Framingham State launching hospitality, tourism degree
Ever since it bought the Warren Conference Center and Inn in 2016, Framingham State University has had its eye on using the facility for a new hospitality and tourism management program.
Now, the university has the approvals it needs to get started.
Beginning with the spring semester, Framingham State will begin a hospitality and tourism management major it says is the first in the state university system and only the second public school in Massachusetts to offer the major, along with UMass Amherst. The program was approved by the state Board of Higher Education on Tuesday.
Framingham State bought the hotel property in Ashland for $8 million from Northeastern University. The facility provides students with a professional event and conference center to build their skills and learn the trade, the school said.
"The university's location just 20 minutes outside of Boston provides students with close access to an international tourism hub," said John Palabiyik, who was hired by Framingham earlier this year to oversee the new major. "Combine that with our ownership of the Warren Conference Center and Inn and all the pieces are in place for a truly dynamic program."
The new major is part of the university's College of Business. Framingham State will begin offering an online hospitality certificate program for those already working in the industry.
Palabiyik said he has begun establishing ties to local industry leaders and plans for the program to include a weekly speaker series with industry professionals, student trips to visit major companies in the region and study abroad opportunities.