School Profiles

As the vacation ownership industry enters its fifth decade, educational institutions continue to offer courses preparing the employees of tomorrow. The variety of programs at colleges and universities has grown along with the size of the industry, ranging from timeshare modules included in resort management classes to vacation ownership specializations.

Florida International University, Miami, FL
 The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University is one of the highest rated hospitality and tourism programs in the United States. Each year, over 2000 undergraduate and graduate students representing more than 80 countries choose FIU for its outstanding reputation, advantageous locations, knowledgeable faculty, rich curriculum, and fast-track career advantages in the international hotel, foodservice and tourism industries. In addition, located in Tianjin, People’s Republic of China, another 1000 undergraduate students experience their undergraduate degree via a collaborative educational partnership between FIU and Tianjin University of Commerce (TUC). 

Dean Mike Hampton and Associate Dean Randall Upchurch lead the timeshare curriculum at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. At present, the School offers two courses in timeshare management/operations; one is offered at the Bachelor’s degree level while the other is positioned at the Master’s degree level. The timeshare curriculum is strongly enhanced by resort visitations, involvement by industry leaders in classes and projects, and active student engagement in Interval International’s Investment conference and the American Resort Development Association's annual conference. For more information visit http://hospitality.fiu.edu/.

New Mexico State University (NMSU), Las Cruces, NM
New Mexico State University offers the state's only bachelor's degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM). Founded in 1988 and currently lead by director Janet Green, Ed.D, the program is now ranked among the top programs in the country and boasts a state-of-the-art commercial food production and service lab and a technology learning lab.

With a requirement of 128 credit hours, 400 hours of practical work experience and 400 internship hours for this degree program, students are able to gain both the experience and educational background needed to become timeshare industry professionals. Aside from the work students will do in hotels, restaurants and resorts outside of the school, they receive hands on experience in class as well.

Courses offered include general tourism coursework, health and safety studies, accounting, marketing, travel law, operations, management, leadership development and more.  The school is as progressive as it is comprehensive; offering a Facebook page for prospective students, current students, and alumni to network and faculty members still emersed in the industry. The Facebook page showcases job opportunities, alumni accomplishments, job fairs and events the school holds.  Faculty member, Betsy Stringam Ed.D is an acting member of the ARDA Education Committee helping to develop ideas for scholarship opportunities and focus academia attention on the timeshare industry. For more information visit www.nmsu.edu.

University of Central Florida (UCF), Orlando, FL
There is a reason why over 3,200 students currently attend the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Located in Orlando, the world’s premier tourist destination and headquarters of the world's leading vacation ownership companies, the college offers traditional and unique programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in a resort-style setting commensurate with industry support and connections that are unparalleled.

At the heart of Rosen College are the people—the expert faculty who truly practice what they teach, the myriad of industry professionals who visit our campus and classrooms, and the staff who apply the principles of professionalism, leadership and service.  Students interested in formalized study in vacation ownership will enjoy a variety of undergraduate courses that provide an in-depth overview of the vacation ownership industry as well as specialized instruction in vacation ownership sales and resort development.  Students enrolled in our Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management have a central core of 9 courses and select up to 4 electives from a diverse selection of elective courses, to include 2 with a Vacation Ownership focus.  In addition to classroom learning, students frequently visit and/or are employed by vacation ownership resorts in the immediate area.

Rosen College students are shaped by a network of guiding experts, seasoned industry professionals and supportive staff members who cultivate a personalized experience. Students frequently describe that although Rosen College is part of the University of Central Florida, the second largest university in the nation, Rosen feels like a small, private college. For more information visit http://hospitality.ucf.edu/.

University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
The Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management at the University of Memphis is housed in a full-service Holiday Inn hotel and conference center, allowing students to see business challenges and real-time operations. Students learn through a mix of class work, applied industry experiences and a required 1000 hours of internships in lodging and hospitality operations. Course work focuses on asset management, facility development, human resources, resort management, food and beverage cost controls and revenue management.

Graduates receive the B.B.A. degree from the Fogelman College of Business & Economics which provides a traditional business education with emphasis on communication, critical thinking, and creativity. Through a strong partnership with Orange Lake Resorts and the new IHG Holiday Inn Vacation Club, students compete for a 10-week resort operations internship which includes timeshare sales, revenue management, food and beverage development and back of the house departments. For more information visit www.memphis.edu/wilson.

University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI
The University of Wisconsin-Stout Department of Hospitality and Tourism in the College of Management offers two undergraduate degree programs that have a timeshare component. The Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management degree program includes Principles of Timeshare Management along with Resort Planning and Development as required courses in two Concentrations: Lodging and Resort Operations and Property Management. In addition, in the fall of 2009 a new undergraduate degree in Property Management was initiated that also focuses on timeshare curriculum.

Student interest in this field has been growing rapidly. UW-Stout had over 15 students attend the ARDA convention in March 2010, where they worked as Student Ambassadors and learned more about career opportunities in this growing and exciting field. Bernie Mullen is the current faculty adviser at the University of Wisconson-Stout. For more information visit www.uwstout.edu.