BANGKOK—Teachers across mainland China are improving the lives—and future careers—of 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.
CHEI was recently 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.
“We are deeply honored to accept the WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow Award for our China Hospitality Education Initiative,” said Anne Gunsteens, Executive Director of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. “A 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.”
Teachers Gain Knowledge & 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 $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, international fellowships, and annual teaching conference.
“We 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,” said Joy Dong, CHEI Project Director. “Teachers 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.”
“The teaching methods we have learned are very practical,” said a vocational school teacher. “Now 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.”
“CHEI programs have enhanced hospitality and tourism education for thousands of Chinese youth since the initiative launched,” said President Wang Yuan Hao, Anhui Zhong-Ao Institute of Technology. “Through participating in CHEI, our teachers have elevated their teaching ability, students have improved their knowledge and skills, and our school has increased its ranking.”
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.