So, my school (Michigan State University), is a great school, but when it comes to the College Program, they’re pretty dumb. I talked to countless advisors and faculty, and no one seemed to know what I was trying to do. SO, I’ve made a handy list for those of you in a similar situation, and I’m more than willing to try to help if you are also stuck at a dumb school.
A GUIDE TO DOING THE DISNEY COLLEGE PROGRAM WHEN YOUR SCHOOL IS DUMB
- Go to a presentation. If you’re lucky, your school will have one. They will probably tell you who the advisor who coordinates the program is. Even if they aren’t in your major, go see them! Ask them questions and see if they know what you should do. You may be able to get college credit at your school or at least internship credit. Unfortunately, if they are dumb and don’t know what you’re talking about, proceed to the next step.
- Look for a school who will give you credit. In my case, I applied at Central Michigan University (nearby me, but it didn’t matter, I never went to the campus for that), but there are a few colleges listed on the DCP site. ( https://www.wdwcollegeprogram.com/sap/its/mimes/zh_wdwcp/students/education/edu_creditotherschools.html ) If you apply as a guest student (talk with your Registrar about this), you can usually get credit through them and transfer it.
- Make sure your credit will transfer! I tried talking to 4 different people about this, and kept getting referred back to my school’s website. Try to talk to someone, if possible, and check if the classes the other school will give you credit in transfer as anything in your school. I ended up with general credits, but that’s better than nothing. Get proof, if possible! Have someone write it down and sign it, or print off the webpage. If something changes, you want to have proof, even if it seems like a silly thing to do.
- Apply!! You’ll never do the program if you don’t apply. Do it as early as you can. I did it as soon as the applications went up, before the presentation even came to my school (granted, I had gone to one the year before, but, you know). The earlier you apply, the earlier you should be accepted, and the more time you have to prepare.
- Sign up for classes anyways. Just in case you don’t get in, don’t screw yourself over. Enroll in classes so you don’t get left in the dust if your plans don’t work out. You can always drop them once you’re accepted.
- Know what’s going on with your insurance/financial aid. Make sure that if you take a semester off, you’re still covered. By enrolling at one of the other schools, you should be able to earn 12 credits, which usually keeps you good for financial aid and health insurance, if you’re still on your parent’s plan as a student. You don’t want to be down in Florida, get hurt, and have to pay ginormous medical bills.
- Wait. After you apply, do the online interview, and the phone interview, you have to wait like a month, and it sucks.
- While waiting, find out what you’re doing with housing. Most dorms will let you drop your lease because they understand you have internships sometimes, but if you have an apartment or are renting a house or living in a co-op, you will probably have to find a subleaser or someone to take over your lease. Not usually a terribly difficult thing to do, as the beginning of semesters are usually a pretty good time to find leasers. (Even January isn’t too hard, I’ve found. So don’t worry about applying for the Spring program.)
- Also, while you’re waiting, make sure you know what your graduation requirements are. I knew my freshman year that I wanted to do the program, so I took on probably more credits than I should have, but it means that I still get to graduate on time. You should probably just make sure you know what classes you need and make sure you won’t be missing that class that’s only offered the semester you’re going to be gone and then again 3 years later.
- Get that purple folder!! Then you can go ahead and drop your classes, take on that subleaser, and start packing!!
- Do your program. Do whatever your school needs you to do for credit. Even if you’re taking a class you think is dumb, do it! It’s so much easier than real school, and it means you get credit for living in Disney World.
- Get the credit back to your original school when you’re done.
- Tell everyone how great Disney is.
Ta-da! It’s not too hard. This should mostly help you get what you need organized. For most people, don’t think of this as an internship, think of it as taking a semester off to work. Good luck!!