Execs Invest $15,000 Into Scholarships for Senior Living Industry Students

There’s a growing need for professionals trained in the senior living industry, and top-level executives are recognizing this with both time and money, notes Washington State University, following its addition of a senior living management class to its undergraduate curriculum.

Each week, company professionals drive or fly the nearly 300 miles from Seattle to WSU Pullman to help students learn about the business of running a retirement community. In addition, they’re investing money to help attract and ensure student training and success.

Seven students in Washington State University’s School of Hospitality Business Management (SHBM) senior living management class recently received $15,000 worth of scholarships to recognize their innovative senior housing business plans.

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WSU’s senior living management class is comprised of 33 students and was created a year ago when four leading senior housing companies joined forces with SHBM. Seattle-based Emeritus Senior Living, Leisure Care/One Eighty, Aegis Living, and Merrill Gardens conceived the idea for the class as a way to expose undergraduate students to senior housing as a career choice.

“The goal is to expose these students to senior housing as a career option,” said Bill Pettit, president of Merrill Gardens and one of the course’s teachers. “These students get a good background in business and hospitality which makes them strong candidates to work in senior housing.”

Two students who graduated from the original senior living management class have gone on to become general managers in training with two of the participating senior housing companies, according to Washington State University’s director of the SHBM program.

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View the list of 2012 scholarship recipients here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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