Gulf Coast State College Offers New Degree Program

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PANAMA CITY -- Gulf Coast State College is collaborating with the University of West Florida to offer a new degree program. Students from both colleges can get a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality and Resort Management.

Officials say the degree is a natural fit for this area's tourism industry.
Gulf Coast State College instructor Trey Goodwin manages the culinary arts students going into the hospitality field.

"From McDonald’s to Firefly, there is a far spectrum of culinary needs in this area," Goodwin said.

Now students can receive a lot more. Through an agreement with the University of West Florida, Gulf Coast's hospitality and resort management program is expanding.

Students can take prep courses then transfer to West Florida’s Panama City campus.

"I love the program, I’ve learned many things, even at my age that I have always wanted to know, and I’m enjoying every single day," culinary student Elizabeth Fravel said.

The courses will be offered on campus or on-line.

"It allows them to have a seamless transition to the university and then their able to complete a bachelors in the workforce with all kinds of wonderful opportunities and so we're very excited that we have this partnership," UWF Interim Dean Of College and Professional Studies Stacie Whinnery said.

The new degree program will benefit those who have resort management aspirations.

"Anyone can do it; I have students from 65 years old to 17 years old. Anyone can do it,” Goodwin said.

Classes for the new degree are offered in of the Advanced Technology building. Gulf Coast officials hope to move the program into its own building in July.