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What’s Happening with the Disney College Program?

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UPDATED JULY 2, 2020: Disney has officially suspended the Disney College Program for the foreseeable future. This means the Fall 2020 program as well as the Spring 2021 program are likely cancelled until further notice. Check back for updates.

On March 16, Disney ended The Disney College Program (DCP) sooner than expected.

Later, Disney Programs announced that other programs would be suspended as well.

What's Happening with the Disney College Program? [Source: Disney Careers]
What’s Happening with the Disney College Program? [Source: Disney Careers]

The first announcement came days after the Walt Disney Company decided to temporarily close Walt Disney World and Disneyland because of the global pandemic. 

What’s happening exactly?

What the DCP Is All About

Before we discuss the recent suspensions, let’s have a quick review of the Disney College Program (DCP) first.

Through the Disney College Program, Disney grants college students a chance to “gain valuable, on-the-job experience” working in Disney’s parks and resorts.

In addition, they are given the opportunity to take part in college coursework.

College Learning at Disney College Program [Source: Disney Careers]
College Learning Offered by Disney College Program [Source: Disney Careers]

They also get to live with people from across the country–even the world–in company-sponsored housing.

The program lasts for five to seven months, enabling students to work with leaders and participate in personal and career development.

Plus, the environment allows them to build and hone skills such as teamwork, effective communication, guest customer service, and problem-solving.

In other words, they will indeed “Live, Learn, and Earn” as the program puts it.

For more about the Disney College Program, check out the video below.

The Temporary Suspension of the Program

Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, Disney felt they needed to suspend the program temporarily in mid-March due to the ongoing global illness situation.

Disney Programs notified the participants through an email that the spring version of the program would be ending early.

Disney Programs' Letter to Participants [Source: WDW Info]
Disney Programs’ Letter to Participants [Source: WDW Info]

According to the email, Disney Programs would temporarily suspend the following effective March 16:

  • Disney College Program
  • Disney Culinary Program
  • Disney Cultural Exchange Program
  • Disney Academic Exchange Program

The participants of these programs, along with the International Cast Members in Guest Relations, were expected to move out by March 18.

Fortunately, Disney assured that the company would still pay the students through the end of the month.

Disney Programs would also waive the participants’ rental deductions.

Disney Releases a Letter for DCP Participants

On March 16, Disney Programs posted a letter via Twitter to provide more information to the participants.

The letter acknowledged that many were caught off-guard by the recent announcement.

It also emphasized that Disney made the decision for the safety and well-being of Guests and Cast Members.

Disney Programs also assured that “no one will be without accommodations.”

It also mentioned that they are willing to welcome the participants back, “when the time is right.”

The letter ended with an appreciation for the students and this encouragement: “Together, we will get through this.”

Latest Update from Disney Programs

Around two weeks after the release of that letter, they tweeted another announcement.

In addition to the abrupt end of DCP and International Programs, they are also suspending other Disney Internships and Programs effective April 18.

They would also be unable to welcome the future Disney Internships & Programs participants who were expected to arrive in June.

On the other hand, they ensured that they would refund the program fees of the said students.

In due time, Disney Programs will invite the Cultural Representatives and other participants back to complete their program.

Disney Programs will also amend their eligibility requirements so that previously accepted participants can reapply.

This also applies to those who have graduated already.

Final Thoughts on the Disney College Program

Teamwork at Disney College Program [Source: Disney Careers]
Teamwork at Disney College Program [Source: Disney Careers]

It is important to note that Disney Programs released these announcements before the company announced the reopening of Walt Disney World.

The resort’s theme parks will begin their phased reopening in July.

Even so, the return of the students and cultural representatives might not happen soon.

Fingers crossed for the return of this great program in the near future!

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