The College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership is making its master's degree program more accessible.

USFSM hospitality program mixes online, distance-learning classes

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: March 30, 2017

SARASOTA, Fla. (March 30, 2017)USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership is turning to distance-learning and online teaching to make its graduate degree program more accessible.

Starting in the fall, students enrolled in the Master of Science in Hospitality Management program will be able to take classes online for some of the program’s lessons while engage in real-time discussions through distance-learning for the remaining portion.

By combining the two technologies, students will enjoy the benefits of distance-learning and the convenience of online instruction. The program comes after extensive discussions with industry leaders and former students.

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Dr. Patrick Moreo

“This fills a niche for some people who like online instruction, being able to take classes at home during their free time, but also like the interaction with their professors and other students through distance-learning, which is important in graduate-level courses,” said Patrick Moreo, dean of the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership.

Under the online portion, students will be able to log-on anytime, anywhere to navigate the daily and weekly lessons as well as take quizzes and exams. For the distance-learning classes, students will link to an alternate site to engage in face-to-face discussions with their instructor and fellow students, including those who are sitting in a classroom on the USFSM campus. Cameras and microphones will capture all of the activity.

The Master of Science in Hospitality Management is designed to help hospitality professionals take the next step toward becoming leaders at hotels, restaurants, resorts and hospitality corporations.

Students in the program learn strategic decision-making in areas of organizational effectiveness, finance, marketing, customer service and technology. Lessons are offered in statistical procedures and research methodologies, as well as communication techniques to improve oral and written competencies. Case studies, experiential learning, research projects and presentations are all utilized in this program.

Currently, students in the master’s program might attend lectures up to three nights per week, which can present scheduling challenges, particularly to those with families. Working hospitality professionals typically comprise the classes.

“The beauty of this system is that it allows for convenience through online lessons, but it also encourages students to engage with other students and professors live. Students can give PowerPoint presentations and they can collaborate with other students on projects, and all of this is happening live,” Dr. Moreo said.

He noted the technology could drive higher enrollments by appealing to students outside the area or even the state, assuming they don’t encounter time-zone obstacles. “The main benefit is you won’t need to travel here to take the classes,” he said.

For more information about USFSM’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, visit

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