Meet the Credentialing Committee

Together, we are rethinking the very concept of a degree.

Nicholas Elmi, Owner of Laurel

Nicholas Elmi, Owner of Laurel

The traditional concept of college is not built for low-income and working class Americans fighting to make it into the middle class. In partnership with edX, HospitalityTogether is redefining the college credential. A new approach to post-secondary education requires new market signals and ways to ensure trust in the instruments that send those signals.

Our Credentialing Committee understands these realities. Many of them took on thousands of dollars of debt at traditional institutions -- only to realize that there is a better way. This committee includes some of Philadelphia’s top chefs and restauranteurs, who have the credibility to define new signals and standards for the marketplace.

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Each committee member commits their establishment and wider organization to brand and endorse HT credentials, as well as to hire and mentor Learners like you. Together, they are part of a citywide network that is fostering and supporting a new talent ecosystem for our city’s most vulnerable populations.

The committee will have the flexibility and power to create and vet certificates that can meet the shifting needs of the local workforce while empowering students with credentials that will be accepted across the industry. Each certificate includes “Experience Goals” and “Educational Goals” that students have to meet to make for a enriching and engrossing interplay of work and learning.

Ryan Davis, Regional Manager of the Spire Collection

Ryan Davis, Regional Manager of the Spire Collection


We are fortunate to have an incredible partner with MIT-based edX, the world's largest digital university. edX features over 1,900 courses from 100 universities. edX’s virtual courses (which cost, on average, $50 each) are accessible and affordable to millions. edX will provide the digital platform while HT will act as the support system and personalized educational experience. Paired with a strong student support system and weekly tutoring, our Learners can fully take advantage of the democratic nature of the edX platform.

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LEVEL ONE: fundamentals

During the first phase of learning, Fundamentals, we begin with a “Level 1” Fundamental Skills Certificate, the gateway credential for all Learners. This certificate starts with the basics and prepares you to not only start a career in hospitality but to also lay the groundwork for lifelong learning with the edX platform and beyond. At the end of Fundamentals, you will have gained three forms of invaluable capital: income paired with the dignity of a supportive job, skills through a foundational credential, and a network of caring people who help you succeed.



After completing Fundamentals, you will continue learning, growing, and advancing in our educational and workforce ecosystem through advanced certificates created by our Credentialing Committee. Remember: after Fundamentals, we do not simply output you into the world and wash our hands of the responsibility of following and continuing to support you. We are not an input-output traditional model. We are fostering an ecosystem of constant and continuous feedback and education.

After Fundamentals, we will offer you multiple advanced certificates. These advanced certificates can launch you and your peers onto specialized tracks in specific careers. We are in conversations with our Credentialing Committee and edX to design and structure these certificates in sales and marketing, management, bookkeeping, and culinary expertise. We are also interested in exploring Level 2 options for aspiring sommeliers, bartenders, photographers, and designers. Below is a preview of the Level 2 tracks we are creating with edX and top restauranteurs in Philadelphia. The Level 2 certificates previewed below are currently being developed and are subject to change as we better grasp market needs and build out Learner pathways. Our Credentialing Committee is committed to hiring, supporting, and advancing all Learners — and these higher level credentials reflect that solid commitment.