ST. JOHNS, NL
– It was a long way from home for the eight delegates from Binh Thuan Community College (BTCC) in Vietnam, as they explored Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) last month.
College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Prince Philip Drive campus welcomed Vice-Rector Dr. Phan Thi Minh Hanh, along with five instructors of tourism and two instructors of foreign language as a part of a study tour group, which took place over 11 days in November.
The trip was a part of the Vietnam Skills for Employment Project (VSEP) - a five-year project funded by Global Affairs Canada. The primary objective of the tour was to learn and observe CNA’s hospitality program, as well as Canadian tourism and culinary arts curricula, which will allow BTCC to develop market-driven programs.
Delegates met with CNA instructors and industry stakeholders from hospitality, tourism and culinary arts backgrounds to gather information about how the Canadian curriculum is developed, and to explore some of the key teaching aids used to ensure CNA graduates are job ready.
Susan Daw, the subject matter expert for the VSEP project; Elizabeth Vincent, CNA’s International Business Development Manager; and, a team of CNA instructors and staff members worked closely with BTCC delegates as this trip was the third of four planned study missions.
“As we are nearing towards the completion of the VSEP project, which started in 2014 and will be completed in 2020, this study tour concentrated towards helping revise a current hospitality, tourism and culinary arts program curriculum from supply curriculum to a demand-driven one,” Vincent said.
The eight BTCC delegates travelled to four CNA campuses, including Clarenville, Prince Philip Drive, Ridge Road, and Seal Cove to observe classes and procedures.
“This gave the delegates an opportunity to learn, engage in a classroom environment, and experience how instructors deliver their curriculum using different teaching aids while lecturing and in labs, further exposing them to student success centred teaching methodology and approaches. We also connected with industry experts, employers and key stakeholders,” Vincent said.
To understand the dynamics of hospitality, tourism and culinary arts from an industry point of view, the delegates visited St. John’s and met Juanita Ford, Manager of Workforce and Industry Development with Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL)
“We always like to partner with CNA to share knowledge and resources. This was great opportunity for us to share, as a tourism industry association, how we operate and partner with CNA to ensure their graduates are work-ready. The delegates were keen to learn more about our hospitality and tourism industry, gather information on the size and scope in comparison to theirs, and adapt certain best practices from us to leverage industry in their program curriculum.”
Dr. Phan Thi Minh Hanh says their experience on this tour was focused and insightful.
“We achieved our agenda, we observed the different classes at CNA which gave us access to different teaching aids and methodologies used while delivering lectures. We visited many hotels and restaurants in the local area and toured different rooms. We also connected with key industry stakeholders at Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, then we spoke to government and looked at the program – we learned a lot from the study tour.”
Vincent added that the Vietnam delegation was, “not only learning, exchanging and growing for our institution and theirs, it contributed to our strategy and CNA Modernization Plan, where we have mobility, professional development options for our faculty and internationally.”
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic