Front Range Community College averaged from 60 to 70 hospitality management students in early 2020. Then the pandemic hit, crippling Colorado’s tourism industry.
In late 2020 as enrollment in the hospitality program dwindled to less than half of before, FRCC and Colorado State University started talking via online-only meetings about how to simplify the transfer process to CSU, lower overall tuition for FRCC students and rebuild the pipeline of potential employees to hospitality-based industries.
“A lot of Zoom calls went into this; a lot of time spent in the basement where I (was) talking,” said CSU Assistant Professor Eric Milholland, who once taught at FRCC and worked on the pact with FRCC Hospitality Program Director Teresina Davie. “And we’re discussing what classes line up, and ‘Oh my gosh, what if they take this one here?’ ”
Students will benefit
On Oct. 20 at the FRCC campus in Fort Collins, officials including CSU Interim President Rick Miranda and FRCC-Fort Collins President Colleen Simpson celebrated an articulation agreement between the two institutions. The accord will enable FRCC students to get a two-year degree and then transfer to CSU to get a bachelor’s degree.
“Our students are the ones that are going to benefit from this wonderful connection and partnership,” said Aparna Palmer, FRCC-Fort Collins interim vice president and a CSU graduate. “We’re saying you can finish a degree here and connect and grow your degree with our neighboring institution.”
Lise Youngblade, dean of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences, called the alliance an “exciting and forward-looking articulation agreement that weds a two-year associate arts degree in hospitality to a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management. This is innovation. This innovative partnership opens both educational doors and career pathways for students.”
Faster graduation, quicker job placements
Collaborative discussions between the institution’s faculty with support and oversight from administrators removed barriers for hospitality students, Palmer said. The process will lower overall tuition costs for FRCC students, enable faster graduation times and lead to job placements in hotels, resorts, restaurants, events, entertainment and recreation.
“It supports the (hospitality) industry as well as it recovers from the impact of COVID-19,” Palmer said. “Graduates are in demand.”
‘From Wolves to Rams’
CSU Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Janice Nerger said the agreement highlights that FRCC and CSU share the goals of access, affordability and inclusive excellence, and strive to broaden pathways for students who want to achieve their dreams of a bachelor’s degree.
“We are very proud of our long-standing partnership with Front Range Community College, which is recognized nationally for its successful student transfer programs,” said Interim CSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Janice Nerger. “From Wolves to Rams, this transfer agreement for Hospitality Management in CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences will help students continue their educational journey from one of the best community colleges in the country to one of the nation’s top public research institutions.”
Cookies with FRCC and CSU lettering were served along with other light refreshments at FRCC’s Grays Peak Building.