Saturday, February 20, 2010

Info Post #9: Learning

There are lots of different types of learning opportunities on the Disney College Program, and "the World" is your campus! Okay, okay, excuse the corny joke. But WDW is definitely filled with opportunities for you to enhance both your academic and professional careers. These courses are also a fantastic way to network with Disney professionals.

There are a couple of different types of learning experiences offered through the Disney College Program:
  • Collegiate Courses. All these courses have been recommended for credit by the American Council on Education, which might be helpful if you're trying to get school credit!
  • Professional Development Studies. These are major-specific courses that allow students to gain more insight into certain professional fields within the Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Disney Exploration Series. This unique opportunity allows students to explore how Disney operates in certain key areas. The sessions are highly interactive and offer great networking opportunities - and best of all, these classes don't have any textbooks or homework!
Collegiate Courses
These classes focus on an area of "Walt Disney World expertise" and are all recommended for credit. As such, they do have textbooks and homework. You can download syllabi for specific courses here. Classes include Creativity and Innovation: Gaining the Edge, Experiential Learning, Marketing You, and many more!

Professional Development Studies
These major-specific courses allow students to study specific lines of business in depth. These classes are only available during the Spring and Fall seasons - so if you were Fall Advantage, you would take the class September-December. Registration is restricted to students majoring in related fields and are offered in the following areas:
  • Engineering
  • Entertainment Show Production
  • Finance
  • Security
Disney Exploration Series
These classes are highly interactive and more "experientially based," as opposed to the formal classroom experience offered by the collegiate courses. They don't have any textbooks or formal assignments and provide a great way to gain insight into the workings of WDW and network with area leaders. You can "explore" areas like communication, marketing, guest service, and more!

Other Opportunities
College Program participants can take advantage of other learning opportunities throughout WDW, like the Disney Learning Centers. Learning Centers are located at Vista Way, each park, and many of the resorts, and offer library services, computer-assisted learning, learning activities, and career resources. I believe this is also where exam proctoring takes place if you need it.

There are also an abundance of networking opportunities and speaker series, as well as courses offered through Disney University. Speaker series include the Disney College Program Alumni Speaker Series, where former CP participants discuss their current full-time roles at WDW. And at Disney University, you can take advantage of resources like My Disney Career Series, which consists of five targeted career-development classes.

Oh, I almost forgot! If you plan on taking courses down there, bring more than one "professional" outfit, since Disney requires business clothes during class time.

So while the learning component of the program isn't required, it's a great way to really take advantage and make the most of your time in Florida. I know I'd like to take at least one class so I can really start networking and making those connections in Disney World that will hopefully lead to my dream career! What about you? Will you be taking classes while on the program, either because they are required by your school or because you want to? What are your thoughts on the learning component of the CP? And is there anything else you'd like to know or any questions you have about the classes offered?


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