Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida has partnered with the University of Central Florida for an incredible program that will set their employees up for future success. Disney announced that they will offer free tuition to employees who wish to enroll at UCF which is a 30-mile drive from the resort.
Along with 100 percent of tuition getting paid upfront, the program — titled Disney Aspire — will reimburse application fees and required books and course materials.
“Since its launch, Disney Aspire has enabled thousands of Cast Members to dream bigger and reach higher,” George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort and UCF graduate said in the news release.
“Adding UCF to this prestigious network of schools will provide our Cast Members with even more options to create the futures they imagine.”
For any employees who do not want to make the trip to the Central Florida campus, they will be able to enroll in a number of online programs while receiving the same benefits. “About 40% of Disney’s 85,000 full-time and part-time hourly employees have signed up and more than 6,000 are actively taking classes,” according to CNN.
Disney has invested $150 million into the program.
From the official release:
Disney employees who gain admission to UCF, and meet in-state residency requirements, will be able to choose from 34 undergraduate and master’s degree programs — including 10 that are fully online. Cast Members may pursue bachelor’s degrees in fields that range from biology to nursing to education, along with master’s degrees that range from digital forensics to mechanical engineering to business. UCF will be the first school within the Disney Aspire network to offer a bachelor’s degree in entertainment management, and among the first to offer a master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management, which is available online.
It is great to see Disney investing in the future of their employees and hopefully, more major companies will follow suit. The program officially launched in August 2018 and continues to expand with a new round of enrollment opening soon.