Academy of Hospitality and Tourism
Soaring to new heights.

   In 1987 – the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism (AOHT) was established at Miami Springs Senior High in partnership with American Express Philanthropic Foundation. Miami Springs Senior High was the first school in Miami Dade County to offer this academy. We are now celebrating 25 years of excellence!

   The AOHT in Miami went from a ‘seed’ program when it began in 1987 to a program that is modeled and emulated across the country. Locally, programs are administered by the School Choice & Parental Options Office, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. National Recognition was earned by two schools who have been recipients of the Aldo Papone Award for hospitality leadership—Miami Spring SHS and Miami Beach SHS; the International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators (ISTTE) awarded the M-DCPS AOHT the Institutional Award for Hospitality Education. Miami Springs Senior High School – designated Distinguished by National Academy Foundation, 2011 AOHT is supported by the National Academy Foundation (NAF). NAF is a national network of career academies created to support the development of America’s youth toward personal and professional success in high school, higher education and throughout their careers. NAF Academies prepare students for post secondary education and professional careers in Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, Information Technology and Engineering. Across its network, NAF Academies boast an average graduation rate of 90%- compared to 50% in the urban areas where most NAF Academies are located 33 NAF Academies locally with more than 50,000 students in 50 Academies in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

   The NAF curriculum is a rigorous curriculum well aligned to industry standards and employer expectations. It is centered around project based learning and providing real learning experiences outside the classroom in the form of Familiarization Tours.

AOHT is a Smaller Learning Academy and provides:

  • A secure environment with an academy lead teacher and academy teachers to guide the student through the entire high school experience.
  • Free local college courses through dual enrollment, advanced placement courses and national articulation agreements.
  • Connections to the worlds of work and school through student/industry conferences, shadow ship days, professional development seminars, etc.
  • Advanced Placement Credits in dual enrollment classes, and require paid industry internships in the summer of the junior year of the academy.
  • Participation in interdisciplinary project-based approach to learning.
  • Competitions locally and nationally with the student organization, DECA.
  • Participation in local and national field studies (FAMS).
  • The possibility of earning scholarships.

   A lot of these opportunities are made possible for our students because of a strong AOHT Advisory Board. The Board is comprised of distinguished industry and post secondary leaders who provide financial leadership and in-kind services, secure paid internships, organize professional student and teacher training opportunities, and serve as program advocates. Academy of Hospitality & Tourism Advisory Board and Business and Education Champions provide career-connecting activities such as internships, fundraising activities to support student/teacher development, parent out-reach, student FAMS, conferences and other programs.

   Please visit the national AOHT website to read more about the academy or the NAF website to learn more about the National Academy Foundation. You may contact our AOHT Lead Teacher, Ms. Ann M. Carranza at or the Academy Director at

   Download a Magnet application at:

The Academy of Hospitality And Tourism: Course Sequence

   The unique curriculum meets the State of Florida graduation requirements. Each course has a focus on the oral and written communication skills necessary for success in the field of tourism, readiness for the FCAT, and the development of employability skills as well as preparation for college. AOHT students are grouped, when possible, in their non- academy courses to provide an integrated curriculum. Each course is one credit.

Ninth Grade

English for Tourism I

Introduction to Hospitality & Tourism*

* This is a required course for new students. This course covers the history, components, organizational development, and expansion of tourism as a major global industry.

Tenth Grade

English for Tourism II

AP Human Geography*

* This course provides the students with a solid background in human geography while at the same time enhancing their exposure to multicultural diversity. Knowledge of geography is essential to successful employment in the field of tourism as well as living in a global society.

Eleventh Grade

English for Tourism III

Computer Applications for Tourism*

* This course meets the practical arts and computer literacy requirements for graduation. Employability skills prepare students for the summer Internship. Students will be exposed to some form of industry certification exam which will allow them to be marketable in the workplace.

   These courses are required for AOHT students. The English for Tourism courses are recommended, but not always feasible. It is highly recommended that the mathematics, science, and social studies courses be offered by the same instructors. This will enable all students to have the same training. The academy is preparing these students for a career in the hospitality and tourism Industry and/or post-secondary education.

Summer - Tourism Executive Internship

   This honors course is offered during the summer following the 11th grade. Each student, who qualifies and meets the requirements, is placed in an employment position related to the field of tourism for a first hand look at the industry. Students are compensated and receive credit for this required course.

CEO Program

   Students who are not able to complete their internships during the summer may sign up for an Executive Internship through the Career Experience Opportunity (CEO) Program. This internship experience may be offered in the fall or spring semester to academy seniors. Industry positions are limited and students are strongly encouraged to complete their internships during the summer preceding their senior year. Interested students may sign up through the academy lead teacher.

Twelfth Grade

English for Tourism IV

Travel and Tourism Marketing Management*

* This course provides the students with an opportunity to use the internship experiences to further learn how a business is managed from various perspectives such as: budgeting, personnel, public relations and legal issues. An out-of-state field study completes the study of hospitality and tourism marketing.

Gold Seal Eligibility

Courses in Business Technology education are strongly encouraged especially for purposes of receiving the Gold Seal Scholarship.

Foreign Language

As tourism is a multicultural, multilingual industry, Academy students are required to enroll in a foreign language course such as Spanish or French for two years.

Student Organization - DECA

DECA is an integral part of the operation of the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism Magnet program. It is the vehicle by which the students volunteer for school and community service activities, raise funds for FAM trips and other pertinent needs of the Magnet program and school. Meetings may be held once a month or more as deemed necessary by the club sponsor. The time and date of the meetings will be determined by the sponsor and officers. Officers of the clubs will meet on the Monday before the regular meeting. Club dues are mandatory and required of every Magnet student on a yearly basis.

AOHT Vision at Miami Springs Senior High

The vision of the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism Magnet at Miami Springs Senior High is to prepare our diverse population of high school students for post-secondary education and careers in hospitality & tourism. Our academy stresses the three R’s Framework; rigorous academic learning experiences, relevant hands-on work experiences that will serve to develop student’s thinking and problem-solving skills, and relationships developed through our business/school partnerships that prepare young people for future careers critical to post-secondary education and career success.

Hawk's Nest

Hawk's Nest Form

Want to enroll?

Applications may be obtained online. Once a completed application is received, eligibility is determined. When the number of eligible applications exceeds the number of spaces available in a magnet program, a computerized random selection process is used for student selection. Additional information on the Magnet Application process can be found at the School Choice & Parental Options website.

How to apply