NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University signed an agreement with the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation that will allow high school students who earn the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement to transfer credits towards a degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism. The agreement will save time and money for high school graduates who intend to pursue a culinary arts concentration.
The articulation agreement was formalized with a signing Wednesday at NSU. Students can earn up to 12 credit hours
ProStart is a two-year program that introduces high school students to culinary techniques and management skills with an industry-driven curriculum that provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills. ProStart is supported and operated by the LRA Education Foundation in partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. ProStart programs are currently in place in 56 schools in Louisiana with about 1,400 students participating.
Rachel Bolotte, program manager ProStart in Louisiana, said she is focused on growing ProStart in Louisiana and concentrating on the quality of the progroam. The articulation agreement with NSU strengthens the talent pipeline for students seeking careers in Louisiana’s world-renowned food service industry.
“This agreement is advantageous for the students because it saves them a semester’s worth of classes when they already know the techniques and terminology and they know what is expected of them,” Bolotte said.
To earn The ProStart National Certificate of Achievement, an industry recognized certificate, students complete the two-year program, pass two national exams and work 400 mentored hours. Students who achieve the certificate are eligible for scholarship opportunities and course credits at more than 75 of the country’s leading hospitality and culinary arts colleges and universities.
To be eligible for the NSU credit transfer, students must have a high school diploma, a ProStart National Certificate of Achievement and must have received a grade of B or better in ProStart courses.
NSU’s HMT coordinator Connie Jones said the agreement gives students more options and accelerates their coursework. Many culinary arts programs in the U.S. are two-year programs, but students who seek a bachelor’s degree are able to take additional courses relevant to their career goals, such as business and marketing, hospitality services and travel and tourism.
For information on the HMT program at NSU, visit hmt.nsula.edu.