WCU, Isothermal Community College ink hospitality degree agreement

Taking part in the signing of an articulation agreement between Western Carolina University and Isothermal Community College are, from left, ICC President Walter Dalton; Kimberly Gold, executive vice president for administration at ICC; and WCU Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar.

Taking part in the signing of an articulation agreement between Western Carolina University and Isothermal Community College are, from left, ICC President Walter Dalton; Kimberly Gold, executive vice president for administration at ICC; and WCU Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar.

Officials from Western Carolina University and Isothermal Community College recently gathered to sign an articulation agreement designed to ease the transition for ICC students wanting to study in WCU’s newly expanded bachelor’s degree program in hospitality and tourism offered in the Asheville area.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors last spring approved expansion of the existing Cullowhee-based program in hospitality and tourism to WCU’s instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square. Classes will get underway there for the spring semester.

The expansion is designed to meet the needs of community college graduates in hospitality-related programs as well as working professionals already in the tourism industry in the Buncombe-Henderson area and across Western North Carolina.

The program at Asheville is targeted at students with associate degrees and interest in the hospitality and tourism field, especially students in related programs at Isothermal, located in Spindale, and other WNC community colleges. Additional articulation agreements with other community colleges are expected to take place in the near future.

WCU expanded its program to the Asheville-Hendersonville area in response to demands from the burgeoning travel industry in Western North Carolina for more graduates equipped with upper-level management skills, said Darrell Parker, dean of the WCU College of Business.

Taking part in the articulation agreement signing were WCU Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar, ICC President Walter Dalton and Kimberly Gold, executive vice president for administration at ICC.

WCU and ICC officials also used the recent signing event, held at Biltmore Park, to review and renew the many pathways between Isothermal and WCU’s College of Business, including programs in accounting, business administration and law, computer information systems, entrepreneurship, finance, management, marketing and sport management.

For more information about WCU’s hospitality and tourism offerings at Asheville, contact Judy Fleming, director of advising and undergraduate affairs for WCU’s College of Business, at 828-227-3294 or via email at jefleming@wcu.edu, or visit the website ht.wcu.edu.