San Diego State University has been selected by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) to offer an online Certificate in Cultural Tourism and Tribal Enterprises (“CTTE”).

The for-credit certificate, to be offered through SDSU Global Campus and developed by the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management program, will allow professionals to explore the fundamentals of tribal tourism planning. The online program brings together academic and industry experts who will provide tools for tribal tourism planners to develop tribally-specific strategies to sustain a balance between tribal cultural environments, economic development, tourism promotion and recreational use.

Through the new Cultural Tourism and Tribal Enterprises Certificate program, students will learn global best practices in the effective organization, administration and supervision of tribal cultural sites, recreation and tourism agencies and leisure-related tribal businesses, including tourism agencies, tribal gaming and hospitality operations and sacred sites.

Dr. Kate Spilde, Endowed Chair of the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming at SDSU, will serve as Director of the new program. Dr. Spilde commented, “This partnership with AIANTA will complement and benefit from our existing tribal gaming degree program and certificate program. In particular, we are excited to expand our course offerings to include a focus on economic sustainability, including how to coordinate tribal tourism development with tribal political, cultural and spiritual concerns.”

Sherry L. Rupert, Chief Executive Officer AIANTA, says her organization was drawn to SDSU’s existing tribal programs and is excited about this partnership.

“As an organization, AIANTA is dedicated to serving Native Nations and communities and we saw that SDSU shares our commitment to leadership enhancement trainings, and we know that program graduates will be better qualified to advance their local economies and their cultural tourism programs by utilizing program learnings.” Rupert said.

Program Details
The CTTE Program will consist of two levels (Level 1 and Level 2) with each level including eight weeks of instruction through SDSU Global Campus. The courses and levels are designed to be progressive and participants will be eligible for 3 units of college credit for each level. Level 1 and Level 2 will be offered annually and SDSU expects to launch the first series of courses in January, 2022.

Level 1 courses will consist of experiential learning including reading, writing, videos and independent field trips while level 2 courses will consist of experiential learning including reading, writing, videos and custom field application.

Designed to be flexible and meet the needs of busy individuals interested in professional development and career advancement, the CTTE program will include guest lectures, case studies, directed readings and other experiential learning modules to promote the application of course content into tribal tourism development in real time.

Visit AIANTA’s website to learn more.