About the IHLA Educational Foundation


The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Foundation (IHLAEF) is the not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) educational arm of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA). Incorporated in 1992, IHLAEF has been a primary source of scholarship assistance for deserving Illinois college students pursuing hospitality management degrees throughout the country, awarding over $550,000 since its inception. The Foundation focuses on three major initiatives: Scholarships, Educational Programming, and High School to Career Curriculum and Workforce Development. 

Each year, IHLAEF awards academic scholarships to deserving Illinois college students pursuing hospitality management degrees throughout the country. The Educational Foundation Scholarship Committee reviews all applications and determines the amount of scholarships to be awarded. Funds are raised through corporate and individual contributions and annual fundraising efforts, and scholarships are available in amounts ranging from $2,000 up to $5,000 per academic year.

Educational Programming
IHLAEF is dedicated to providing continuing education for current hospitality industry professionals through seminars and webinars. IHLAEF strives to offer its members quality, relevant programs that enhance their performance, both personally and operationally. Current trends, security, and compliance issues are at the forefront of industry training.

High School to Career Curriculum & Workforce Development
Skills, Tasks, & Results Training Program (START) is a one-year curriculum that gives high school students the real-world knowledge and skills needed for a long-term career in the lodging industry. Perfect as the introductory class for hotel operations, START begins by providing an overview of the hospitality industry and the career pathways available to each student, and continues with an in depth look at the front-line operations of the rooms and food & beverage divisions.

Hospitality & Tourism Management Program (HTMP) is a two-year curriculum developed by industry experts as the official industry-recognized curriculum to provide students with broad-based learning on the tasks, knowledge, and skills required by anyone wishing to build a career within the hospitality and tourism industry. HTMP introduces the industry on a global scale with a large focus on diversity and is aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Year one content focuses on operational level employee positions, and year two content focuses on entry-level leadership and managerial responsibilities.

Industry recognized, portable certifications are available to students once they complete the coursework, as well as a workplace requirement in some cases. Certification gives job seekers a competitive edge over non-certified candidates, increased job retention, and an opportunity to earn higher wages.

American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute Partnership
As its Partner State Association, IHLA works closely with the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) is a not-for-profit affiliate of AH&LA and the premier source for quality hospitality education, training, and professional certification that serves the needs of hospitality schools and industries worldwide.

EI is the global leader in hospitality training and hotel management certifications and offers online learning and courses with textbooks and digital material to enhance the learning experience. EI training programs are all endorsed by AH&LA and conform to the best practices in the hotel and lodging industry.

Professional certification from EI is the ultimate distinction of professional excellence for the hospitality industry. EI certifies and validates competencies in conjunction with academia and industry experts for more than 20 positions in the hospitality industry.

IHLAEF works exclusively with EI as the referred source for curriculum, certifications, and other training materials.

For more information about the Educational Institute, visit AHLEI.org