Students in the city of Maricopa can partake in CAC’s hotel & restaurant management program at the new Maricopa Campus

MARICOPA, Ariz. – With the Grand Canyon, its opportunities for outdoor activities, and warm winters, Arizona is one of the top tourist destinations in the nation. Because of this, many entry-level tourism positions are easily attainable. Career advancement and earnings can be greatly accelerated through the completion of a hotel and restaurant management (HRM) certificate or degree from Central Arizona College.

For years, residents of the city of Maricopa needed to travel outside of their hometown to complete the program. Now residents can prepare for a career in HRM while within the confines of the city at the college’s new Maricopa Campus.

The Business Division’s HRM program at CAC offers both a 65-credit hour associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree as well as an 18-credit certificate. Both of these offerings can be completed through courses that are delivered by a variety of modalities, including face-to-face, online, hybrid and Interactive Television (iTV).

Whether a student pursues the certificate or the degree, they will be exposed to a curriculum that features courses such as an introduction to hospitality, facilities management, managing front office operations and hospitality law.

Students pursuing the A.A.S. can transfer to four-year HRM programs such as Northern Arizona University’s School of Hotel & Restaurant Management. General education courses also are required to transfer to any four-year state university in Arizona.

Students may complete their final two years of an HRM bachelor’s degree by either attending NAU at its Flagstaff campus, at one the HRM satellite locations at Scottsdale Community College or Pima Community College, or online.

This program provides specialized training that enhances workplace skills, making students stronger candidates for mid-level job opportunities and for progressive career opportunities in hotel and restaurant management.

Employment opportunities upon completion of the program include hotels, resorts, restaurants, entertainment, and travel and tourism establishments. HRM courses also stack into CAC’s culinary arts program, with many of its students completing the HRM certificate to increase their marketability in the workforce.

Some students who completed the certificate have gone on to be assistant managers and guest service representatives, while those who have completed the degree have taken on roles as restaurant managers, kitchen directors and hotel managers.

Recently, the Harrah’s Ak Chin Casino human resources personnel took a tour of the Maricopa Campus to form a renewed partnership for graduates of CAC’s HRM and culinary arts programs.

“HRM at CAC features a comprehensive curriculum,” Gayle Haro, the director of the business division at CAC, said. “Students entering the program will learn skills that are highly transferable to other service and management positions in every part of the world.”

Each HRM course at CAC utilizes American Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Institute (AHLAEI) national industry standard materials. Students may receive a nationally-recognized and industry-standardized AHLA course certificate with a 70 percent final exam competency score for each completed HRM course.

Several industry scholarship and national and global internship opportunities are available for CAC students through the AHLA and the American Hospitality Academy (AHA), opening up many new and exciting opportunities beyond the borders of Pinal County.

In 2012, CAC HRM student Hannah Wanstreet qualified for an AHA summer internship at the Myrtle Beach Hilton in South Carolina. After completing this experience, Wanstreet went on to become one of two CAC international student representatives to study in China the following year.

This summer another HRM student, Marquise Oaks, participated in a Walt Disney World internship in Orlando, Fla.

To learn more about CAC’s hotel and restaurant management program, please visit, speak with an academic advisor at the Maricopa Campus, or contact Gayle Haro at or by phone at 520-494-5403.

CAC’s 2013 fall semester begins after 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814