New Lackawanna, Radisson partnership amplifies Hospitality Management degree
SCRANTON, Pa. – The next time you stay the night in Scranton’s storied Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, your visit will likely be impacted by a Lackawanna College student. That’s because dramatic changes to the Hospitality Management degree program at Lackawanna are taking students directly from the classroom into the daily operations of the Radisson.
Thanks to a partnership between the College and the historic downtown hotel, students enrolled in the program will begin using the Radisson as a living lab this fall, applying their classroom theories to real situations as part of their new curriculum. The change will continue to set Lackawanna’s Hospitality Management degree program apart from others in the region.
“We have an entire hospitality curriculum where the two years students spend at Lackawanna are going to be focused on applying what you learn in a hotel. We’re thrilled that the Radisson stepped up as our first partner to create living labs for our students,” Program Director Chef Stephanie Decker said.
In other similar programs, students may only learn the theory behind the business or apply those theories in an on-campus hotel. The new partnership with the Radisson gives Lackawanna students the experience they need in an innovative way that’s different from any other program in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
For example, courses in hotel operations will include housekeeping inspections from on-site staff. Those enrolled in catering classes will attend sales meetings with career professionals. Hotel administration students will join managers during their day-to-day business.
At certain points during their unique educational experience, students will also be expected to help execute weddings and other major events, which is “a golden opportunity,” according to Decker.
“You learn that theory in the classroom, but without a hotel we haven’t had a place to practice that,” she added. “This is a place with real managing mentors where these students can network, practice their theory, and try out different areas within the hotel setting.”
The Radisson has already worked with several of our Hospitality Management majors, both as interns and as full-time employees after graduation. They arrive as well-rounded students and leave confident in the skills they’ve gained in class and through their practical experience.
“The students who have worked here and who have a real appreciation for the business have the potential to be true hospitality professionals,” said Michael Kearney, president of Nexus Hospitality Management and general manager of the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel. “It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Students need the experience, and we’re looking for quality individuals who have a genuine interest in hospitality.”
Program leaders and Radisson officials spent more than a year researching other programs, determining logistics, and troubleshooting to make sure that students will graduate as career-ready professionals. As a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, Kearney also understands Lackawanna’s unique role in educating an able workforce.
“The combination of the affordability of the degree at Lackawanna, the quality of the education, and the ability to receive working experience in such a focused, two-year timeframe is a game changer,” Kearney said.
Students interested in the Hospitality Management degree program should visit www.lackawanna.edu/hospitality or call (570) 504-7953 for more information.