UMES to offer first-of-its-kind MOOC

  • Hospitality/tourism course makes history on Boston-based edX platform

    Wednesday, June 5, 2019

    BALTIMORE  - On July 10, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore will become the nation's first historically black institution to launch a Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) on the Boston-based edX platform in partnership with the University System of Maryland's Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation.

    The UMES MOOC is anchored in the university's well-regarded hospitality and tourism management program.  The course, “Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism Industry,” will enable learners to: 

    • Engage in meaningful hospitality/tourism industry conversation using appropriate professional language;
    • Discuss the broad variety of exciting hospitality/tourism industry careers;
    • Locate and explore a spectrum of resources available for further study.

    The course has been designed to appeal to individuals interested in career opportunities and adventures available to and experienced by hospitality/tourism industry professionals.

    Leading the UMES online course is Ernest P. Boger, chair of the university's Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

    “I'm delighted our university is positioned to take on this groundbreaking role as the country's first historically black institution to offer a MOOC on the edX platform in … partnership with the USM Kirwan Center,” UMES President Heidi M. Anderson said.  “This university's strong legacy in the field of hospitality and tourism is well-established, as is Dr. Boger's considerable experience and expertise.”

    Said M.J. Bishop (Ed.D.) Associate Vice Chancellor and Kirwan Center director, “We are always excited to support University System of Maryland institutions as they explore ways to transform the delivery of higher education.  The Kirwan Center is proud to work closely with UMES as a leader on the edX global platform.”

    Boger's design and delivery of this new course is founded on more than 50 years of education, experience and adventures as a hospitality/tourism professional.  They include general manager of the Kingston Jamaica Mountain Resort Hotel/Jamaica Hotel School, Case Monte; Board Vice President of the Daytona Beach (Fla.) Convention & Visitors Bureau; senior lecturer in hospitality/tourism marketing, University of the West Indies, Nassau Bahamas; and Walt Disney Hospitality/Tourism/Marketing Professor at Bethune-Cookman University.

    Boger has led guided tours and cruises across the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Africa.  He has been recognized with numerous honors, including the H.B. Meek lifetime achievement award from the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education, the Lamp of Knowledge from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute and the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners' Pioneer Award.  His board service includes the Maryland Tourism Coalition.

    A certified Hotel Administrator Emeritus, he was a commissioned U.S. Army infantry officer during the Vietnam War era.

    While students can take an edX MOOC as a non-credit course, an assessment is available only to a “verified” or certificate-pursuing learner.  A host university has information regarding the course fee for a verified user.  When a student earns a certificate from an edX course, it certifies completion and mastery of the content via a passing grade set by the institution.  The certificate is a micro-credential that increasingly is becoming recognized by specific industries. Most employment recruiters view these certificates as advantageous for a job applicant.

    Founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world's preeminent universities and institutions to learners everywhere.  With more than 130 global partners, edX counts leading universities, nonprofits, and institutions as its members.

    The University System of Maryland announced a partnership with edX in February 2017 to offer four MicroMasters® Programs, non-credit master's-level courses that can accelerate pursuit of an advanced degree and save students thousands of dollars in tuition and fees.  The non-degree programs in Bioinformatics, Cloud Computing, Instructional Design and Technology, and Software Testing and Verification are being offered by the University of Maryland University College, a national online education leader and a USM-member institution.