Tianjin University of Commerce Students: Marriott Tianjin China Program
FIU’s Marriott Tianjin China program has been approved by the People’s Republic of China and its Ministry of Education. This program is FIU’s largest overseas program located within a multi-million dollar center, which was fully funded by the Chinese governmental agencies and the Tianjin University of Commerce (TUC). TUC in Tianjin, China is a large national institution with a broad spectrum of programs in business, engineering, and computer science.
Tianjin University of Commerce provides the facilities for instruction and administrative and student support services on location. TUC conducts student recruitment and screens applicants. The expected outcomes for administrative support services are the same in Miami and the off-shore programs. Many of the administrative support services are conducted via the Internet for students in both places. Hence, the same options are available for admission and registration, and informational support. FIU utilizes a PeopleSoft student information system platform for all student records, registration, rosters, grade submissions, and tracking student academic progress. Students may log into the system for up-to-date information.
The curriculum typically mirrors that taught on the Miami campuses. All programs assess the same student learning outcomes regardless of program delivery venue, tracking results for each site. Some content is adapted to the professional environment, culture, and learning styles of off-shore students.
Given the size and scope of the Hospitality program, China-trained faculty completed an 18-month M.S. in Hospitality Management in Miami prior to implementation. Class schedules follow FIU’s term calendar.
The B.S. in Hospitality Management was initiated in the Fall 2006. The growth of China’s economy and its commitment to restructure education to advance economic development and, particularly, the hospitality and tourism industry, paved the way for the development of this close partnership. From 2008-2014, 1,301 students have graduated from the program in China. In addition, some transferred to the Miami-based program for their senior year. Program participants do not become FIU students until their junior year when all transfer requirements are met. As of Fall 2014, the program had 843 students enrolled.
In general, financial aid support is not available to students in this program. The Hospitality program has secured external funding specifically for student scholarships.
Career services have been an integral part of the Hospitality program since its inception. The program capitalized on the Beijing Olympics to greatly enhance its industry contacts and open many additional options for career services. Hospitality has seen 100 percent placement of its graduates in the hospitality/lodging sector in China or graduate school.
In addition, the graduate business program students receive a one-day workshop on developing enhanced interviewing skills, negotiating, and curriculum vitae writing. Students contact the career services director through e-mail/phone to seek further guidance. Since this off-shore program is cohort-based with few electives, the usual academic advising related to course selection is de-emphasized in favor of advising based on the needs of students to become successful in their academic program. In cohort-based programs, it is essential that students not fall behind; therefore, academic advising takes on an even greater role to help students keep pace with the progression of courses.
In China, advisors and staff offer a full cadre of administrative and educational support services.
The center sits on an expansive section of the TUC campus, and contains more than 450,000 square feet of air conditioned space in a cooperative school facility (i.e., the center) that is fully self-contained. The facility includes a 20-story dormitory, which can accommodate 1,000 students. The center, however, has total classroom capacity for 2,000 students. TUC provides a wide cadre of student services on site.
The FIU Tianjin facility contains two computer labs with 40 to 50 computer workstations for student use. In these labs, a professor and teaching assistants assist students. Student and faculty dormitories have Internet access.
The libraries support information literacy through library instruction online via chat, instant messaging, e-mail, discussion boards within courses, online tutorials, and web handouts for online courses. Various media are available, and the distance-learning librarian collaborates with faculty to find the best medium for the particulars of the course, often-times using multiple methods at various locations. A number of delivery mechanisms exist. The Faculty Tools Online page, Faculty Support page and Tutorials for Independent Learning provide tools for faculty and students to use.