Newswise — BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Bowling Green State University and Herschend, the world’s largest family-owned themed attractions company, are proud to announce a new relationship that will further support workforce needs in the growing resort and attraction industry. Beginning this summer, Herschend’s 7,000+ eligible employees (hosts) at destination brands like Dollywood Parks & Resorts®, Silver Dollar City® Company and the World-Famous Harlem Globetrotters® will have access to fully-funded and partially-funded tracks for BGSU’s one-of-a-kind Resort and Attraction Management (RAAM) degree program. 

The industry-regarded BGSU RAAM degree program is a-synchronous and entirely online, meaning learners can participate from anywhere and go at their own pace on their own schedule. This format is ideal for Herschend hosts looking to continue working while completing their degree. Hosts can apply and register for RAAM through Herschend GROW U., an internal company program that provides fully funded and partially funded tuition programs and supplies to hosts at every level of the business, starting day one of employment.

“Working with BGSU and our partners at Guild to bring this prestigious degree program and university into our GROW U. education catalog is a major milestone for our company and an exceptional opportunity for our hosts,” said Debbie McKinley, Herschend’s Chief People Officer. “This will help build an even more diverse workforce across our resort and attractions brands while supporting our hosts’ career aspirations.” 

“Whether it’s to pursue a new dream or advance their career with us, we care about hosts’ personal and professional growth because we believe that their futures should be grown with love, not loans,” said Herschend’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wexler. “Their success is our success – and that’s why we’re thrilled to make this benefit available to all, regardless of their role in the company and without the burden of debt.”

This year, Herschend GROW U. is celebrating its second anniversary. Since the program’s launch in 2022, nearly 500 of 7,000+ eligible hosts have enrolled in or completed programs.  

Students in BGSU Online programs earn a quality, comprehensive education in a flexible, affordable format taught by the same world-class faculty in the University’s in-person programs. BGSU online bachelor’s degrees, including RAAM, are ranked among the top 20% in the country.

“The online BGSU RAAM program is a flexible and affordable option for working industry professionals looking to advance their careers,” said Dr. Swathi Ravichandran, professor and founding director of the program. “As the resort and attraction industry continues to grow, we are proud to offer our innovative and relevant degree that bolsters careers and supports workforce needs at companies like Herschend.”

The BGSU RAAM program empowers students to be leaders in the resort and attraction industry through innovative coursework and experiential, hands-on learning. Herschend hosts pursuing the RAAM degree can use their current work experience to fulfill the program’s two required co-op experiences.

Upon graduation, BGSU RAAM alumni are prepared for gainful employment in industry-leading careers like park operations, hospitality, entertainment, human resources, finance and more.

Those interested in learning more about the BGSU RAAM program through Herschend GROW U., including application requirements, can visit Those interested in career opportunities with Herschend can learn more at

About BGSU
Founded in 1910, Bowling Green State University is a high-research, nationally ranked, comprehensive university located in Bowling Green, Ohio, named one of America’s Best College Towns. Home to more than 20,000 students, BGSU is committed to redefining student success through relevant academic programs that meet the needs of students and society. As a public university for the public good, the University focuses its research, scholarship and creative activities to support the economic and cultural vitality of Ohio and beyond. 

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About Herschend
Herschend has been Bringing Families Closer Together by Creating Memories Worth Repeating® for seven generations. It is the world’s largest family-owned themed attractions company, with 12,000+ passionate hosts collectively entertaining 15 million families every year.

Herschend’s portfolio of more than two dozen wholesome family entertainment brands across North America includes iconic award-winning destinations such as Dollywood® Parks & Resorts, Silver Dollar City® Company, Adventure Aquarium®, Callaway Resort & Gardens®, Kentucky Kingdom®, Newport Aquarium®, The Vancouver Aquarium® and Wild Adventures®. In addition to its premier themed attractions, Herschend is proud to steward the World-Famous Harlem Globetrotters® legacy and provide immersive content and experiences through our Herschend Entertainment Studios® and Pink Adventure Tours® brands.

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