Tourism HR Canada congratulates the latest post-secondary program to achieve its SMART + accreditation status. Confederation College’s Tourism – Travel and Eco-Adventure program demonstrated its tourism-related programming exceeds industry standards as envisioned in the SMART accreditation program.
“This recognition is an impressive accomplishment, and we commend Confederation College for its commitment to creating programming that reflects current industry needs and provides the type of graduate that will be integral to growing Canada’s tourism sector,” stated Tourism HR Canada President and CEO Philip Mondor.
Confederation’s two-year diploma program provides a comprehensive introduction to the tourism industry through hands-on and experiential learning. Courses cover topics ranging from tourism marketing and business fundamentals to sustainability and ecotourism. Students can choose French or Spanish language options and a field placement or study abroad opportunity. A mix of delivery methods keeps learning fresh—students participate in traditional lectures in person or online, as well as hands-on work-related projects, field placements, familiarization trips, guest speakers, and field trips.
“We have worked very hard to achieve this accreditation, which reinforces that our program is of premium quality,” said Program Coordinator Giannina Veltri. “Exceeding the industry standards has made our program measurable, adaptable, and responsive to today’s tourism industry demands. This is evidence that our students are receiving and have received the best possible experience during the two years of their Tourism – Travel & Eco-Adventure program. Faculty are committed to providing educational opportunities to a diverse population, training students for a wide range of careers in the tourism field.”
The program prioritizes inclusivity, offering authentic Indigenous activities, Indigenous learning outcomes, support for students with learning challenges, and services for international students.
In-depth industry engagement ensures the program reflects current, real-world practices and technologies. Students can access mentoring and networking opportunities through Baxter Media’s Baxter Student Ambassador Program. They can also earn numerous industry certifications and licenses to round out their résumés.
“I’m very proud of this fantastic accomplishment,” stated Richard Gemill, Dean, School of Business, Hospitality and Media Arts. “The hours that [faculty members] Matthew Villella and Giannina Veltri spent throughout the accreditation process were tremendous, but pale with respect to the amount of time they spend each and every day with their students. The certifications, the excursions, the labs are all part of the program, but it is the time they spend outside of the classroom that really impacts students. Connecting with our community and industry partners on job prospects and creating partnerships with industry to help service remote communities are just two examples of the amazing work they have accomplished over the last couple of years. Achieving Tourism HR Canada’s SMART + accreditation is a testament to the dedication of Giannina and Matt to our students, our program and our community.”
The SMART Accreditation Program offers two levels of accreditation: SMART Program status for programs that meet a basic standard and a SMART + Premium Program status for programs exceeding the basic standard. The SMART Accreditation Program provides an opportunity for post-secondary public or private institutions and corporate training providers to demonstrate that their programming meets or exceeds industry standards, and offers benchmarks that tourism educators can use to assist them in continually improving their programs.