of outdoor activities, in and around Morgantown, that students can learn from.

“In terms of thinking about job creation possibilities and having a readied workforce, this is a great step in that direction,” stressed Proctor.

Tourism brings in billions of dollars to West Virginia each year. From bread and breakfasts to the ski industry, the Hatfield-McCoy Trail to the Greenbrier. The degree will prepare students to take on all sorts of tourism employment.

WVU will be one of only 40 or so accredited schools in the U.S. to have a hospitality degree program.

“That just lends even more credibility to our industry as a whole and really, I believe, elevates our visibility as a state because we do take it seriously,” according to Proctor

She said one of the best parts of the program is that WVU will be training West Virginia students.

“It’s another opportunity for young people to find potential jobs and stay here in West Virginia.”

The dean of the program stresses the goal is to offer one of the premier hospitality degrees in the country.

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  • Gonzalo

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  • Duck

    The program has a dean? I don't think so. Jennifer: There was a dean of J-school when you were there (I remember you!), but no dean of photography, dean of advertising, dean of PR, etc. In a state where so few of our people have been to college, let's not spread any misinformation about how it works.

  • Wowbagger


    Let's see, how to manage a hotel, food service, and cleaning staff and the wizards at WVU think it takes a four year degree with all of the tuition, fees, and housing expenses?

    This is an honorable vocation and has some employment potential, but should take no more than two years of technical training and possibly an associates degree but no more.

    • sprdgoak

      Wowbagger there is more to it than meets the eye. Business management, marketing and advertising along with accounting, you have to learn all aspects of the business. As a graduate of WVU Recreation and Parks Management Administration I can tell you this is a step in the right direction and the program is progressing. My degree prepared me greatly for the current workforce. It is not just learning to make a bed and hand sweep a floor.

    • Joe

      My only knowledge of this study tract is that a good friend of mine's daughter graduated from Frostburg State's similar program a few years ago. She did internships at Marriott and Rocky Gap, and had three job offers starting in the mid 50,000's upon graduation.

      Apparently she is doing quite well at 27 years now.

  • Grey4449

    Great move by WVU.