GRCC, Ferris create pathway for hospitality management careers

July 26, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education has created a seamless pathway to a career in the growing field of hospitality management. 

Students who earn the Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in GRCC’s Pre-Hospitality Management can transfer their credits to Ferris State University’s hospitality management program.

Werner Absenger, program director for the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, said GRCC decided that there was a need for the articulation agreement after reviewing graduation data.

“We worked with Ferris to create a clear transfer pathway for hospitality-focused students from GRCC to FSU,” he said.

Hospitality graduates go on to plan, supervise and manage food and beverage preparation and service operations, restaurants and catering services. Absenger said coursework covers culinary operations, business administration, logistics, event and menu planning, and health, safety and insurance regulations, among other topics.

“The curriculum is flexible and hands-on,” he said. “Students will gain essential business knowledge and learn from industry experts while gaining extensive practical training with an emphasis on front-of-the-house and business skills.”

Those who graduate with associate degrees and, eventually, bachelor’s degrees in hospitality and restaurant management will find themselves in demand, Absenger said. 

“There is an increasing need for qualified restaurant, food and beverage, and hotel management professionals,” he said, adding that positions include hotel and restaurant managers, wine sommeliers, event coordinators and concierges.

Those who are interested in the new program may contact the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at 616-234-3690 or

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.

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