Online MBA with Sustainable Tourism Concentration
This master’s degree is online and delivered through Antioch University Connected.
This innovative Dual-Degree Online MBA provides students with the opportunity to study with faculty and students from both Antioch University (AU) and The University College of Tourism and Ecology in Poland (UCTE) for a truly global experience. By combining the curriculum of AU’s MBA with UCTE’s preeminent studies in tourism and sustainability, we have created a distinctly engaging, high quality global experience for students to enhance their lives and careers.
This partnership capitalizes on the strengths of each institution by aligning the core components of the AU MBA coursework with the Tourism and Ecology curriculum from UCTE. Students benefit from interacting with faculty and students from Poland and other countries, and will gain the experience of global, cross-cultural interactions and perspectives. They will learn first-hand how the best of Antioch combined with UCTE opens new doors, enhances understanding of global business and ecological issues, and creates new career pathways.
This unique program is ideally suited for those interested in achieving their MBA and who have an interest in ecology, sustainability, and tourism. It offers a unique experience for those working in environmental centers, state and national parks, the tourism and hospitality industry, and entrepreneurs who see the value of new growth markets like eco-tourism.
The program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals by providing highly interactive online courses.
About the UCTE
The University College of Tourism and Ecology is an international academic centre, which attracts students from all over Poland and abroad. The University is committed to excellence in education, providing its students with specialist knowledge and experience delivered by top-class lecturers and business practitioners.
This year is another consecutive year when UCTE was awarded the title of ‘The Best Tourism College in Poland’. For many years now, the University has been training top experts and future managers of tourism businesses. The University is situated in a Renaissance castle called ‘Small Wawel’, whose historic interiors have been adapted to modern, fully-equipped lecture rooms and laboratories. What our students value most is practical education, international academic community, possibility to create their own educational paths, innovative teaching methods and a friendly atmosphere.
The MBA in Sustainable Tourism is a 42-semester credit online program, designed to be completed through five consecutive semesters (20 months) of full-time study. As with other AUC programs, the curriculum follows a schedule of two 7-week sessions per semester, with students taking four credits each session.
The MBA in Sustainable Tourism is a dual degree in partnership with UCTE. Upon completion of all degree requirements, students will receive degrees from both universities; along with a certificate that indicates the dual degree partnership.
Career Pathway Background
Tourism plays a major role in the United States and in the European Union (EU) economy.
The travel and tourism industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, making a total contribution of 1.47 trillion U.S. dollars to GDP in 2014. The industry was forecasted to contribute more than 2.5 trillion U.S. dollars by 2025.
According to the European Commission, a legislative branch of European Parliament), tourism is the third largest socio-economic activity in the EU, making an important contribution to the EU economy and the job creation. Tourism also contributes to the development of European regions and, if sustainable, helps to preserve and enhance cultural and natural heritage.
Students will acquire learning in five main domains:
- Financial: Implement integrated strategies to strengthen the financial sustainability of organizations.
- Human Capital: Communicate clearly and concisely with internal and external customers, establish and maintain relationships, and facilitate constructive interactions with individuals and groups
- Systems Thinking: Develop and master analytical, strategic, and collaborative decision making skills in order to apply systems thinking principles to the tourism environment.
- Leadership and Leading Change: Exercise appropriate leadership styles and behavior and promote organizational development and continuous improvement, and use systems thinking to enact change in complex organizations.
- Integrated Application: Synthesize and apply knowledge, metrics and skills to promote sustainability systems with the tourism industry.
The full-time schedule consists of a student registering for four semester credits in each 7-week session, allowing students to complete the program in 5 consecutive semesters (20 months). All courses in the dual MBA are two semester credits.
Recommended course sequence*
Year One - 2017
Semester 1 Spring
Introduction to Sustainability
Marketing & Communication Strategy
Human Resources Management
Semester 2 Summer
Trends in Tourism
Finance for Socially Conscious Leaders
Branding in Tourism
Human Capital Management
Semester 3 Fall
Modeling of Sales Strategy
Total Quality Management & Continuous Improvement
Year Two - 2018
Semester 4 Spring
Operations and Value Chain Management
Building High Performance Teams
Eco Business Eco Balance Eco Hotel
Semester 5 Summer
Management of Tourist Attraction
Semester 6 Fall
Session A UCTE only
Financing of Tourism by Local Governments
* Courses and sequence are subject to change
Introduction to Sustainability (2 Credits)
This survey course provides an introduction to the history, theories, principles, and practices of sustainability. Through an interdisciplinary lens, students will examine the complex confluence of social systems, ecological health, and economical welfare. Themes of pluralism and systems thinking will provide the framework for creating a personal definition of sustainability and examining the impact on creating sustainable practices.
- Explore and analyze the interfaces among environmental, economic, and social triple bottom line (TBL) responsibilities.
- Examine the aspects of systems thinking and pluralism, particularly as it relates to issues of sustainability.
- Apply methods and tools to conduct sustainability assessment.
Marketing and Communication Strategy (2 credits)
This course integrates marketing fundamentals, centering on marketing’s “Four P’s”: product, pricing, place (distribution), and promotion, with the core environmental, social, and economic principles of sustainability (triple bottom line). Consumer awareness of sustainability issues has evolved from an emerging social movement to mainstream values, and marketing strategy plays an important role in a business’ ability to respond to these issues. Accordingly, students will examine current sustainability trends that influence marketing applications and develop strategic and practical marketing recommendations.
- Apply segmentation methods to identify and target markets suitable for sustainability marketing strategy.
- Recommend sustainability-marketing programs, including decisions on positioning, branding, market mix, and measurement.
- Analyze sustainability trends and formulate marketing recommendations.
- Evaluate possible external sustainable partners in relation to achieving strategic goals.
Financial Analysis (2 credits)
This course focuses on the practical application of financial statement analysis and the use of financial information. Students will explore financial definitions, concepts and structure of financial accounting, standard financial statements, and basic tools for interpreting financial information. Ultimately, students will develop confidence in reading and interpreting the financial position of an organization and use financial statements, along with knowledge of an industry and information about the marketplace, to make informed business decisions.
- Define key financial terms including those used in the analysis of financial position.
- Recognize and analyze the components of standard financial statements.
- Analyze and assess the relationship between key financial ratios and predicting organizational profitability and stability.
- Perform ratio analysis on corporate and non-profit financial statements and interpret the results.
Human Resources Management (2 credits)
Human Resource Management deals with a wide range of activities by which organizations (both profit and nonprofit) acquire, maintain, and utilize their workforces. Adopting the perspective of a general manager, students will examine a number of key human resource “levers” or processes contributing to the development of an effective work system including, investing in people (training and development), measurement and incentives (compensation), and tapping potential employees (recruitment and selection), to better understand the complexities of managing people in organizations.
- Evaluate key Human Resources Management functions and the impact on organizational performance.
- Differentiate the key factors involved in establishing and maintaining a competitive workforce.
- Defend the role of a manager in the human resources management function and the impact on organizational effectiveness.
Trends in Tourism (2 credits)
The modern man is no longer a consumer but a prosumer, who influences the production process of goods and services as well as their functionality and sales channels – the sharing economy has been significantly developed. The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge in four areas: trends in consumption and lifestyle of societies (home-centered lifestyle, privatization in consumption, sensualism, ethnocentrism, greening of consumption, consumption of experiences, changing roles, etc.), tourism demand trends, evolution of the tourism product of various types, structure of the tourism industry including distribution channels. Understanding of these phenomena is crucial to diagnose the processes taking place in the tourism economy, and to perform inference while creating sustainable development strategies.
- Students gain the ability to understand attitudes and behaviors of consumers, hotel guests, participants of organized tourist trips, as well as the expectations of visitors to tourist destinations.
- Students gain the ability to identify process, product and marketing innovations from the point of view of the consumer’s behavior.
- Students learn to create tourism products of various types, answering the demands of the modern consumer.
- Students gain the ability to develop tourism products based on the principle of co-opetition = cooperation + competition.
Finance for Socially Conscious Leaders (2 credits)
This course focuses on business sustainability through the exploration of the triple bottom line (TBL). Students will be exposed to how the TBL shifts an organization from focusing primarily on financial profits to generating profits in a way that is better for people and the planet. Students will explore topics such as B Corporations, microfinance, social enterprise, social return on investment, social cost benefit analysis, and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
- Research and differentiate triple bottom line finance from traditional finance methods.
- Explain and debate how integrating sustainability principles and practices can move social responsibility from a cost center to a profit center.
- Define and apply Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance metrics.
Branding in Tourism (2 credits)
The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge on branding of different types of tourism enterprises and destinations (country, city, and region). Modern marketing is based on brand building and identifying brand equity, which then leads to the development of a marketing communication strategy in line with the principles of modern Marketing 3.0. Students gain knowledge necessary to evaluate brand equity. The educational content aims primarily to instill in students the ability and knowledge to look at the product from the point of view of the customer’s needs, expectations and benefits, which guarantees the product’s strong brand.
- Ability to specify the characteristics that allows students to identify the brand development regarding various types of tourism products.
- Gain skills to conduct brand image research and identify the customer’s needs and level of satisfaction.
- Students are able to create various types of tourism products in accordance with the brand equity.
- Students are able to identify benefits (functional, emotional).
- Students gain the ability to recommend the product positioning, resulting from the assessment of the product’s brand position.
Human Capital Management (2 credits)
This course focuses on the essential practices of developing and managing human capital and how those practices impact organizational performance. Organizational leaders must be adept at competing for talent and building and deploying talented resources. Students will examine the historical meaning and controversy defining the labor workforce as “human capital management”; define the leaders’ role in implementing and utilizing human capital processes of talent acquisition, learning and development and performance management; and explore how these processes impact organizational success and employee engagement.
- Define “human capital management” and implications on managing the human side of the enterprise.
- Explain and analyze the leaders role in managing human capital management functions and systems.
- Research and define talent management strategies and the impact to optimize employee engagement and organizational results.
Modeling of Sales Strategy (2 credits)
Students will explore in detail all stages of sales process—before, during and after the sale activities, including the different sales techniques that influence and create the positive emotions and attitudes of a client. This course will also help students identify the stages and the typical consumer behavior during sales cycle that enhance the consumer experience (tourist attractions, hotel offer or travel/airline agents). Achieving and extending the knowledge on modern sales techniques for services, extending the students awareness on psychological aspects of sales process, and achieving the skills of interpretation of chosen consumer behavior in tourism and customer service in general. For students it will be also an opportunity to gain knowledge on evaluation of sales process and modeling it to adjust the sales strategy to specific market conditions. The course will utilize team project and individual projects–case study, psychodrama, and individual activity, test exam (theory and practice of presented sales techniques).
- Searching for potential clients and choosing target segments (with strategies of marketing communication on each stage of the sale process).
- Planning the face-to-face talk with clients and the methods of introducing the offer (hotels offers, tour operators offer, airlines agents offer and others that are connected to tourism business sector).
- Presenting the sales propositions adjusted to changeable needs and wants of the market as well as the local conditions on the marketing sales field.Responding to client objections and complaints, talking to demanding consumer.
- Modeling the stages of sales process in tourism.
Total Quality Management and Continuous Improvement (2 credits)
This course encourages students to think creatively about why organizations make continuous quality improvement an organizational priority. Students will explore the historical evolution of quality improvement field and examine the current forces driving quality outcomes and accountability. Students will analyze and use tools and methods that organizations use for analysis, decision making and performance measures. Topics included in the course are continuous improvement, total quality management and lean principles, basic tools used for quality improvement, and strategies for implementing quality improvement strategies.
- Explain key concepts of Total Quality Management and Quality Improvement and their origins.
- Define and identify performance improvement methodologies.
- Describe key elements of effective quality control and improvement programs.
- Apply structured problem-solving methods and tools to improve quality in a selected environment.
Social Tourism (2 credits)
Students learn about the main issues concerning social tourism and religious tourism in Poland and the world. This course aims to present opportunities which arise from activating marginalized people, elderly persons, children from poor families, and people with disabilities through recreation at the place of their residence, as well as through outbound tourism and religious tourism. Students learn to use the connection between axiological and praxeological spheres in order to activate excluded persons, and how to build social support (from exclusion to inclusion).
- Understand the basic concepts, classifications and terminology regarding social tourism and religious tourism as well as the issues of social exclusion.
- Analyze causes and course of social processes and use them to design a tourism activity in line with the assumptions of social tourism.
- Understand the need for action aiming at social inclusion. Students learn to think and act in a proactive manner, seeking support for social tourism in commercial and non-commercial, governmental and private entities.
Customer Relations (2 credits)
This course focuses on the principles and best practices for managing customer relationships. Students learn how to quantify customer relations and how to utilize relationship-driven customer management tools and systems. Topics include customer profiling, market segmentation, customer service, retention, analytics, and creating value.
- Debate the importance of customer equity and its components, brand equity, value equity, and relationship management, and sustaining a competitive advantage.
- Describe and differentiate various tools for acquiring and retaining customers.
- Describe methods for dealing with customer problems and recovering from crises.
Investment Management (2 credits)
Students will learn each stage in the investment management process, especially in tourism and the hotel industry, as well as recreation and leisure centers, sport centers, etc. The course will present investment management tools such as mind-mapping, goal setting with the SMART method, and business environment analysis investments (case study e.g. tourist attractions, amusement parks, sport and recreation centers, hotels). Additionally students will learn time management (managing their own time in project management, ability to meet deadlines in the investment project), tasks and schedule creation, and budgeting and controlling. Each student will prepare their own case study of an investment project (e.g. tourist attractions, amusement parks, sport centers etc.) to practice and develop their skills.
- Searching and researching potential fields of investment in tourism, the hotel industry, amusement parks, and sport facilities.
- Planning, executing, and controlling each stage of the investment project.
- Identifying the potential opportunities and threats of an investment project.
- Preparing an example of an investment management process chosen by the students (case study— problem solving using the modern method of investment management).
Operations and Value Chain Management (2 credits)
In today’s global markets, it is important to produce and deliver goods and services efficiently and on time to satisfy customer needs. To achieve this goal, all activities in a supply chain network should be integrated from suppliers, to manufacturers, to customers. This course is designed to present and discuss concepts, issues, and problems critical to operations. Students will examine the role of operations and supply chain management, while considering sustainability in each step of the value chain, along with the tools and methods used to support managerial decisions associated with operational activities.
- Recognize business risks and opportunities created by globalization and sustainable business practices.
- Summarize principles and applications of operations and supply chain management in the attainment of strategic goals.
- Analyze and synthesize the interrelationships inherent in a complex operations/supply chain system.
Building High Performance Teams (2 credits)
This course examines components for building high performing teams, factors that influence team effectiveness, and strategies for identifying team performance issues. Students will be exposed to theories and processes of group and team behavior (which informs how to effectively create and lead diverse teams); strategies for designing and implementing employee development efforts that impact performance; and frameworks for implementing change interventions influencing performance management.
- Examine theories and concepts of building high performance teams in organizations
- Apply tools for diagnosing and enhancing team effectiveness
- Assess and explain the impact of employee development strategies on team performance
- Explain and asses the role of diversity in building effective teams
Project Management (2 credits)
This course covers the concepts, issues and approaches important in effectively managing projects. Topics include project selection, project planning, negotiation, budgeting, scheduling, resource allocation, project control, project auditing, and project termination. Topics are viewed from a managerial perspective.[/su_list]
- Research and identify salient concepts and issues involved in leading a project.
- Critique and experiment with various tools and techniques of project management.
- Create a project plan for a selected project.
Eco Business, Eco Balance, Eco Hotel (2 credits)
Students learn about the principles for organizing and functioning of eco-businesses. The course aims to present new technologies and eco-innovations applied in hotels, placing special emphasis on the principles of sustainable development. Students gain skills to independently develop and use sustainable budgets. They learn how to create programs for development, implementation and evaluation of ecological solutions in hotels. Students develop skills to assess and analyze the standards for eco-hotels, basing on good practice examples of eco-investments.
- Knowledge: students know the principles for organizing and functioning of eco-businesses; they are able to identify and define the concept of eco-balance and they understand ecological activities currently undertaken by hotels.
- Skills: students can independently develop a concept of an ecological hotel and its sustainable budget; they are able to elaborate a program for the development, implementation and evaluation of ecological solutions applied in hotels. They can assess and analyze the functioning of ecological hotels, basing on good practice examples of eco-investments.
- Competencies: students are able to work independently, are aware of the activities that would have to be taken to establish an eco-business and can plan a long-term strategy in line with the principles of sustainable development.
Strategy Planning (2 credits)
This course introduces the concept and process of strategic planning. Students will explore the elements of developing a strategic plan by focusing on the evolutionary process of analysis, planning and action. Students will apply the strategic planning techniques to a chosen organization by identifying organizational priorities deemed necessary to remain sustainable and competitive and develop a planning process to achieve these priorities.
- Investigate and summarize the key elements in a strategic plan.
- Research and analyze key elements in a strategic planning process.
- Evaluate and articulate the challenges of implementing a strategic planning process.
- Develop a strategic planning process for an organization.
Tourism Ecosystems (2 credits)
The aim of the program is to clarify the basic issues regarding ecology and sociology, paying special attention to their connections with tourism. Contemporary chaos concerning terminology fixes wrong approach towards the ecology and leads to perceiving it as a philosophy, way of life or method of production. This often results in depreciating all news reports covering such ecological concepts as ecosystem, biocoenosis or habitat, as well as leads to misunderstanding of the idea of nature conservation. The educational content aims primarily to show practical possibilities of using ecological and biological knowledge in the process of planning and managing tourist traffic.
- Recognizes the difference between “ecology,” “environmental protection”, “environmental conservation”.
- Possesses the knowledge required to describe nature protection system in Poland and other selected systems in the world, as well as is able to compare them.
- Knows legal possibilities and principles for sharing protected areas in tourism.
- Understands the importance of biodiversity and is familiar with its aspects.
- Is able to characterize selected ecosystems from various climatic zones.
Management of Tourist Attractions (2 credits)
Students will have the ability to systematize the effective methods of tourist attractions management by various classifications, including the field of dark tourism. Students will be taught main tools of management of tourist attractions with both theoretical and practical approach. The goal of the course is to identify modern tools of management, as well as diversify them due to general practice in tourism and management, e.g. usage of benchmarking and yield management as a competitive advantage in tourism. For students it will be an opportunity to gain knowledge on evaluation of tourist attractions in different fields (e.g. sightseeing and holiday tourism, religious tourism, agrotourism, and dark tourism).
- Search and research potential fields of competitive advantages possible to take in the process of management of tourist attractions.
- Plan, execute, and control of the management process in tourism.
- Identify the potential opportunities and threats due to general location of tourist attractions
- Prepare a brief for management process of chosen tourist attraction (case study problem solving with use of the modern methods and processes of management).
MBA Capstone Project (2 credits)
The capstone is a facilitated, independent, self-designed project. Students work with their advisor to complete a project that demonstrates their conceptual, analytical, research, and management knowledge when applied to a realistic project of choice. This culminating experience will provide students the opportunity to explore a topic related to their professional interest and address a realistic organizational or community problem.
- Conduct research and synthesize knowledge related to a Capstone project.
- Propose recommendation(s) and/or solutions to a Capstone project.
- Develop and deliver a professional research report.
Career Development (2 credits)
The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge of career planning and its development. Students will gain an understanding of labor markets in Poland, Europe, and the world; universal standards for application document preparation; and the recruitment process (preparation for job interview, types and course, frequently asked questions, types of qualification tests, and activities of the Assessment Center). Student will gain an understanding of sectors of the labor market including, international companies, Polish companies and those founded with foreign capital, self-owned companies, non-governmental organizations, government administration, scientific institutions; and education. Issues concerning setting up own business and preparing a business plan will also be addressed. Applied teaching methods include case studies, lectures, “brainstorming”, guiding text method, problem method, and didactic discussion.
- Knowledge regarding possible career paths and labor market institutions.
- Knowledge of types and rules for writing application documents.
- Knowledge concerning setting up one’s own business.
- Ability to plan one’s career path.
- Ability to search information regarding the labor market and assess one’s employment opportunities. 6. Ability to prepare application documents.
Tourism Promotion (2 credits)
The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge on types of promotional tools (marketing communications) for various kinds of tourism enterprises and destinations (country, city, region), as well as methods to measure their effectiveness and analyses performance indicators. Students will learn the techniques of marketing communication in the Internet, research methodology and the structure of visual identification systems. Students will acquire the skills to develop a promotional mix suited for different types of tourism products. The course also covers numerous positive and negative case studies and the analysis of promotion management systems at the national level (National Tourism Organization) and regional level – organization, financing, and partnership.
- Ability to choose the right ATL and BTL tools.
- Ability to analyze performance indicators.
- Ability to choose features of advertising creations necessary for the analysis of their effectiveness before and after advertising campaigns.
- Ability to prepare a marketing brief.
Financing of Tourism by Local Governments (2 credits)
Students will gain an understanding of the structure and mechanisms of financing development activities in the field of tourism from public sources in Poland, within a system of local, regional and central administration. Students learn how to identify supranational funds and sources of financing for the development of business entities in the field of tourism and tourism-related activities. The course also covers the rules and procedures of applying and accounting for the received financial support.
- Financing possibilities for development activities in tourism.
- Working knowledge of procedures and techniques related to obtaining and settling domestic and foreign funds, received for development activities.
- Enable students to use at least three application / payment generators which are currently in use in Poland and the European Union.
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or an institution recognized by regional accreditation; exceptions may be reviewed on a case-by-base basis using faculty’s professional judgment such as the case of an international degree. AUC will accept degrees earned under the terms of the Bologna Declaration.
- Documentation of two to three years of meaningful and relevant work or other experience.
- GMAT and GRE not required.
- International students must meet AU requirements as established in Policy 5.603 Recruiting of International Students.
- Readiness to perform graduate level writing. (work in progress)
- Demonstration of competence in:
- financial accounting
- competence with Excel
- (Remediation and/or additional classes may be needed if competence/experience in these areas cannot be demonstrated.)
- Reading & Writing in English Proficiency Assessment (if applicable) or TOEFL score of 550 “paper-based”, 214 “computer-based”, and 79 “internet-based or higher.
|Session B: 03/6/17 - 04/23/17||Start||End|
|Drop (No transcript notation)||3/6/17||3/14/17|
|Withdraw (W transcript notation)||3/15/17||4/8/17|
|Withdraw No Credit (WNC transcript notation)||4/9/17||4/23/17|
|Withdraw/Withdraw No Credit 0%||3/15/17||4/23/17|
|Financial Aid Dates|
|Book Vouchers Available||2/1/17||2/27/17|
|Tuition Payment Due||3/6/17|
|Financial Aid Disbursed||3/15/17|
|Financial Aid Overages Available||3/24/17|
|Grades posted in MyAntioch||5/3/17|