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Ante Up To A Casino & Gaming Hospitality Degree

Schenectady County Community College casino gaming hospitality students at game table with professor.

Years ago, there were fewer degree options to choose from. And although Biology, English, and Political Science are still quite popular degree options, we have seen an increase in the diversity of degrees offered. This includes all of our SUNY campuses. So to bring all of these newer options to light, we’ve decided to learn more about some of them and the campuses that bring them to you, and share the info with you, our online community.

First off we come to Schenectady County Community College, which serves over 6,000 students. With a footprint in the bustling downtown area of Schenectady, NY, they have clubs and activities on campus such as a student newspaper, horseback riding club, hospitality club, American Culinary Federation, music, and many others that build a sense of community among the students. Commonly known for its excellent culinary arts program, SCCC has several other excellent programs in fields of study like business and information services to serve its students.

What’s new on campus?

Campus: Schenectady County Community College

Degree: A.A.S. in Casino and Gaming Hospitality

Schenectady County Community College recently began offering a new degree program, an A.A.S. in Casino and Gaming Hospitality. This program is designed to offer a well-rounded curriculum and includes six new courses in casino gaming management, as well as support course work in marketing, tourism and human resources management. This program offers students the chance to gain knowledge from professionals working in this field.

How did this program come to be? The idea began when the original conversations around casinos in NY started. SCCC had expertise in the Hospitality industry and this seemed like a potential opportunity for students interested in hospitality. They developed their first program with hospitality in mind. Once the Rivers Casino & Resort was awarded the casino license in Schenectady, a partnership between it and SCCC allowed for an additional option of Business Administration-Casino to be created to satisfy some of the needs around managing the business end of the casino industry.

A goal behind the program is two-fold. Alumni will be able to work in both the hospitality side of the casino industry as it is a service oriented business and with the new degree, they may also fill roles working in areas such as finance, HR or management. This degree isn’t just casino specific. There are many other industries in which a hospitality degree would be beneficial. Hotels, restaurants, and even food service/catering all would have career fields where a hospitality degree would give you a leg up. There are more ways than one to have a successful hospitality career and this degree from SCCC gives students many options upon graduating.

There’s more than classroom learning to this program too. We know that SUNY stands behind the push for applied learning for all students. In Schenectady, the recently opened Rivers Casino & Resort has been a boon to the surrounding area, bringing new restaurants, hotels, and more to Schenectady. This new program, combined with the businesses in the community, will provide a well-rounded education giving students with interests in this field the chance to explore those interests and learn from professionals in their own back yard.

We can easily see how this new Casino and Gaming Hospitality is an example of the efforts happening across SUNY to prepare more students for success in the future economy of New York State and beyond.

Written by Sarah Petrak

Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.

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