OC moves toward hospitality management program

By fall 2024 or spring 2025, Odessa College plans to have a new hospitality management program in place.

It will be an associate degree that will feed into the bachelor’s degree program, Associate Vice President for Adult, Continuing and Workforce Education Tiffani Price told the Odessa College Board of Trustees during their meeting Tuesday evening.

The board approved moving forward with the program.

Price said the program will complement current culinary arts offering. The closest hospitality management programs are at El Paso College and Texas Tech and it’s a huge need.

After a dip during the pandemic, Price said the hospitality industry has made a comeback with a spike in restaurants opening, hotels and meetings and events taking place again.

Price said there are many career path possibilities

She noted that with low unemployment in the area it’s harder to fill those jobs.

At the end of 2021, jobs there were 21,000 jobs listed in Odessa and Midland. In hospitality management in Texas, there were 25,834 openings.

In this area and within a 100 miles, there were 490 openings.

The associate of applied science in hospitality management is built to align with the ExxonMobil BAAS (Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences) leadership and management degree hospitality management track.

Price said the curriculum approved by the curriculum committee in the fall.

“We want the student to walk away with the whole comprehensive picture of what the hospitality industry entails,” she added.

The next needs are a full-time program chair, faculty office, classroom, computer labs and they can use the existing culinary labs, Price said.

They next have to get certification from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; post a the full-time chair and hire for that position; submit an application to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; and prepare to start the program in fall 2024 or spring of 2025.

Price said they could serve 50 or more students depending on growth.

Vice President for Academic Partnerships Jonathan Fuentes spoke about the Financial Aid for Swift Transfer or FAST dual credit program.

It is meant to help make dual credit a reality for those who are economically disadvantaged. Fuentes said it would start this fall.

FAST eligible students do not pay tuition, fees, books or supplies.

The maximum tuition rate for dual credit is $55 per credit hour, which is what’s charged for in-district students currently.

The fee would be for in-district and out-of-district.

Chief Financial Officer Brandy Ham recommended a total tax rate .171666 per $100 valuation, a 9 percent decrease over the tax rate from last year.

Looking at the average home of about $202,000, it’s going to mean a decrease of $27.25 per year, or $2.27 per month, Ham said.

Tax rate hearings are scheduled for noon Sept. 7 and 6 p.m. Sept. 12. Both hearings will be in room 128 of the Saulsbury Campus Center.

The board also approved providing three free transcripts per academic year; four to 10 transcripts a year for $10; and $10 for 11 or more transcripts.

The college commits to investing $11.70 in transcript fees per student, Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management Kim McKay said.

Keagan Scott, executive assistant to the Vice President of Instruction, and Reagan Paquette, director of the educator preparation program and learning frameworks, presented on the Positively OC program.

As part of her presentation, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Janice Hicks said OC is expanding its career and transfer services by opening within the Learning Resource Center the Keith Career and Transfer Center at 11. a.m. Sept. 21.

Vice President of Administrative Services Ken Zartner updated Vision 2030 plus.

Zartner said the next big project is Segrest Stadium, which is well underway.

The Rudy Acosta Pavilion should be opening soon.