Should Disney College Program be presented to middle schoolers and high schoolers?

Discussion in 'The College Board' started by old lady, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. old lady

    old lady DIS Veteran

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    I believe starting early is always best. Couldn't this be a good idea for middle schoolers and high schoolers who might be interested in attending Disney College Program or college? Some might need money for college and it would fit perfectly for their career days at school.
     
  2. NeuroCindy

    NeuroCindy DIS Veteran

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    Middle schoolers? No. As a college professor, I fully believe we start stressing kids too young about college. 12 year olds shouldn't be stressed about how their extra curriculars look on a college application, and that is what we are seeing.

    High schoolers? Sure.
     
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  4. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    Here's the problem with that....sure, kids may need money for college. But, you can't do the DCP until you're already taking classes at college (you can apply after your first semester). Then, if you are getting any kind of financial aid, you may very well have an issue with keeping it....you will be away at DCP for at least 3 months, many stay for over 6 months...and that means you're not taking classes so your financial aid loans come due!! It seems that the vast majority of colleges are less than eager to work with students to get around this.
    DCP doesn't seem to have the same cachet it used to have...it's really more of a job vs internship now. When my dd was there (Sept '17-May '18), it seemed that DCP kids were basically minions. They weren't working in areas that had no bearing on what they wanted to do down the road or within their major. They go, they work all hours of the day and night, then they leave.
    So, should this program be marketed to younger students? Not sure why it would be a good idea. It's not even marketed to older kids. Many colleges have no idea what the program is!!
     
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  5. Alicenwonderment

    Alicenwonderment DIS Veteran

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    Many colleges have no idea what the program is!![/QUOTE] Yes, I totally agree but hope it is a bit easier now on the school end. I did my first CP in 97. My school had no idea the process to take semester of for the internship. One dept would send me one place and they would send me to a different place. I ended up having to withdraw from school and I ended up taking classes for college credit through Central Michigan University ( I had been attending college in NH) but Central Michigan offered the classes to anyone needing to get credit for the internship and the credits were priced affordable. This also kept me on health insurance through my parents since I was still in school. At that time to get your credit for the class you had to attend the four business seminars Disney required of all participants (We were the first class when they changed the class requirements.)and write a paper after the program was over length depending on the number of credits you needed. I also did some interviews in higher management. That is really good for networking. The Central Michigan advisor also came down to FL to meet with us and make sure we were doing o.k. and answer any questions we might have. I got a total of 6 credit and they transferred to my university as electives. I also had to reapply to my college but that wasn't really an issue. Back then there wasn't a set process to participate in the college program. Now that more people at my college have done the program hopefully the student advisors will know the steps that need to be taken for the program.

    I do not think it hurts to let people know about the college program in high school. Sometimes I will randomly tell teens working that there is this internship called the college program. We may start talking about Disney and that leads me to talking about the program. I do know that during my YES Program we would have some of the students ask us how we got in the college program and ask for advice. Also they may not be able to get into the college program until after their first semester in college but it is never too early to get a summer job and start saving money. I'm going to be honest here. Many people struggle money wise while on the program. The pay isn't that great and depending on the semester you are doing your CP there maybe some weeks that you don't get hours because the parks close early. I didn't struggle money wise while on the program because I am a penny pincher and very careful with my money. I did not drink (under age at the time and was in a wellness apt.) and just didn't spend my money (Well I did spend money at Property Control since things were 75 percent off there. ) I guess it somewhat depends on your spending habits, if you party, eat out, and number of hours you get at your work location. Cps also get the late shifts because they are the last ones on the totem pole. I didn't mind that because I was blessed to work with some of the best people. I did end up buying a car when I was down in FL. The riding the shuttles (we had vans now they have busses.)meant you had to leave earlier for work since they made stops along the way and it also takes longer when trying to get home from work. I usually got off around 2:45 am so the last thing I wanted to do was wait for the shuttle. I did hear now that the housing now makes you pay for a parking space. That wasn't the case when I was there. Although I really did not save money it was a wonderful experience.
     
  6. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    Yes, I totally agree but hope it is a bit easier now on the school end. I did my first CP in 97. My school had no idea the process to take semester of for the internship. One dept would send me one place and they would send me to a different place. I ended up having to withdraw from school and I ended up taking classes for college credit through Central Michigan University ( I had been attending college in NH) but Central Michigan offered the classes to anyone needing to get credit for the internship and the credits were priced affordable. This also kept me on health insurance through my parents since I was still in school. At that time to get your credit for the class you had to attend the four business seminars Disney required of all participants (We were the first class when they changed the class requirements.)and write a paper after the program was over length depending on the number of credits you needed. I also did some interviews in higher management. That is really good for networking. The Central Michigan advisor also came down to FL to meet with us and make sure we were doing o.k. and answer any questions we might have. I got a total of 6 credit and they transferred to my university as electives. I also had to reapply to my college but that wasn't really an issue. Back then there wasn't a set process to participate in the college program. Now that more people at my college have done the program hopefully the student advisors will know the steps that need to be taken for the program.

    I do not think it hurts to let people know about the college program in high school. Sometimes I will randomly tell teens working that there is this internship called the college program. We may start talking about Disney and that leads me to talking about the program. I do know that during my YES Program we would have some of the students ask us how we got in the college program and ask for advice. Also they may not be able to get into the college program until after their first semester in college but it is never too early to get a summer job and start saving money. I'm going to be honest here. Many people struggle money wise while on the program. The pay isn't that great and depending on the semester you are doing your CP there maybe some weeks that you don't get hours because the parks close early. I didn't struggle money wise while on the program because I am a penny pincher and very careful with my money. I did not drink (under age at the time and was in a wellness apt.) and just didn't spend my money (Well I did spend money at Property Control since things were 75 percent off there. ) I guess it somewhat depends on your spending habits, if you party, eat out, and number of hours you get at your work location. Cps also get the late shifts because they are the last ones on the totem pole. I didn't mind that because I was blessed to work with some of the best people. I did end up buying a car when I was down in FL. The riding the shuttles (we had vans now they have busses.)meant you had to leave earlier for work since they made stops along the way and it also takes longer when trying to get home from work. I usually got off around 2:45 am so the last thing I wanted to do was wait for the shuttle. I did hear now that the housing now makes you pay for a parking space. That wasn't the case when I was there. Although I really did not save money it was a wonderful experience.[/QUOTE]
    The DCP isn't what it used to be, that's for sure! They used to offer classes that you could take that would get you college credit...not anymore! There are very few classes offered, and I'm not at all sure they are good for credits! And, only a very few kids get into those classes...the vast majority can't do it. DCP may have been a wonderful college type program, back in the day. I know that Traditions lasted a whole heck of a lot longer than it does now, that's for sure. Now, it's more like indentured servitude. Disney tends to treat the DCP as a constant source of cheap labor...and because they make it so 'hard' to get into, everyone feels honored to be 'chosen' I've seen kids in the program that had no more business being in the program than a flea did. But, they talked a good game during the phone interview. Yet, other kids, that didn't get chosen, didn't come across as good candidates on their PI. Yes, my dd was chosen her first time out. But, it sure was eye opening!
    Kids that want to do the College Program already know about it. My dd knew that she wanted to do it when she was 12!! The info is out there. And the info about low hours and low pay is out there as well. I highly doubt that letting kids know about DCP in middle school is going to persuade them to start saving money. They'll either save it, or they won't. IF they, and their parents, go into it with little to no knowledge, then the onus is on them. You have to research anything you want to participate in...only makes sense. And if you're sending your child 1500 miles from home, it would behoove you to know what they were getting into.
    For instance.....I hear of so many parents that have no idea what will happen when (not if, when!!) their child gets sick while down there. They get the text that little Susie isn't feeling well and needs to be looked at. Panic sets in...oh no, where does she go that is covered by our insurance???? One of the many things I tell parents who ask for advice, is to sit down and find out what facilities your child can go to, that accepts the family insurance..before they leave. My dd left home with an extensive list of clinics/hospitals that she could go to...and it sure came in handy!!!! She ended up in the hospital at one point! And at CentraCare many times. They're all so concerned about what their child will need in their bedroom but not what to do if they get sick. So, homework needs to be done....no matter what age.
    And the money issue?? Yeah, my dd struggled. Why? Because she routinely got about 20-25 hrs. Why? Because half way through her program, Disney decided to change the shift policy. CPs could no longer post that they were giving away a shift, allowing other CPs or p/t CMs to grab the shift. It used to be wonderful. If you woke up sick in the morning and knew you couldn't get in to work? You just posted you were giving away your shift, someone took it, you went back to bed. Now? You have to call in and you get a point. The only time you can give away a shift is with manager approval! If you want time off, again, manager approval first. And most aren't that willing to give it. Why did this happen? Because those special, 'chosen' kids, that were such a great match for DCP, decided that they would give away so many shifts weekly that they didn't have enough hours to pay for their rent! Disney wasn't happy with that turn of events. So, instead of terming the offenders they changed the rules, mid-stream, for everyone. Hardly fair. The CPs that got sick were penalized, the p/t CMs weren't able to pick up nearly as many shifts anymore. It was a lose lose, except for Disney!
    And now? My dd works at US...loves it there. But, she also knows that if she wants a career, she needs to go back to Disney. So, she's applied with them again, and is waiting to hear if they have a job for her. But, she says that US treats their employees sooooo much better than Disney treats theirs. But, she's hoping that as a CM, things will be different than when she was a CP.
    When I tell people that were DCP years and years ago, what happens now, they are appalled. They are truly shocked and saddened.
     
  7. Alicenwonderment

    Alicenwonderment DIS Veteran

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    Wow! My parents really weren't that involved with my program. The only thing they did was my mom checked with her job to be sure I was covered insurance wise. I knew another girl going down so we drove down to FL by ourselves. It took us about 23 hours to drive straight to Disney. At 20 and being a sophomore in college I had already been away from my parents since I lived on campus. I knew how to figure out out where to go if sick, budgeting money, work, and classes. They did help with the paperwork for the car since I wasn't in the state. I also chose to live in a wellness apt. (Back in the olden days you never knew who your room mates would be until you checked in at Vista Way.) That helped because the types of people that chose that wouldn't be drinking anyway. There was one girl who had to be in one since she was 18. I guess the point is I came home and told my parents I would be doing the college program. I explained what it was and they knew I'd be fine.

    I wonder if that system of trying to get someone to take your shift was just used in some areas in the park or put in place after I left. I just got out my training binder for Fantasyland Merch. It reads if unable to work call 824-0000. (not real number) If you called in sick you would still get a point. With that point you were encouraged to stay home if not feeling better for up to 3 days. If you called in on day 1 and went to work the next day but still felt sick so called in again that would be 2 points. It didn't seem fair but that was the way it was. I never called in sick to work. There was a day when I checked in and felt awful. My manager sent me to first aid in the park since I had conjunctivitis, bronchitis, and ear infection( went to Urgent Care to verify) and they sent me home. When it came time to do my final review I had all excellents checked off except for attendance. I questioned my manager as to why and she said I missed a day. I told her you guys sent me home.

    I do think that changing the rules midstream wasn't fair but maybe her work location wasn't going by the book regarding how call ins were handled. You were also guaranteed so many work hours. Sometimes in January those were hard to come by hours but you were always free to pick up more hours in a different location.

    What does your daughter want to do once her school is done? Yes, it looks good to have Disney on your resume but if she was so unhappy about the way she was treated why would she go back for more? Had I not wanted to do an advanced internship at Disney it would have not impended my chances of getting a job in my field. If she likes the company she currently works for she could set up some job shadowing experiences higher up in the company. Has she expressed interest of those things at the company she is working at now? Does she have a mentor where she works now? I guess I just wanted her to know you can be successful without Disney.
     
  8. softball chick

    softball chick Teacher of Math and Disney Magic

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    I am a high school teacher and I often talk to my students about my experience with the program. They like to ask about what it was like to work at Disney World, so I always include information about the program itself in my stories. I've also had students interested in culinary careers that I've told about the Culinary Programs. I first found out about the program when I was in middle school and had been dreaming about doing it ever since that day. So I would say that it's not a bad thing to learn about it during middle school, but it makes more sense to be talking about it to high schoolers.
     
  9. progroupie

    progroupie Mouseketeer

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    I think it should be included in college fairs, info sessions. I had a highschool teacher that had done it and I was mesmerized.
    I disagree about being minions and it having nothing to do with your major. It's a life experience. It may not be literally connected to your major but the training you get at Disney is something other companies pay thousands of dollars to send their employees to learn. Doing the CP you get that training for free. It looks good to major companies. Practically any major can benefit from front of the line guest service.
     
  10. Momof2Singers

    Momof2Singers DIS Veteran

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    No, I do not.
     

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