Service-learning in hospitality and tourism education: Toward a new practice and theory



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Hospitality and tourism is a rapidly developing program in the higher education and the academic community. However, interestingly, very few courses on service-learning have been seen in the curriculum development in hospitality and tourism programs in the United States. In addition, zero studies on the subject matter have occurred in the hospitality and tourism research field. This study attempted to provide constructive suggestions on how hospitality and tourism programs in the United States can integrate service-learning concepts into their current curriculum design and course development. Another purpose of this study was to make a first attempt to develop a theoretical framework that reveals the essence of service-learning in hospitality and tourism education. This study adopted a holistic exploratory mixed-method approach. A total of 25 participants, 10 professors, 10 students, 3 community partners, and 2 administrators, were interviewed in the qualitative data collection phase. A total of 391 questionnaires completed by hospitality and tourism students were collected in the quantitative data collection phase. First, this study suggested five steps to design and develop a service-learning course in hospitality and tourism management program. Second, this study suggested the reciprocal relationship among students, community partners, professors, and administrators. These four positions provide and receive a variety of benefits from each other.



Service-learning, Hospitality and tourism management program, Holistic exploratory mixed-method, Course development