Determining quality parameters as a foundation for effective ranking of undergraduate hospitality management programs
Assante, Lisa M.
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Attempts to prepare ratings/rankings of four-year undergraduate hospitality management programs have caused dismay among faculty members in these programs. Efforts to develop rankings, though well intentioned, have not been successful because there is not a clear consensus of what constitutes quality in an undergraduate hospitality program, much less how to quantify it. Consequently, it is important to focus on the dimensions of hospitality programs that are the basis of quality. Educators, administrators, students, and hospitality executives were queried using focus groups and on-line survey techniques to identify primary quality indicators for hospitality management programs. The results of the focus groups (N = 28) provided the constructs for the on-line survey. The participants of the on-line survey were a convenience sample (N = 277) who held a membership in an international hospitality education organization. Factor analysis, cluster analysis, and discriminant analysis were conducted on the data. The results of this study may become foundational in assessing how quality indicators can be incorporated into related areas including academic program improvement and assessment, along with documentation of program success, strategic planning, and with further inquiry, a potential rating/ranking system.