Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership


Globalization is redefining and transforming interactions between people all over the world. Although nations differ in their level of globalization, it is critical in this day and age that nations foster global competency in their citizens and students. Education is one key area in developing and promoting global competency. For the United States, creation of a dynamic workforce, both domestic and abroad, is imperative if America is going to compete in a global society. Students who have a diverse and knowledgeable view of the world, can communicate in another language, and can exhibit cross-cultural adaptability, will be able to efficiently function and take advantage of opportunities in a global marketplace.

Institutions of higher education in the United States are critical venues for offering academic courses that incorporate and deal with elements of global competency. One type of higher education institution that presents diverse educational opportunities to large numbers of students is community colleges. More specifically, community colleges in northeast Illinois offer students affordable tuition, ease of access, flexible course scheduling, course variety, and transfer prospects to universities. One academic program that fits succinctly with the concept of global competency is hospitality management programs.

Hospitality curricula include courses in Hotel and Motel Management, Hospitality Supervision and Marketing, Convention Management, Travel and Tourism, and Food Service Operations. Such disciplines can touch on international components that involve business, politics, culture, food, history, religion, education, art, music, and travel. Therefore, community college hospitality management programs may be an excellent platform for investigating the concept of global competency.

The purpose of this study is to identify how and in what ways the concept of global competency is found within the curriculum of hospitality management programs at community colleges. Actual travel for face-to-face interviews was inherently essential to the design of this study. Seven community college hospitality management program coordinators were interviewed from the northeast region of Illinois. Distribution of institutions included both city and suburban community colleges.

The conceptual framework of this study used a “wide-angle” lens encompassing three theories from diverse disciplines. This included World Culture Theory, Multicultural Education Theory, and Adult Learning Theory. Also, the concept of student assessment was addressed. Collectively, these theories provided an exploratory lens through which to view global competency. Due to the continual expansion of the global marketplace, students will need to acquire global skills to be able to live and work.

Therefore, hospitality management students must be able to efficiently communicate and interact in an environment with individuals from multicultural or cross-cultural backgrounds. Such dynamic interactions could be with guests and customers, as well as with co-workers. Thus, research into the concept of global competency and community college hospitality management curricula is essential if we are to provide hospitality students with the salient skills to be able to successfully navigate their way through working in a global society.