On October 5, we continued our partnership with The Service Collaborative of WNY, Inc. (TSC), and began a hybrid model hospitality course, teaching a certified curriculum through the American Hotel and Lodging Education Institute (AHLEI) in Guest Services Gold: Golden Opportunities.
The course was 10-weeks and 11 students were enrolled. Students were in the classroom one day a week, and then participated in remote learning for the rest of the week. The instructor taught a small morning class and a small afternoon class on Mondays, each with 5 or 6 students. This was to ensure the appropriate health and safety COVID protocols were being followed. Students completed a health assessment when entering the Jefferson Career Center, wore masks while in the classroom, and worked to keep their assigned desk areas clean.
In the classroom, focusing on concepts such as personalization, inclusion, and commitment, students were not only learning the skills necessary to provide outstanding Guest Services but also the skills needed to be successful in the workplace. Students were given opportunities to participate in fun and creative assignments that reinforced these concepts and skills. During the rest of the week, students were given weekly work packets to complete at home and participated in weekly one on one phone and/or Zoom calls with the instructor. While this was a new and different situation for everyone, the students excelled. They worked hard, always communicated with the instructor, and never complained.
When the November 18th announcement came that we were entering the Orange Zone, students went fully remote. This was incredibly sad news but, again, the students were so resilient. They worked with the instructor and TSC staff to coordinate drop-off times for their work packets, participated in weekly class Zoom calls, tried their best to ensure their work was completed on time, and quickly learned the online learning system through AHLEI in order to take their certification exam. These were no easy tasks with all of the changes happening around them.
Not only did the students find ways to work through the challenges the world threw at us and complete the course, but all of them passed the online certification exam with amazing results.
We are so proud of their accomplishments and are grateful to them for giving us a fun sense of normalcy during a very challenging and odd time in this world. We wish them nothing but the best in their future endeavors and have no doubt that they will continue to add to their list of accomplishments.