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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Philip Sutton, El Camino College

The RHT Sector uses Industry Certification to teach Customer Service Skills

The Challenge

Industry Advisory Committees for the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism sector as well as many other industry sectors have repeatedly voiced their disappointment in the customer service skills exhibited by today’s entry level employees. Employers are dissatisfied with how the new employees perform in their interactions with both external and internal customers and have asked the community colleges to provide a solution. Also, many high school and community college students have never held a job and do not have work experience they can list on an entry level job application. The Guest Service Gold Certificate demonstrates to the employer that the applicant has taken the initiative to complete a Customer Service skills course.

The Solution

The Guest Service Gold training emphasizes the importance of communication and listening skills to connect with authenticity and creativity in their interactions with customers to provide the customer with an experience that goes beyond their expectations and creates lasting customer loyalty. Once a student successfully completes the seven modules of the training (Authenticity: Keep it Real, Intuition: Read the Need, Empathy: Use your Heart, Champion: Be a Guest Hero, Delight: Provide a Surprise, Delivery: Follow Through, and Initiative: Make the Effort) they earn designation as a Certified Guest Services Professional (CSGP®) that they include on their resume.


The RHT sector implemented a “Learn and Earn” Work Based Learning program of Internship Boot Camps that prepare students to put their best foot forward when given an internship opportunity. The model includes the integration of the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Guest Service Gold Certification training in customer service and the California ServSafe food handlers certification along with an introduction to appropriate workplace attire and deportment as well as conflict resolution and the dynamics of working in teams.

The Data

This past year over 200 High School and Community College students participated in the Internship Bootcamps provided by the RHT Deputy Sector Navigators in the Bay Area, Central Valley and Los Angeles/Orange Counties and received their Guest Service Gold Professional Certification from the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Supporting Information

American Hotel and Lodging Association Newsletter Article on CCC Internship Bootcamps

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Common Metrics

Leading Indicators

LI 1 Alignment of skillsets within a program (or set of courses) to a particular occupation and the needs of the labor market
LI 2 Regionalization of stackable certificates aligned with a particular occupation ladder
LI 3 Alignment of a certificate with state-, industry-, nationally-, and/or employer- recognized certification
LI 4 Creation of a credit certificate from non-credit certificate
LI 5 Curriculum articulation along a career or multi-career educational pathway
LI 6 Updating the skills of faculty, teachers, counselors, and/or “supporting staff to student” to reflect labor market needs
LI 7 Integration of small business creation and/or exporting modules into for-credit curriculum in other disciplines

Momentum Points

Middle School Cluster
MP 1Completed an individual career and skills awareness workshop in middle school that included a normed assessment process and was in a Doing What Matters priority or emerging sector
Transition from Middle School to High School
MP 2Completed a bridge program between middle school and high school and revised student career/education plan
MP 3Completed a student orientation and assessment program while in middle school or high school
High School Cluster
MP 4Completed one course in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 5Completed two or more courses in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 6Completed a CTE articulated course
MP 6aSuccessfully completed a CTE dual enrollment course or credit by exam, with receipt of transcripted credits
MP 7Completed a program in high school within a CTE pathway
Transition from High School to College Cluster
MP 8Completed a bridge program between high school and college in a CTE pathway
MP 9Completed college orientation and assessment as a first-time community college student who entered a community college CTE pathway
MP 10Transitioned from a high school CTE pathway to a similar community college CTE pathway
MP 11Transferred from a high school CTE pathway to a similar CSU, UC or private/independent university CTE pathway
MP 12Completed a counselor-approved college education plan, for first-time community college students who enter a CTE pathway
MP 13During high school, participated in an internship, work-based learning, mentoring, or job shadowing program in a CTE pathway
MP 14Percentage of community college students, who participated in a high school CTE pathway, whose first math or English course was below transfer-level
Community College Cluster
MP 15Completed two courses in the same CTE pathway
MP 16Retention rate between Fall and Spring within a CTE pathway
MP 17Completed a non-CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
MP 18Completed a CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
General Education and Transfer Progress Cluster
MP 19Completed a work readiness soft skills training program (either stand-alone or embedded) within a CTE pathway
MP 20Completed college level English and/or math, for students in a CTE pathway
MP 21Completed the CSU-GE or IGETC transfer track/certificate for students in a CTE pathway
MP 22Completed requirements in a CTE pathway, but did not receive a certificate or a degree
MP 23Completed an associate degree in a CTE major
MP 24Completed an associate degree in a major different from student’s college CTE pathway
MP 25Transferred from community college to a four-year university in the same CTE pathway
MP 26Transferred from community college to a four-year university in a major different from their CTE pathway
Community College Transition To Workforce Cluster
MP 27Participated in a college internship or workplace learning program within a CTE pathway
MP 28Attained a job placement in the same or similar field of study as CTE pathway
MP 29Acquired an industry-recognized, third-party credential
Workforce Progress Cluster
MP 30Attained a wage gain in a career in the same or similar CTE pathway
MP 31Attained wages equal to or greater than the median regional wage for that CTE pathway
MP 32Attained wages greater than the regional standard-of-living wage
MP 33Participated in incumbent worker training or contract education in a CTE pathway (for example training for layoff aversion, meeting heightened occupational credentialing requirement, transitioning employees whose occupations are being eliminated, or up-skilling existing employees)
MP 34Exception


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