CSU Hospitality Management Education Initiative
The CSU Hospitality Management Education Initiative is based at The Collins College of Hospitality Management, and is a statewide effort to provide an uninterrupted supply of hospitality leaders in California. The initiative is funded and mandated by the CSU Chancellor's Office.
How HMEI Started
The 2004 CSU Industry Impact Study highlighted both the importance of the hospitality industry to California’s economy and the substantial need for educated hospitality managers. Four Presidents’ Councils on Industries were formed. They are agriculture (Fresno), entertainment (San Francisco), hospitality (Pomona) and engineering (TBD). In 2005, hospitality program directors, faculty members, and industry leaders convened to make recommendations about how the CSU might better meet the needs of the industry.
Based on those recommendations, then-CSU Chancellor Charles Reed tasked Cal Poly Pomona President Michael Ortiz to start the Hospitality Management Education Initiative (HMEI). When then-Dean Andy Feinstein joined the college in 2007, President Ortiz gave him this responsibility, and in 2008 the initiative took shape.
Presently, Dr. Lea Dopson, dean of The Collins College continues these efforts as the CSU Director of Hospitality Management Education.
What HMEI Does
Advising: Once a year, industry advisory board members meet with CSU leadership to better align CSU education with industry needs. Additionally, faculty and students are presented with opportunities throughout the year to benefit first-hand from the experience and knowledge of this expert group.
Student Development: Advisory board members contribute to the quality education hospitality students receive at the CSU. The initiative provides several opportunities for students and industry executives to meet. In particular, HMEI has a speaker series. It is a way to enrich hospitality education in the CSU by infusing classes with highly knowledgeable guest speakers from industry.
Outreach & Marketing: Increasing the awareness of hospitality management as a possible major is key to the growth, quality and diversity of CSU hospitality programs.
Career Services: HMEI facilitates connections between employers and students. This is primarily done by providing employers with information about career fairs, company information sessions and recruitment activities at the campus level. The initiative also utilizes social media and campus contacts to promote internship and career opportunities to students.
Advocacy: HMEI works in conjunction with the CSU Office of State Relations and Advocacy to convey the importance of hospitality education to legislators. Any lobbying activities by HMEI must be approved by this office.
Faculty Development: CSU hospitality faculty members need to stay current with industry practices. There are several opportunities for faculty members to keep their skills sharp including: trade shows, networking events, conferences and the HMEI annual board meeting.
Articulation: HMEI has developed more than 150 articulation agreements with community colleges. This has resulted in a pipeline for hospitality students in community college to transfer to CSUs.
Visit The CSU Hospitality Management Education Initiative website to learn more.
The Collins College, the HMEI team and the California Restaurant Association's ProStart team have partnered on two occasions to offer high school students Experience Hospitality events. The partnerships and the service to high school students come to life in these videos.
Dr. Lea Dopson
CSU Director of Hospitality Management Education