July 10, 1997
KALAMAZOO -- Seven Western Michigan University students (see list below) have traveled to Florida to learn about the real world in the land of make-believe by participating in the Walt Disney World College Program.
The program is a unique educational, working and living experience designed to increase practical knowledge of the various Disney entertainment and resort industries.
The selected students are part of Disney's summer program, which takes place from May through August. WMU students joined other undergraduate students from more than 200 colleges and universities throughout the nation. Since Disney representatives began recruiting at WMU in 1993, more than 75 WMU students have participated in the program and have joined the ranks of more than 27,000 college program alumni worldwide.
Students are hired through an interview process and must be pursuing their degrees full time and in good academic standing at WMU.
The college program consists of three components: living, learning and working experiences. Students live in the Vista Way apartment complex, located on the Disney property. Participants share fully furnished two- and three-bedroom apartments with students from other colleges and universities.
The learning aspect, called the Walt Disney World College Program Educational Curriculum, involves core business classes, elective seminars and self-directed study opportunities. Five core business classes focus on the Disney culture, situational leadership, communication, the business world and cultural change. These seminars include lectures, interactive case studies, and individual and group activities. The electives allow students to personalize their learning experience and provide networking opportunities with professionals from various departments and disciplines within the Walt Disney World Resort.
The work experience places students in positions at the various theme parks, resorts and other Disney operations. Students serve as "cast members" in areas such as merchandising, transportation, attractions, food services, custodial services, lifeguarding and hospitality.
While many of the students are receiving academic credit for the program, they also have an opportunity to receive a "Mousters" or "Ducktorate" degree upon successful completion of the program.
After successfully completing the program, students may apply for advanced internships that enable them to obtain more focused experience in a specific field. More than 60 advanced internship opportunities are offered, ranging from the Disney Cruise Line Marketing Internship to the Horticulture Internship.
Upon their return to campus, the students will become members of the Walt Disney World Program Alumni Chapter of WMU, which was established in 1996 to provide networking opportunities as well as promote the development of the Walt Disney World College Program at WMU.
WMU students chosen for
Walt Disney World College Program
CITY (all Michigan)--student's name, address, major.
GRAND BLANC--Jennifer L. Trembley, 11984 S. Belsay Road. A freshman majoring in marketing and dance, she is serving as a merchandise hostess.
HOLLAND--Caroline F. Meyer, 117 W. 21st St. A sophomore majoring in University curriculum, she is serving as a merchandise hostess.
JACKSON--Antonio B. Neves, 1341 Austscot. A junior majoring in marketing, he is serving as an attractions host.
JENISON--Heidi L. Haskins, 7573 Magnolia Drive. A junior majoring in business, she is serving as a merchandise hostess.
KALAMAZOO--Eriko Hattori, 2918 Redwood St. E-104. A senior majoring in French and organizational communication, she is serving as an attractions hostess.
LANSING-- Carrie L. Rochowiak, 2916 Mayfair Drive. A junior majoring in business, she is serving as an attractions hostess.
WELLS--Cynthia A. Aird, P.O. Box 302. A senior majoring in marketing, she is serving as a merchandise hostess.
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA