Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Kelly Way

Committee Member

Cora Hamm

Second Committee Member

Zola Moon

Keywords

Education; Co-teach; Executive in residence; Hospitality; Industry professional; Teaching method

Abstract

“Bridging the gap” between theory and practice has historically been challenging. There is a definite lag between textbook knowledge and “real-world” application. For decades colleges have been adopting different Executive-In-Residence (EIR) models to help with this concern. Various EIR models include bringing industry professionals into the classes as guest speakers, hosting a series of one-on-one meetings, and conducting seminars and workshops. There is little to no research on EIRs in the Hospitality and Tourism field. In today’s modern time, the hospitality industry is a forerunner in the service industry, thus making this research extremely beneficial to the body of knowledge regarding hospitality education.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a new EIR Classroom Teaching Model that can be utilized in hospitality programs globally. A non-experimental descriptive survey research design was utilized in this study for the purpose of determining if knowledge increased in the subject area, determining appropriate course workloads, and determining students’ preferences on the traditional textbook. Two descriptive survey questionnaires (one for EIR students, another for non-EIR students) were designed and distributed via email to the participants of the study.

The study found that EIR students felt they learned more than Non EIR students. The study also found that EIR students found the EIR course more challenging and it enhanced their creativity. The data also concluded that both EIR and Non EIR students feel that textbooks are not necessary in upper-level courses. Results from this study can be used as a catalyst for conducting follow-up research on knowledge management in hospitality programs, allowing new instructional methods and classroom collaborations with industry leaders.

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