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College of Hospitality Studies

LOUISVILLE, KY – Sullivan University has officially named the winners for the 2018 Elite 50, an annual selection of the top 50 secondary school hospitality programs in the nation.

The Elite 50 list recognizes high schools as well as career and technical centers that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in hospitality education. These schools set the standard for secondary school training in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts and/or hospitality management. These elite programs are also marked by strong enrollment and a dedication to community outreach. Many of this year’s Elite 50 programs have won state and national competitions for ProStart, SkillsUSA and Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).

“We also conducted research to establish schools with strong hospitality enrollment and influence in their community,” said Lauren Gold, Director of High School Programs at Sullivan University. “Included are many schools we specifically paid visits to that we deemed to have strong hospitality programs.”

Additional criteria for those selected for the Elite 50 included: An original recipe with photos or a restaurant management design; two essays from students on the topic, Why I want to pursue a career in hospitality; and videos, brochures and additional information about the school’s hospitality program. Further considerations were given to schools that operate a restaurant, catering service or similar food service operation as part of its culinary and hospitality training.

More than 350 schools designated as Hospitality Programs of Distinction were invited to apply for the honor of being named to the Elite 50 list. Criteria for the schools selected for the Elite 50 included an original recipe with photos or a restaurant management design and instructor educational/certification background and informational materials such as videos or brochures about the school’s program. Further consideration was given to schools that operate a restaurant or catering service as part of their culinary and hospitality training.

The National Center for Hospitality Studies at Sullivan University in Louisville oversees the selection process for the Elite 50 list. The National Center for Hospitality Studies is known as one of the finest postsecondary hospitality training institutions in the nation and offers programs in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, hotel and restaurant management, event management and tourism and hospitality management. Every year, graduates from the National Center for Hospitality Studies pursue successful careers in virtually every corner of the globe and every aspect of the hospitality industry.

For additional information about the 2018 Elite 50 list, please visit