To better prepare its students for management careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry, Drexel University’s Goodwin College announced that it adopted the ManageFirst Program offered through the National Restaurant Association Solutions. Created with input from more than 200 industry experts, including academics, operators, trainers, hiring managers, and executives, the ManageFirst Program focuses on 12 essential topics for management success in the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industry.

“With the ManageFirst Program, we are training our students in real-world skills and competencies that will enable them to make an immediate impact on the industry,” says Dr. Rosalie Guzofsky, associate director of Customized Learning Solutions at Goodwin College. “We selected the ManageFirst Program for several reasons: the benefits it provides to our students, the flexibility it allows our professors, and the strong tie it has forged with the industry.”

The ManageFirst Program includes 10 Competency Guides (published by Pearson Education), exams, certificates, a new ManageFirst Professional (MFP) credential, scholarship opportunities, and support activities/services. It also includes ServSafe Food Safety and ServSafe Alcohol. Each ManageFirst Competency Guide teaches specific management skills, giving educators and students the ability to focus on particular courses of study or areas of interest. The National Restaurant Association Solutions offers an exam for each guide topic and presents a customized certificate to students who pass each exam. Students can also earn a new credential—the ManageFirst Professional (MPF) credential—that designates their mastery of a set of defined competencies in the ManageFirst Program and also indicates the recipient has fulfilled a requirement of 800 hours of industry work experience.

To sustain its projected growth, the restaurant and foodservice industry needs an additional 47,000 managers by the year 2018. The ManageFirst Program was developed to help build a pipeline of talented and skilled managers to meet the challenge. By focusing on the competencies identified by the industry as most critical, the program produces graduates who are ready to step into a management position. In its first two years of implementation, the ManageFirst Program was adopted by more than 350 two-year and four-year schools throughout the nation.