The Impact of Hospitality Industry-Wide Shutdowns on University Internship Programs

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-15-2021


The COVID-19 pandemic caused a critical disruption of Hospitality Education – especially for Internship courses. Substantial industry shut-downs and health-related restrictions made it difficult for students to find positions in Summer 2020. In one university in the United States, the faculty made critical decisions about its Internship Progr am, using both past experiences and newly-available qualitative data. The result was a Virtual Internship course that still delivered the desired outcomes. Using techniques such as checklist analysis and key word research, researchers identified key elements of the Internship e xperience, and replicated it utilizing various pedagogical tools. While the intention of the faculty members was to simply overcome the temporary difficulties presented by the pandemic, the data from the Learning Interaction Reports revealed a significant, long-term problem: students were receiving inconsistent experiences in their Internships. By combining ongoing curriculum reviews with new analyses, the faculty created a Virtual Internship class for summer 2020. However, some tools that helped bridge the gap in differing student experiences will remain in place. It is important to note that the researchers do not intend their findings and decisions to be a universal solution for Internship course revisions. Rather, the actions taken were simply a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, by one university, for one course.


International Journal of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (IJGHT)


Stockton University


Atlantic City, NJ






College of Business and Management