The HM faculty focuses more on developing critical thinking skills through experiential learning and less on memorization of facts and figures for taking tests. Most HM classes involve application of classroom knowledge in real-life events and activities. Internships, work practicums, field trips, team-based projects, presentations, and role playing provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding of curriculum content. Add in numerous guest speakers from the hospitality industry and the learning becomes very powerful. Not to mention, FUN!
The Aspen Grille (RRM340) is CSU’s student-run restaurant. Here students rotate through ten different positions in the front and back of the restaurant, including management positions. Although the students learn various job skills, the focus in on management and delivering great customer service. An Aspen Grille student has the opportunity to face the challenges of decision making, coaching, and leadership that arise in every restaurant every day.
Created back in 2005 by Dr. Ken Smith, the Aspen Grille has become a focus point, not just for the HM program, but for the University as a whole. Students, who take RRM 340, get more high-level exposure than any other group of students on campus, including the athletes. It is common to have deans, coaches, department heads, and even the CSU President coming in for lunch. Students have served governors and other politicians, business and community leaders, and even the Secretary of the United Nations. What better way to learn management than to actually do it?