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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

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    You can earn certificates through online courses focusing on customer service, leadership, and post-pandemic skills in hospitality and tourism.

USC offering free certificate programs in hospitality and tourism management

The University of South Carolina's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is launching a new program offering free career development resources for hospitality professionals and those interested in joining the industry.

The certificate program will be offered online in conjunction with USC Continuing Education Programs. Registration for the first course, "Creating Excellent Customer Service: Mastering the Art of Exceptional Service," is available now. It is free and open to all, but a limited number of slots are available.

Early registration will close on Sept. 7 for those who want to begin the course on Sept. 10. The final registration deadline is Sept. 21 and the second wave of participants can begin the course on Sept. 25. All participants will have until Oct. 30 to complete the self-paced program.

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Two additional courses, "Leadership Skills for Today's Professional" and "Post-Pandemic Skills in Hospitality and Tourism" are in development and will be coming out later this year. The program was developed by School of Hospitality and Tourism Management faculty members Simon Hudson, Robin DiPietro and Tena Crews, and made possible by a $144,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

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"The hospitality industry in South Carolina (and elsewhere) is facing workforce development challenges, one of which is the lack of skilled employees," says Hudson. "So we have created these three unique courses to serve the needs of businesses in the hospitality sector, with a focus on skills that employers are looking for post-pandemic — skills like emotional intelligence, digital literacy, adaptability, entrepreneurship, customer service and servant leadership."

Each course (all 100 percent online) has eight modules, each designed to take about 30-60 minutes to complete. Each module integrates interviews with leaders in the various fields of hospitality, including restaurants, events and hotels.

"The Economic Development Administration is keen to fund projects that will assist with economic resilience and long-term recovery, not just from COVID-19 but also from future natural disasters and economic shocks, ensuring the tourism and hospitality industry in South Carolina is globally competitive," says Hudson. "The development of these training modules will help towards the goal of providing high-skilled, well-paying jobs, which will in turn help strengthen and diversify the regional economy."


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