Travel Schools in Seattle with Program and Course Descriptions

The Seattle area has multiple schools that offer travel courses and degrees. To make an informed education decision, learn about the program and admission requirements at three colleges located within 20 miles of downtown.

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Travel Programs in the Seattle Area

The Seattle area offers travel programs at schools north and south of the city for students wanting to break into the industry or advance in their current tourism-related job. Read an overview of the coursework and internship opportunities available at three institutions located less than half an hour from the center of Seattle. Also included in this article is a table of statistics about the profiled institutions.

  • Edmonds Community College (ECC), on the north side of Seattle roughly 18 miles from downtown, administers certificate and associate's degree programs in hospitality and tourism.
  • Situated around 16 miles south of central Seattle, Highline Community College (HCC) offers certificates in the areas of hospitality and tourism management. Students can also earn an associate's degree emphasizing tourism development or travel and tourism industry management.
  • For those students interested in earning a bachelor's degree, South Seattle Community College (SSCC) offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Hospitality Management with courses related to tourism. The campus is about six miles from the city's downtown area.

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Comparison of Schools

Check out the table below to get additional info on the featured colleges. It has several stats and facts -- including details on costs, student enrollment and graduation rates -- to help you narrow your options and find the right school for you.

Edmonds Community College Highline Community College South Seattle Community College
School Type 2-year; public 2-year; public 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 8,993 6,443 5,535
Campus Setting Large suburb Large suburb Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $3,758 in-state; $9,096 out-of-state* $3,846 in-state; $4,253 out-of-state* $4,130 in-state; $9,550 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2013-2014) 59%* 68%* 72%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2013-2014) 62% for full-time students* 63% for full-time students* N/A
Graduation Rate (2014) 28%* 28%* 26%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Edmonds Community College

Edmonds Community College, situated in Lynnwood, is an avid supporter of assisting college-bound students through the nationwide project called 'Achieving the Dream'. The school's business department offers several degree and certificate programs, including ones in hospitality and tourism.

Hospitality and Tourism Certificate

The school offers a 44.5-credit certificate program to students with some employment experience or postsecondary training who want to learn additional skills related to the travel industry. Courses offer instruction on airline reservation systems, tours, global destinations, sales techniques and rules for air travel.

Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality and Tourism - Transfer Degree Program

Graduates of this program may transfer their credits to SSCC's bachelor's degree program in hospitality management. Professional studies include computerized airline travel reservations, domestic and global airline travel restrictions, world destination options and responsibilities of hotel and resort management. A business internship rounds out the program.The college also offers a transfer degree program in hospitality and tourism with a focus on administrative management that is completed at Central Washington University.

Associate of Technical Arts in Hospitality and Tourism

This 95-credit terminal degree program offers the same education as the transfer degree program. There are general education classes, along with travel courses addressing booking options, tour packages, cruises and travel sales. Students also complete a business internship toward the end of their degree program. For students interested in pursuing a specialized area of focus, options include a business specialization, as well as a concentration in entrepreneurship and management.

The business specialization includes coursework in accounting, marketing and two electives chosen from business law, economics or management. Electives in the entrepreneurship and management track could include time management, e-commerce, leadership, project management, business strategies, customer relations management and business law.

Highline Community College

Highline Community College is located in Des Moines. The school's closely tied programs in hospitality and travel provide a well-rounded education to aspiring travel and tourism professionals. Applicants need to have basic computer knowledge and strong keyboarding skills.

Specialist Certificate in Travel and Tourism Industry Management

This short 18-credit program is designed for beginners or travel agents that want to build upon existing skills. Courses teach students about airline operations, domestic and international travel destinations, reservations systems and customer service. Students considering this program might want to note, though, that not all classes are offered every semester.

Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management

The certificate in hospitality and tourism management with a specialization in tourism development requires the completion of 54 credits of coursework. Core classes include hospitality and tourism, travel geography and marketing. Approved electives may include ecotourism and adventure travel and airline customer service. General education courses include public speaking or communication, and a math course chosen from practical accounting, statistical analysis or business math.

Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management

Students that pursue this associate's degree program will learn about the hospitality and tourism management industry, taking classes in human resources management in tourism, hospitality law and the fundamentals of recreation management. The program consists of 92 credits of coursework that includes general education requirements.

South Seattle Community College

Accreditation has been granted to SSCC by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to administer 2-year and 4-year degree programs. SSCC offers prospective students a Bachelor of Applied Science in Hospitality Management through the school's Technology Center at its location.

Bachelor of Applied Science in Hospitality Management

Entry into this degree program requires prospective students to have earned 25 credits in general education based coursework, as well as having an associate's degree in an accepted field of study, such as accounting or business information technology. Once admitted, students will complete 60 credits of upper level studies.

Coursework within the program includes hospitality management, computer applications, lodging operations, marketing, cost controls, human resource management, services operations, accounting, ethical leadership and entrepreneurship. Students will also complete an internship program. Upon successful completion of the program, students may work within a variety of hospitality management positions that may be found at travel agencies, cruise lines, hotel business establishments, restaurants, catering or casinos.

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