BGSU trustees approve new resort and attraction management degree

Earlier this year, Pam Conlin, vice president for University Advancement and president of the BGSU Foundation, studies renderings of BGSU Firelands' new Sandusky facility, which will house the Resort and Attraction Management program.

By DAVID DUPONT

BG Independent News

The Bowling Green State University trustees gave their stamp of approval to two new programs Friday and set tuition for another.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the creation of a bachelor of science in Resort and Attraction Management at Firelands College, where the trustees met.

The program is being developed in partnership with Cedar Fair, the owner of Cedar Point and other amusement and water parks and hotels.  This will be one of two such programs in the country, said President Rodney Rogers. “This puts BGSU in a strong position. These are growing sectors of this economy.”

Dan Keller, who chairs the trustees, agreed. “This is an exciting opportunity.” He noted he once made candy apples at Cedar Point.

The program will be open to students who have already earned associate degrees from Firelands or any other college. The concept is for them to enter and move through the program as a cohort. The program will be offered in the new Firelands facility in Sandusky. That building includes classrooms, meeting spaces, and housing.

The trustees also approved an agreement for the Lake Erie Port Authority to serve as a conduit for funds coming from Cedar Fair to help fund the facility.

The program will call for students to complete several co-op and internship programs in the sector as well as complete a capstone project on a problem facing the industry. That project will be reviewed by industry professionals.

Professionals will also be called upon to teach courses. Trustee David O’Brien asked about a course in risk management.

Fischer said some areas are so particular they will have to taught by those with professional expertise.

On Tuesday, Fischer told the BGSU Faculty Senate that the full-time director and faculty member will be hired. They could come from a range of academic disciplines.

If all goes well the program will launch in late spring, 2020 with the first cohort doing their first internships with Cedar Fair.

Also at faculty senate, Tim Tierney, a representative of undergraduate student senate, asked for more clarity on who will determine the conditions for the internships.

Clayton Rosati, of the School of Media and Communication, expressed concern about safety conditions for interns.

David Border, chair of faculty senate, said that faculty always have the right to approve or disapprove of internships and co-ops.

Fischer also reassured Tierney that it would be BGSU that would make the final determination on who receives the scholarships sponsored by Cedar Fair.

The trustees also approved new bachelor of arts in physics. This complements the existing bachelor of science in physics, Fischer said.

The program is aimed at students who wish to major in physics, but do not come in with the calculus needed to begin their studies. 

The program, Fisher said, is more applied and broader. 

While students receiving a bachelor of science in physics pursue graduate studies, those receive a BA would go directly into industry.

John Laird, who chairs the Department of Physics and Astronomy, told faculty senate in October that there is a demand in a variety of fields for students who have degrees in physics.

The trustees also voted to approve tuition for the new online Masters of Business Administration degree. 

The tuition for the total program will be $19,040 ($595 per credit hour) for in-state students who complete the 32-credit-hour program within five semesters.

Vice President for Finance Sheri Stoll said that this will allow those students the flexibility that eCampus offerings are intended to provide. Out-of-state students will pay $19,392 ($595 per credit hour, plus an $11 per credit hour fee).

This is about $6,000 less than the cost of the professional MBA program, and far less than the $40,000 for the executive MBA program.

The university is working with the Texas firm Academic Leadership to do marketing and recruiting for the program. Fischer said at this point the program should be launched in late summer, 2020.

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