Hotel and Restaurant Management

Academic Programs

The curriculum at College of the Ozarks is founded upon the liberal arts, which offer the student an investigation of a variety of subjects coupled with an intensive concentration in Hotel & Restaurant Management (HRM). A student may earn either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in HRM.

The hotel & restaurant management degree program, headquartered in The Keeter Center, features sequences of coursework that offer an emphasis in particular professional categories within the hospitality industry:

  • Culinary Arts
  • Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Meeting & Special Event Management

College of the Ozarks HRM graduates enjoy a very high placement rate upon graduation. The future is bright in one of the fastest growing industries in the world.


Lamae Koogler

Robert Stricklin

Special Features

In addition to classroom and laboratory work, the HRM program offers many opportunities for professional growth.

A long table with place settings ready for Thanksgiving dinner

  • Student work opportunities at The Keeter Center, the world-class lodge and conference center on campus
  • An internship program providing real-world work experiences
  • Small class sizes and individual attention from faculty members
  • Strong ties to the professional hospitality community who support student learning and serve as members of the HRM Professional Advisory Group.
  • HRM students learn state-of-the-art technology that is in use in the industry today
  • Fully equipped kitchens for culinary education
  • Active organizations, such as The Hotel & Restaurant Society and Eta Sigma Delta, that provide opportunities to socialize and travel opportunities to attend professional special events


The mission* of the Hotel & Restaurant Management (HRM) program at College of the Ozarks is to be the academic program of choice for those interested in either the hospitality industries as a career path or in graduate study in the hospitality disciplines.

To achieve this mission, the HRM program has the following goals:

  • To offer contemporary, multi-disciplined, and specialized courses of study, utilizing the unique learning laboratory environment of The Keeter Center and building on the general education curriculum of the College
  • To integrate the five fundamental goals of the College (academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural) into the academic curriculum and activities of the HRM program
  • To develop hospitality professionals who are self-directed, ethical, and guest-focused, and who demonstrate competence in stewardship and creativity
  • To develop lifelong learners who are effective communicators, globally aware, and fluent in the language and application of technology
  • To be known and function as the regional center for:
    1. Best practices in hospitality management, marketing, and operations;
    2. Best practices in workplace and foodservice safety; and
    3. Culinary excellence.
  • To be of service to the College and the wider community through programs and activities which are developed, managed and performed by HRM students and faculty who exemplify the College's vision to develop “citizens of Christ-like character who are well-educated, hard-working, and patriotic”

*Adopted February 18, 2005
This mission and goals statement has been developed through the combined efforts of members of the HRM Professional Advisory Group, faculty who teach courses in the HRM program, and the HRM students.


The front entrance to The Keeter Center Lodge

The hotel & restaurant management program (HRM) offers contemporary, multi-disciplined, and specialized courses of study, utilizing the unique learning laboratory environment of The Keeter Center. The Keeter Center features fine dining, catering and banquet services, upscale lodging, and state-of-the-art conference facilities.

Students can choose from a Hotel and Restaurant Management course of study or Meeting & Special Event Management.

A major in Culinary Arts is also offered for those interested in careers in fine cooking and kitchen management.

The hotel & restaurant management degree program integrates the five fundamental goals of the College into its curriculum and activities. We strive to develop hospitality professionals who are self-directed, ethical, and guest-focused, and who demonstrate competence in stewardship and creativity.

The HRM program is the regional center for best practices in hospitality management, marketing, operations, workplace and food service safety, and culinary excellence.

Culinary Excellence

A student and chef standing in front of cakes at the bakery

The HRM program is an excellent place to expand your interest and knowledge in the culinary arts. Chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers prepare, season, and cook a wide variety of foods from soups and appetizers to entrees and desserts in the college kitchens.

The HRM program, in cooperation with our academic partners offers students a variety of foods and culinary classes that lead the student from an introduction to food through more advanced studies in professional cooking, dietetics, and baking. Area chefs are involved in teaching a variety of our culinary courses.

The College Work Education program offers many opportunities to develop cooking and culinary skills with positions in the Dobyn’s Dining kitchen and the College cafeteria kitchens. Food preparation learning opportunities include everything from cooking vegetables in quantity for a banquet to preparing the entrée for an exclusive fine dining restaurant experience.

The Learning Experience

Studying hospitality management in the HRM program features a blend of the traditional classroom experience with a significant commitment to experiential learning. The Branson, Missouri area is a thriving tourism destination and offers almost unlimited opportunities to visit with hospitality professionals and experience their work environments. Facility tours, professional meetings, and special guest speakers are all part of the learning environment.

Students interested in the Hotel and Restaurant Management emphasis find that a working kitchen becomes their classroom. The culinary laboratory/work space is located right inside the Dobyn’s Dining kitchen and students work alongside culinary professionals. Those choosing the Meeting and Convention Management emphasis will be studying in the working spaces used for conferences and meetings.

The hotel & restaurant management students not only participate in the classroom, they find their studies continuing behind the front desk at Mabee Lodge or managing housekeeping activities in the Presidential Suite.

The HRM program blends the College Work Education program into the student’s hospitality studies. As part of their degree requirements, students complete four semesters of work in a workstation recommended by their advisor. Most of these work opportunities are in The Keeter Center. Culinary Arts students have the opportunity to work in the kitchen in The Keeter Center preparing food for guests in Dobyns Dining or a wide variety of banquet events.

The Keeter Center

A small auditorium

The Keeter Center is home to the hotel and restaurant management program and classrooms. Located at the main entrance of the College, the Keeter Center is the largest work area on campus. It utilizes student workers who apply their classroom learning in its operation as a restaurant, gift shop, bakery and 15-room lodge. These student workers serve as front desk reservationist, bell staff, housekeeping staff, wait staff, and cashiers. Culinary students work in food preparation at the restaurant. All student workers are responsible for the maintenance and care of the Keeter Center facility.

The Keeter Center intentionally integrates with and supports academic programs, including Business, Culinary Arts, Dietetics, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Music, Public Relations, and Theatre. Whether interacting directly with guests or serving behind the scenes, students who work at the Keeter Center are trained toward excellence in their professional skills. They are also encouraged toward a deeper Christian commitment, evidenced in the consistent demonstration of Christ-like character in a fast-paced professional setting.   


The hospitality industries continue to be among the fastest growing businesses in the world. There is an increasing demand for hospitality professionals in every employer category including hotels, theme parks, restaurants, contract foodservice organizations, resorts, and convention centers. There are substantial opportunities for professional growth and development while earning a hotel & restaurant management degree at College of the Ozarks.

Managers in the hospitality industries sometimes face the challenges of long hours and working under pressure. They frequently have to work evenings and weekends and they will put in more than 40 hours per week during busy periods.

However, there is great satisfaction in working to meet guest needs and exceeding expectations. Catering to the needs of guests requires excellent business and technical skills, personal empathy, hard work, and a general positive attitude to serve. The hospitality career is an exciting journey with substantial rewards.

Managers are hired in hotels, restaurants, resorts, theme parks, and tourist attractions. Guest services, reception, housekeeping, convention services, accounting, foodservice, meeting planning, facilities engineering, purchasing, cooking, marketing, and human resources are all areas for specialization. Featuring a required work experience internship, the HRM program maintains close cooperative relationships with area hospitality employers to help students explore their interests in hospitality.

Contact Information

Mrs. Lamae Koogler
Hotel & Restaurant Management Department at College of the Ozarks
P.O. Box 17, Point Lookout, MO 65726
(417) 690-2119

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