In the Sorrell College of Business, even a homecoming tailgate on Tailgate Terrace becomes a learning lab when a Hospitality, Tourism, and Event Management class is involved.
The HSTM-3330 – Festival and Event Tourism — class planned and executed the Sorrell College of Business homecoming tailgate event for the third straight year.
Dr. Harriet Dixon, an assistant professor in the School of Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management teaches the class and emphasized the win-win scenario.
“The Sorrell College of Business views its homecoming event as a way to provide a service to alumni, students and faculty in the college of business, as well as provide an experiential learning opportunity for students,” said Dixon. “Experiential learning helps students learn by doing, which builds confidence. When applying for jobs; the students know they have already been in a real situation planning, promoting, and facilitating events.”
Both Dixon and the students realize the value of hands-on learning, emphasizing the benefits over learning in the typical classroom setting.
“Instead of being told what to do or not to do, hands-on experience actually gives you the real experience and teaches you about what goes into event planning,” said Jodi Anderson, a sophomore Hospitality, Tourism, and Events major from Dothan.
Students in the class acknowledged skills learned through the project.
“We had a lot of fun, but we understood that it takes a whole lot more than just one part of the team to do all of the work,” said Anderson. “We learned how to communicate with our team members and did a lot of problem solving.”
Teamwork and leadership were some of the main benefits of the project, according to students.
“We’re almost all event planning majors, so we all like to be in control to some extent,” said Julia Parker, a junior HSTM major from Mobile. “We were still able to work together and build on each other’s ideas.”
Parker says the turnout to the event was one of the most rewarding parts of the project.
“It was really cool to be able to plan an event, execute it, and see how many people were able to show up and enjoy themselves,” said Parker.