Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA's hospitality administration program ranked third in Texas

January 25, 2017 - University Marketing Communications
Stephen F. Austin State University's hospitality administration program has been ranked as the third best in Texas by Universities.com, a site specializing in helping students discover the best university for them. SFA's program offers students a range of hands-on learning experiences, including working in the state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor kitchens or the student-run Culinary Café.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Universities.com, a website specializing in helping students discover the best university for them, has ranked Stephen F. Austin State University's hospitality administration program as the third best in Texas.

Universities.com editors evaluate colleges and universities by interviewing admission officers, professors and students to learn about the application process, networking opportunities, financial aid, online learning and more.

"It is excellent to be recognized as one of the top programs in the state," said Dr. Lynda Martin, director of SFA's School of Human Sciences. "There are several hospitality programs available in Texas, and it is wonderful to see the strength of our faculty members and program being recognized."

Students enrolled in SFA's program can choose from a variety of focus areas, including lodging, restaurant, meeting planning, travel and tourism, and culinary.

Program coordinator Dr. Chay Runnels said SFA has the only four-year hospitality program offering a culinary focus. With its state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor kitchens and student-run Culinary Café - where students prepare three-course meals and serve guests throughout the semester - SFA's hospitality administration program engages students in hands-on learning opportunities to help prepare them for their careers.

"We work closely to align our students with industry experiences that will launch them into their careers," Runnels said. "One of the biggest reasons we stand out is because our faculty members take the time to get to know our students."

The outdoor kitchen is used to teach students new cooking techniques and is equipped with infrared burner-grills, a convection oven, a pizza oven and an iron-plate burner set.

"Students are able to prepare food items in a different and unique way rather than in the traditional, commercial kitchen," Martin said. "The outdoor kitchen allows for a broader range of educational experiences."

SFA's hospitality administration program is focused on academic attention with industry-trained faculty members. In addition to the set curriculum, students can earn certifications to make them more marketable, including certifications from Texas Friendly, ServeSafe, National Restaurant Association and more.

Outside the classroom, students also have access to domestic and study abroad opportunities, such as working at the Cannes International Film Festival in France and interning with Disney in Florida or California.

Faculty members also maintain partnerships with industry professionals and businesses, including Marriott and Omni, to provide students with job opportunities. Students also can participate in regional, state and national conferences.

For more information, contact SFA's School of Human Sciences at (936) 468-4502 or visit http://www.sfasu.edu/hms/102.asp.