In a big nod to Sonoma County's second-largest industry, Sonoma State University is starting a hospitality and tourism management certificate program.

The 12-class course starts Jan. 23 and is run and taught by Kyuho Lee, an SSU marketing professor who has held management jobs at Miami's Fontainebleau hotel and the Noga Hilton in Switzerland.

The program is meant to provide an understanding of different facets of the hospitality and tourism industries and the functions of each industry segment, from hotels to cruise lines to event management.

"It's not just entry level. This course focuses on mid-level management skills and leadership," Lee said. He said industry professionals will teach many classes and that graduates will be offered assistance finding internships.

"It will help students to have a network with local industry leaders," he said.

Graduates are to receive two certificates, one endorsed by SSU and the other by the American Hotel Lodging Association.

The first session runs through April 17. Classes are 7p.m. to 9:40 p.m. and are held at SSU's Salazar Hall. More information is at

The course costs $1,195.