Lynn Is First With Timeshare Studies

As the vacation ownership industry continues to grow, hospitality schools are starting to take notice. Lynn University might not be the obvious choice to lead the way, but the small school in Boca Raton, FL last year became the first to offer a Bachelor of Science degree with a specialization in vacation ownership management.

“We wanted to create programs of excellence in niche areas to produce students that will have competency sets moving forward,” says Mike Hampton, the dean of the college of hospitality management there. The new program started in fall 2007 with around 14 students. The entire hospitality program has 300 students, 120 of which study sports & recreation management.

The program offers courses with emphasis on resort management and operations, principles of vacation ownership, marketing and sales strategies, inventory management and guest relations. Multiple internships are a mandatory part of the program, Hampton says, and that resume-building experience is a key part of the learning.

“I think it's especially important for a university like Lynn that is located in a resort destination like southeast Florida,” says Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of the American Resort Development Association. “Students are learning that timeshare has more diversity of jobs than most hospitality segments. Vacation ownership is really compelling because it's a business within a business. We really need good talent in all disciplines.”

Nusbaum is thrilled with the program. The school will help provide the future workforce for one of the fastest growing segments of the hospitality industry.

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