Hotel and Restaurant Management
Demand continues for well-trained managers in the hospitality field. Intense growth is expected to continue in this fast-paced people industry. In the past five years the region has welcomed eight new hotels. Additionally, construction for new lodging, dining, and entertainment establishments is taking place now. Interesting food and beverage operations have always been a hallmark of the Ithaca and Finger Lakes area, while institutional food and environmental service operations provide stable careers with the region’s colleges and health services industries.
The hotel and restaurant management degree prepares students for supervisory positions in hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality-related organizations. The degree also benefits from the College’s innovative Farm to Bistro concept – the College will operate an organic farm adjacent to campus and provide produce to the College’s downtown Ithaca restaurant and culinary center, Coltivare. Tompkins Cortland Community College is proud to have alumni and students in many hospitality operations locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Over its 35-year history, the program has trained some of the area’s best entrepreneurs and managers. Some successful alumni are in management positions with The Waldorf-Astoria, Hyatt, Darden Restaurants, and The Cherokee Country Club of Atlanta (one of the premier private clubs in the U.S). The program includes an internship for on-the-job training at hotels, convention and visitors bureaus, restaurants, wineries, meeting planners, and institutional dining operations.
Course requirements for a degree in hotel and restaurant management may be completed in class or online. Program faculty offer a variety of in class, experiential field study, and online coursework to assure participants of solid general education. There are also opportunities for study abroad. In addition, short courses including proctored exam for certification in Food Safety and Alcohol service from the National Restaurant Association known as SERVSAFE, round out the completion of the degree program. Individuals who are seeking these credentials are welcome to register for these classes.
“At Tompkins Cortland Community College, our students are a part of that entire food system. The earth is cultivated on our own organic teaching farm, and at Coltivare, we cultivate the potential and talents of our hospitality students as we cultivate friendships among our community and our guests. What could be better?”
– Sue Stafford, Program Chair of Hotel and Restaurant Management, Culinary Arts, and Wine Marketing
Careers on Career Coach
The hotel and restaurant management program prepares students as management generalists ready for hospitality positions at the management-trainee and mid-management levels. Learn more about related jobs:
Professor, Hotel and Restaurant Management
Sue Stafford brings 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry to her position in the classroom as chair of the Hotel and Restaurant Management, Culinary Arts, and Wine Marketing Degree Programs. She was also instrumental in the development of the farm to bistro concept, which features an organic farm on campus that provides fresh produce to the College's downtown Ithaca restaurant and culinary center, Coltivare.
Assistant Professor, Culinary Arts
Chef Amanda Bisson joined TC3 in 2017 as an educator in both culinary arts and sustainable farming. With over 10 years’ experience in both industries, she offers a wealth of knowledge to students in the Farm to Bistro learning community. Chef Bisson strongly believes in partnerships between chefs and farmers and their capacity to impact community food systems. “Culinary Arts is not just a career; it is a language, a science, an art, and comes with social responsibility to our community” she says.
Although the A.A.S. degree curriculum is intended as a career-seeking program, graduates have successfully transferred to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Specifically, Niagara University and Florida International have welcomed many of our Hotel and Restaurant students, where an agreement and solid transfer relationship exists. Students have also transferred to Morrisville State College, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rochester Institute of Technology, and University of Central Florida. Students may pursue a bachelor’s of science degree from Delhi College of Technology/SUNY on the Tompkins Cortland Community College campus.
Why did you choose to attend Tompkins Cortland?
To be honest, I chose Tompkins Cortland because my best friend and I decided to go there together.
How Tompkins Cortland prepare you for what came next (transfer/career)?
Tompkins Cortland actually helped me get the job that I have now. I met my current boss, Jodi, during my time at Tompkins Cortland. One of the components of the Hotel & Restaurant Management Program is a Career Day. During this day, you have mock interviews with business leaders and get to know various business professional. This is where I met Jodi, and 5 years after that day, I called her for a job opportunity, and she remembered me from that event! I interviewed with her and her team and here I am almost 2 years after my interview!
What is your current position and how do you draw on your Tompkins Cortland coursework in your job?
My current position is a Site Supervisor for 2 of our visitor centers. I pull lots of knowledge from my course work. From leadership and management to hospitality marketing. And on a personal level, I am an avid cook on the side. During my time at Tompkins Cortland, we took a cooking class and I was lucky enough to study abroad in Italy where I learned Italian Culture and Cuisine!
Who at TC3 had the greatest positive impact on your experience or your future?
There are many people that made a huge positive impact while I was at Tompkins Cortland but there are 2 people that made the most impact.. First, Deb Mohlenhoff. Deb has been a great friend and colleague. I worked for Deb at the college as a Student Leadership Assistant which is where I got to know Deb very well. Secondly, Sue Stafford, Mama Sue to many. Spending 2 years of my life with her and 2 week straight in Italy, she has become a long-time friend and we have had many laughs and cried together. Still to this day these two women help me and shape me into the person and the worker that I am today.
What were your extracurricular involvements at Tompkins Cortland and how did they contribute to your college experience/future aspirations?
Oh goodness, where do I begin. When I was in high school I was not involved in anything. Because of this, I made a pact with myself that I would be involved in as much as I could. I was a part of the Student Government Association, Panther Zone, Panther Welcome Crew, Faculty Student Association, and Hospitality and Restaurant Association. Tompkins Cortland was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I contribute that to being involved and making the best of it. I made many connections and friendships that still to this day hold up. I would not trade my time there for anything.