UMES to Become Nation's First Historically Black Institution to offer MOOC on edX Platform

Baltimore, Md. (June 5, 2019) – On July 10, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) will become the nation’s first historically black institution (HBI) to launch a MOOC, or Massively Open Online Course, on the edX platform as part of the University System of Maryland’s (USM) Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation partnership with the Boston-based MOOC provider.

The UMES MOOC is anchored in the university’s well-regarded Hospitality and Tourism Management program. The course title is “Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism Industry.”

The course will enable learners to:
  • Engage in meaningful hospitality/tourism industry conversation, using appropriate Professional Language;
  • Discuss the broad variety of exciting hospitality/tourism industry careers;
  • Locate and explore the treasure of resources available for further study.
The course is ideal for individuals of any age or stage who seek to discover career opportunities and adventures available to and experienced by the hospitality/tourism industry professional person.

Leading the course is Ernest P. Boger, chair of the UMES Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

“I am delighted that our university is positioned to take on this groundbreaking role as the country’s first historically black institution to offer a MOOC on the edX platform, in this partnership with the USM Kirwan Center,” said UMES President Heidi M. Anderson. “This university’s strong legacy in the field of hospitality and tourism is well-established, as is Dr. Boger’s considerable experience and expertise.”

Said MJ Bishop, Ed.D., Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of the Kirwan Center, “We are always excited to support University System of Maryland institutions as they explore ways to transform the delivery of higher education. The Kirwan Center is proud to work closely with UMES as a leader on the edX global platform.”

Boger’s design and delivery of this course is founded on more than 50 years of education, experience and adventures as a hospitality/tourism (H/T) professional. These experiences include prestigious positions as general manager of the Kingston Jamaica Mountain Resort Hotel/Jamaica Hotel School, Case Monte; Board Vice President, of the Daytona Beach (FL) Convention & Visitors Bureau; senior lecturer in H/T Marketing University of the West Indies, Nassau Bahamas; and Walt Disney Hospitality/Tourism/Marketing Professor at Bethune-Cookman College.

Boger has led guided tours and cruises across the U.S., Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Africa. Boger has been recognized with numerous achievement awards, including the pinnacle lifetime achievement H.B. Meek award from The International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education, Lamp of Knowledge from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute and Pioneer Award, National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners. His numerous board service includes the Maryland Tourism Coalition.

A certified Hotel Administrator Emeritus, he was a Commissioned Officer (Army, Infantry) during the Vietnam War era.

An edX course can be audited, but an assessment in the course is available only to a “verified” or certificate-pursuing learner.  A host university has information regarding the course fee for a verified user. When a student earns a certificate from an edX course, it certifies completion and mastery of the content via a passing grade set by the institution. The certificate is a micro-credential that increasingly is becoming recognized by specific industries. Most employment recruiters view these certificates as advantageous for a job applicant.

Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. With more than 130 global partners, edX counts the world’s leading universities, nonprofits, and institutions as its members.

In February 2017, the USM announced a partnership with edX to offer four new MicroMasters® Programs. The programs consist of non-credit master's-level courses, which can accelerate the pathway to an advanced degree and save students thousands of dollars in tuition and fees. The non-degree programs in Bioinformatics, Cloud Computing, Instructional Design and Technology, and Software Testing and Verification are being offered by national online education leader University of Maryland University College, a USM member institution.


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719