Teachers across mainland China are improving the livesÑand future careersÑof Chinese youth by gaining new industry knowledge and teaching techniques through the China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI), a project of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.
This past week, CHEI was presented with the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow People Award during the 17th WTTC Global Summit in Bangkok. Award submissions were judged by a panel of independent experts, academics, business leaders, and NGO and government representatives. WTTC recognized CHEI for its focus on providing training and professional development resources for teachers across China, improving hospitality and tourism education for the future workforce.
ÒWe are deeply honored to accept the WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow Award for our China Hospitality Education Initiative,Ó said Anne Gunsteens, Executive Director of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. ÒA key factor in CHEI’s success is the cooperation among philanthropy, industry and academia, with lead advisors Marriott International and San Diego State University. Along with tremendous engagement from our partner schools in China, CHEI has grown exponentially over the past four years. Today, CHEI is active in 19 provinces across mainland China and is having an impact on hundreds of teachers and more than 100,000 hospitality and tourism students.Ó
Teachers gain knowledge and resources to use in classrooms
A visionary project of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, CHEI was initially funded with a commitment of RMB 40.5 million (USD 6.5 million) in 2013. Since then, hundreds of teachers have participated in CHEI train-the-teacher programs including:
Faculty internships in hotels
Field trips to hospitality venues
Guest lectures on campus
Hospitality English curriculum and resources
Regional teaching forums
Annual teaching conference
ÒWe are grateful to our CHEI partner school teachers and administrators who, along with industry and academic professionals, have worked tirelessly as our ambassadors, bringing CHEI programs to life,Ó said Joy Dong, CHEI Project Director. ÒTeachers are enhancing their classroom instruction with new industry knowledge, case studies, interactive teaching techniques, and learning resources focused on English and soft skills. CHEI is changing the lives of students and better preparing them for successful hospitality careers.Ó
ÒThe teaching methods we have learned are very practical,Ó said a vocational school teacher. ÒNow I have regained my passion and confidence in teaching and in my students. I will make significant adjustments to my teaching methods and design a student-centered curriculum system, which will greatly benefit my students.Ó
ÒCHEI programs have enhanced hospitality and tourism education for thousands of Chinese youth since the initiative launched,Ó said President Wang Yuan Hao, Anhui Zhong-Ao Institute of Technology. ÒThrough participating in CHEI, our teachers have elevated their teaching ability, students have improved their knowledge and skills, and our school has increased its ranking.Ó
Over the next year, CHEI intends to continue to build on its success by further localizing programs and building its capacity to meet the demands of hospitality educators across China. For more information about CHEI, visit www.chei.org.
About The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation
The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation was established in 1965 with the purpose of giving back to the community. Under the current direction of J.W. Marriott, Jr. and Richard E. Marriott, the Marriott Foundation is dedicated to helping youth secure a promising future, especially through education on the secondary and higher education levels, mentoring and youth leadership programs.ÊEqually important are organizations that help provide relief from hunger and disasters, support people with disabilities, and create gainful employment opportunities for vulnerable youth and adults.
San Diego State University (SDSU) was selected as CHEI’s initial academic advisor. Through its L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, SDSU has experience working with Chinese schools and the hospitality industry to develop programs that are globally respected and uniquely Chinese. A nationally-ranked research university, SDSU provides more than 30,000 students with a robust academic curriculum with an increasingly international emphasis. The university’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has a vision to Òbe the most personalized school of its kind in developing hospitality leaders.Ó
Marriott International has volunteered its services to help ensure the teaching-learning resources and programs are relevant to industry needs. Marriott also provides faculty internships and industry networking opportunities for hospitality and tourism educators and students in China. Marriott International, Inc. is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,000 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 122 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world.