New MS in Service Innovation and Leadership

New Jersey has approved FDU’s new master of science in service innovation and leadership, announced Kenneth Vehrkens, dean, Petrocelli College.

Offered through the International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, the degree is designed for traditional and nontraditional students in preparation for, or advancement in, the hospitality management field with a focus on service innovation and leadership.

The degree was developed partially in response to a request from the school’s partner Wyndham Worldwide — one of the largest hospitality companies in the world — and also to fill a niche within the state. “There’s not really another degree like this offered in New Jersey,” said Vehrkens.

The degree will appeal to people already working in the service industry. “Most students will be working adults looking for upward mobility into senior management,” said Vehrkens.

The goal is to pilot the program this summer and officially launch it in the fall. Vehrkens expects that a large number of initial applicants will come from a pool at Wyndham. “It’s a progressive company that offers education reimbursement and encourages employees to continue education beyond the bachelor’s degree,” he added.

Other applicants may work in the real estate, automotive, employee services and tax industries. The broad appeal of the innovation and leadership program makes it appropriate across multiple disciplines.

The 36-credit, nonthesis program consists of 30 credits of required courses and six elective credits. A noncredit special project is also required. Courses include Managing Service Industry Financial Systems, Global Marketing for the Service Industry, Technology in Service Industry and Accounting for Service Industry Administrators.

Classes will be offered at off-site locations (including Wyndham) and online. Eventually, some classes may be offered on campus.