Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tourism and Travel Courses at Centennial College Open New Doors

“We train students to work in any aspect of the travel and tourism industry,” says Lisa Mohammed, coordinator of the Tourism and Travel program at Centennial College, which offers students a travel education. “Our curriculum is endorsed by the Canadian Institute of Travel Counselors and their exam is included in our program. We also do an international trip every year. So I think we’ve succeeded in giving students not just the theoretical knowledge but sort of the vocational knowledge as well, which is what college is all about. [After graduation], they can, for instance work, with a tour operator, they can work with a travel agency and more. Every Internet booking site you’ve got, you’ve got real people in the back, processing these requests. And they’re all travel professionals [like the ones we’re training here].”

While Mohammed does a great job of offering an overview of the travel tourism education that students can obtain in this one-year offering at Centennial College, let’s take a closer look at the details of the program. First and foremost, applicants are expected to present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. In addition, students should have completed the compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent. Please note that possession of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.

Once students are accepted, they will find a program full of Tourism And Travel Courses designed to prepare them to graduate with the proficiency that both Canadian and global employers are seeking. This includes in-depth knowledge of airline tariffs and ticketing, accommodation and ground transportation and the cruise industry. They will also have extensive world destination knowledge, including culture and heritage training, passport and visa requirements, travel security, customer sales and service, and much more. This is achieved through specific courses such as: World Geography for Tourism, Wholesale Tour Operators, Selling Cruises, Introduction to Computing, Sales and Marketing for the Travel Industry and much more.

In addition to their in-school learning, students’ tourism and travel education is rounded out by Centennial’s third semester, three-days-a-week internship, which will allow students to apply skills learned in-class, interact with professionals and network. Also offered is the optional international field trip, mentioned by Mohammed. This field trip is designed to provide exposure to all aspects of travel and have students get a taste of what the field will be like once they graduate.

Should they, however, wish to continue their travel and tourism education, qualified graduates may be eligible to participate in an articulated program with selected universities, institutes and professional associations. These partnerships allow graduates to apply academic credit towards further study. The partner of this particular program is University of New Brunswick. Please note that in order to graduate from with a tourism education from Centennial College, a minimum C grade is required.

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