Northern Arizona University
School of Hotel and Restaurant Management
Senior Seminar
Abridged Syllabus
Dr. Gary Vallen’s HA 490 Course


Course Description:  This class is designed as a capstone course, utilizing numerous subject skills addressed in other areas of the HRM curriculum.  Taught in a "seminar" format, this course incorporates organizational theory, corporate culture, strategic planning, personal management styles, problem solving, and hospitality ethics, to name a few.

This course is designed to provide the graduating HRM student a foundation upon which to base future decision-making.  The class will follow a seminar format--there will be few if any structured lectures.  Class participation, preparation, and interest are mandatory requirements for completion of this course.  This course is the culmination of four years of education at the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management.


Class Objectives:  After satisfactorily completing this course, the student will be able to demonstrate a strong knowledge in:

  1. Operational Analysis - The ability to find and solve problems.
  2. Classic Management Theory - The application of management theory to the hospitality industry.
  3. Management Styles - The student will analyze his/her own management style and understand the inherent strengths and weaknesses.  The student will also examine other "real-life" management styles at use in the industry.
  4. Corporate Communication - Understand the many formal and informal methods of communication in the corporate environment.
  5. Job Searching Skills - Better understand industry's expectations in regard to resumes, cover letters, job-searching, and interviewing dialogue.
  6. Ethics - Thorough knowledge of ethical dilemmas in the industry.  Ability to identify controversial issues and make decisions from an ethical stance.
  7. Oral Presentations - The student will have ample opportunity to hone oral communication skills in both a formal and informal setting.


Prerequisites:  Prerequisites for the Senior Seminar (HA 490) class are senior status in the HRM program and completion of all required HA 100, 200, and 300 core courses.  Exceptions only by express permission of Professor.  Generally, you should be a first-semester senior when taking HA 490.


Class Requirements:  Students are required to read assignments prior to the class dates in which we discuss them.  Class discussions and activities will parallel and enhance these reading assignments.  Preparation and participation weigh heavily in the student's overall grade.

A number of semester projects, assignments and presentations are required for the class.  These projects represent a significant segment of the learning experience.  Additional information regarding this project will be available later in the semester and are detailed in the syllabus calendar below.

The Professor reserves the right to alter, delete, or augment any and all portions of this syllabus, class assignments, class content, and course grading criteria.  In the event such changes are necessary, they will be announced in class.

Students are also required to purchase a notebook (3" spine preferable) and index tabs for handouts and assignments.  This notebook must be purchased and organized (with tabs) by the second class meeting to receive full credit as assignment #1.


Disruption:  This is a senior seminar course.  It is designed as a classroom with plenty of unstructured discussion.  As a Professor, it is quite difficult to keep such a class organized and focused on the topic being discussed.  What often happens is that students begin their own personal conversations while another class member is making a comment.  If you have a comment, make it to the class.  If it’s personal conversation, take it outside.  The Professor reserves the right to ask disruptive students to leave the classroom.


Grading Criteria:
Midterm Exam 15%
Final Exam 15%
Assignments** 50%
Attendance and Participation 20%
Grand Total 100%


Assignments will generally include the following.  However, this assignments list is not wholly accurate.  Some additions and/or deletions to this list will most likely occur over the course of the semester:

·        Notebook Preparation.  Worth 50 points.

·        Speaker Paper #1 (due by 2/10).  Worth 100 points.

·        Speaker Paper #2--Lisa Harris (due by 2/19).  Worth 100 points.

·        Speaker Paper #3—Jerry Vallen (due by 3/26).  Worth 100 points.

·        Speaker Paper #4 (due by 4/9).  Worth 100 points.

·        Resume Completion.  Worth 150 points.

·        Cover Letter Completion.  Worth 100 points.

·        Completion of Mock Interview and Associated Paper (due by 2/12 at latest).  Worth 150 points.

·        Oral  Management Theorist.  Worth 150 points.

·        Write One Memo.  Worth 50 points.

·        MBTI Completion.  Worth 50 points if done by class.

·        TP Exercise Completion.  Worth 50 points if done by class.

·        Ethical Scenarios Completion.  Worth 50 points if done by class.

·        Lifestyles of Management Survey Completion.  Worth 50 points if done by class.



HA 490—Semester Outline

Week  ##

Weekly Discussion


Assignments and Assorted Notes

Week #1

·         Introduction and Personal Management Styles.

·         Resume Writing and Interviewing.

·         Class notebook should be completed by Thursday 1//15 for full credit.

·         Video “Do You Know What to Say in an Interview?”

Week #2

·         Resume Writing and Interviewing continued.

·         Speaker is Eileen Mahoney; HRM Director of Advising, on 1/22 about graduation papers.

·         Resume completed and turned in for “peer comments” 1/22.

Week #3

·         Managerial Positions (Chapter 4).

·         Be prepared to give five-minute overview of your management theorist (Chapter 5 page #1) next week or week after.

·         No readings this week, however bring your notebooks turned to Chapter 4 for discussion and in-class readings.

·         Cover Letter completed and turned in for “peer comments” 1/29.

Week #4

·         Complete Managerial Positions (Chapter 4).

·         Begin Management Lectures and Discussion--Time Permitting (Chapter 5).

·         Speaker is Cora Bowman; Human Resources Recruitment Specialist for ARAMARK, on 2/3 about careers in the industry.

·         Speaker is Kirk Michaels; District Manager of Old Spaghetti Factory, on 2/5 about handling the second interview invitation and managing your career for the first years out of college.

Week #5

·         Management Lectures and Discussion.

·         Complete for hand-in Chapter 5 page 2 entitled TP Exercise.

·         Speaker Evaluation Paper #1 due 2/10.

·         Begin five-minute overviews of management theorists (Chapter 5 page #1) by students.

Week #6

·         Completion of Management Lectures and Discussion.

·         Mandatory Speaker Evaluation Paper #2 (Lisa Harris) due 2/19.

·         Complete five-minute overviews of management theorists (Chapter 5 page #1) by students.

Week #7

·         Corporate Communication.

·         Read Chapter 7 all pages (1-17)

·         Focus on Incidence and Incidents on Corporate Communication.

·       Corporate Communication memo and/or response to Incidence and Incidents due 2/26.

Week #8

·         Ethics

·         Speaker is Bill Miller; HRM Professor and Director of the Marion Isbell Center for Hospitality Ethics, on 3/5 about hospitality ethics.

·         Read for 3/3 Ethics Chapter 9 all pages (1-15).

·         Complete for hand-in Ethical Scenarios pages 4-6.

·         Take-home Midterm due on 3/3 during classtime.

Week N/A


Week #9

·         Complete Ethics discussion.

·         Corporate Culture.

·         Read Corporate Culture Chapter 8 pages 1-30.

·         Be prepared to discuss all Incidence and Incidents on Corporate Culture.

Week #10

·         Corporate Culture continued.

·         Hospitality Industry Burnout Assessment.

·         Speaker is Jerry Vallen; Former Dean and Professor Emeritus from UNLV’s William F. Harrah’s College of Hotel Administration, on 3/24 about future of hospitality industry—where is industry going and what can we expect to see in years to come.

·         Mandatory Speaker Evaluation Paper #3 (Jerry Vallen) due 3/26.

·         Should already have read Corporate Culture Chapter 8 pages 1-30 and be prepared to discuss all Incidence and Incidents on Corporate Culture.

·         Complete Chapter 1 page 14 (Lifestyles of Management Survey) for in-class credit.

Week #11

·         Sexual Harassment in the workplace.

·         Incidence and Incidents on Sexual Harassment.

·         Vallen may be at PAII in S.F. on 3/29-4/2.

·         Read Chapter 6 all pages (1-10).

·         Videos—Sexual Harassment; what you should know as an employee and what you should know as a manager.

Week #12

·         Wyndham/HRM Mystery Quality Shopper Audits Presentation.

·         Personal Management Styles (MBTI).

·        Catch-up and completion of all previous readings and discussions.

·         Speaker Evaluation Paper #4 due 4/9.        

Week #13

·         No Class This Week.

·         No Classes 4/14 and 4/16/98—Vallen in Atlantic City for ACE.

Week #14

·         Enterpreneurship.

·       Take-home Final distributed on 4/21.

Week #15

·         Dean for a Day.  Graduates’ Role as Alumnus.

·        Wrap-up all readings and past discussions.

·         No new material this week.

·         Dean for a Day discussion requires students to come to class prepared with 5-7 specific suggestions for change, improvement, likes, and dislikes of HRM Program.

Week #16

·         Finals Week.