New Cultural Tourism and Tribal Enterprises Certificate Program Announced

SDSU Global Campus and the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) will offer a new online certificate in Cultural Tourism and Tribal Enterprises (CTTE), with classes beginning January 2022.


ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (September 20, 2021) – The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) has partnered with San Diego State University 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.

“AIANTA is dedicated to serving Native Nations and communities and since SDSU shares that commitment as evidenced by its leadership enhancement trainings, we know that program graduates will be better qualified to advance their local economies and their cultural tourism programs by utilizing program learnings,” said Sherry L. Rupert, AIANTA CEO. 

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.

“This partnership with AIANTA will complement and benefit from our existing tribal gaming degree program and certificate program,” said Dr. Spilde. “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.”

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 expand on those learnings with custom field applications.

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.

For nearly two decades, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) has served as the national center for providing tourism and recreational travel technical assistance, training and capacity building to American Indian nations. AIANTA is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association of Native American tribes and tribal businesses and was incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism. AIANTA’s mission is to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values.

About The L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
The L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at SDSU is committed to serving students through academic rigor, practical job experience, and leadership training through real world context customized for each student. The School also hosts the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming, the only Institute dedicated to offering a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis on tribal casino operations management.

About SDSU Global Campus
SDSU Global Campus offers a wide variety of lifelong learning classes, seminars, and certificate programs. Career advancement courses are offered in many areas of management, leadership, and quality improvement while self-enrichment courses range from accounting to web design. Additionally, the SDSU Global Campus offers more than 50 certificate programs, online courses, English language programs, and many other learning opportunities locally, regionally, and around the world.