Castleton University has received notice from the New England Council on Higher Education (NECHE) that it is approved to operate at Killington Resort. The University will offer an accelerated Bachelor of Science degree in Resort Hospitality Management delivered under a cooperative education model starting this fall.
“We are thrilled that NECHE has approved Killington as an additional location for this accelerated bachelor’s degree program,” said Castleton University President Dr. Karen M. Scolforo. “The cooperative delivery model incorporates practical experiences in addition to classroom theoretical learning. The Killington School of Resort Hospitality Management will provide a blueprint that can be adopted for other programs at Castleton.”
In the three-year resort management program students attend classes as traditional students, and also receive credit for working in paid positions at Killington and Pico Mountains. Students maximize their time and talents through the applied learning format while providing integral support and expertise to both Killington and Pico. Green Mountain College previously ran a similar program at Killington and saw a completion rate of above 90 percent and a 99 percent employment rate. With the recent announcement of Green Mountain College’s impending closure, Castleton has been identified by Killington as its educational partner for the new program.
“While we’re sad to see our relationship with Green Mountain College end, we’re happy to have Castleton University step up and provide this opportunity,” said Killington/Pico President and General Manager Mike Solimano. “We will build off our already strong partnership with Castleton and continue our innovative and truly unique program in Resort and Hospitality Management started in 2001 by Frank Pauze. The program provides real-life experience that immediately translates into the skills needed to succeed in the resort industry. Currently, 35 alumni of the program work at Killington, and we hope to see that number grow with the continuation of this program.”
According to Scolforo, Castleton University students have enjoyed free skiing and riding at Pico, discounted skiing and riding at Killington, and guaranteed part-time job placement over the past two years through the Castleton Beast Pass program. This new venture is a logical progression with a strong community partner. “We have a strong collaborative relationship with Killington/Pico and we are excited to build and grow together. I believe the previous resort and hospitality management program only scratched the surface of its potential, and I expect ours will grow in size and scope very quickly.”
The Killington School of Resort Management will be housed in the newly approved College of Business at Castleton University, part of an academic restructure that will provide a strong foundation of growth. In addition to the College of Business, there will be a College of Health and Science and a College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
“Differentiated colleges and schools enable autonomous programming, entrance requirements, and delivery models, as well as greater access to interdisciplinary learning opportunities for our students,” Scolforo said. “Faculty realize greater collaboration, shared classes, and solidarity in broader initiatives. It also allows us to build out individual schools within the colleges such as the School of Nursing, School of Education, and School of Fine and Performing Arts to help build more autonomy and strength while raising the equity in a Castleton University diploma.”