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National Tourism Foundation Announces Practitioners in the Classroom Program

August 26, 2004

National Tourism Foundation Announces Practitioners in the Classroom Program
National Tourism Foundation Announces Practitioners in the Classroom Program
New Program Offers Travel and Tourism Professionals Opportunity To Give Back to the Industry


(Lexington, Ky.) – August 26, 2004 The National Tourism Foundation proudly announces Practitioners in the Classroom, a new program created to encourage ongoing partnerships between travel and tourism schools and knowledgeable, experienced members of the travel industry. The program is designed to educate students regarding a wide range of specific tourism careers and to aid faculty in enhancing their curriculum. The program consists of two main components known as Invite an Expert and Cyber Mentor.


Invite an Expert allows educators to locate industry professionals willing to share their experiences through a presentation to students in post-secondary classrooms. Professionals may visit the classroom in person or schedule a time to talk with students through an Internet chat room organized by the school. Educators may readily search an online database of potential speakers according to their needs, such as by location or area of expertise.


The Cyber Mentor component works on a more personal level, allowing a student or an entire class of students to communicate with industry professionals through e-mail. This offers students the opportunity to contact mentors for feedback on topics that are covered in the classroom or for industry-related career advice that they will not find in a textbook. This hands-on learning method can be applied through educators assigning each student their own mentor or establishing one or two mentors for an entire class, or the individual students can request mentors independent of the classroom setting. A list of suggested topics for each e-mail is available.


Patricia Janes, Ph.D. of Central Michigan University has used the program in her classroom. "The Practitioners in the Classroom program has allowed me to enhance my ability to connect students to real world professionals, and this experience has been tremendously rewarding for my students, for me and hopefully for the professionals as well," says Janes. "The exchange between students and professionals has made a significant contribution to the students’ education and, overall, in the courses I teach."


"The National Tourism Foundation has provided me the opportunity to more easily access an expanded network of professionals," says Janes, who values the program for its scope. "I now have access to those professionals I was once geographically or otherwise limited in reaching. The professionals I am able to contact have varied backgrounds and experiences. They come from various fields within the industry and from across the country."


To date, more than 50 professionals have been added to the database. Practitioners in the Classroom is an excellent way for travel and tourism professionals to give back to the industry. This is strictly a volunteer program and professionals participate at their own expense. They may choose the distance they wish to travel to speak at schools, and are under no obligation to accept invitations. They also have the option to participate in one or both components of the program. Volunteers who want to share their expertise can register by visiting and selecting Practitioners in the Classroom in the "Professionals" section.


The National Tourism Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports research and education in travel and tourism. Since 1982, the National Tourism Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million to travel and tourism students in the form of grants, scholarships and awards. For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-682-8886, ext. 4265, or visit – 30 –

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