Walt Disney World Cast Members have a new option for continuing their education now that the Disney Aspire education investment program has been expanded to include the University of Central Florida (UCF).
Disney Aspire, which begin in August 2018, helps hourly Cast Members by creating educational opportunities at participating schools. With its investment of $150 million, Disney provides tuition and course materials for Cast Members looking to gain confidence, grow in the careers, or expand to new roles and new fields.
Cast Members can work towards a Bachelor's or Master's degree, a high school diploma, vocational training, or English and Spanish language learning.
George A. Kalogridis, present of the Walt Disney World Resort and an alumnus of UCF said of the expansion:
"Since its launch, Disney Aspire has enabled thousands of Cast Members to dream bigger and reach higher. Adding UCF to this prestigious network of schools will provide our Cast Members with even more options to create the futures they imagine."
Currently more than 53,000 Cast Members based in Florida can take advantage of UCF's offerings, however the school is looking to expand to employees outside Florida early next year.
UCF is the first participating school that offers a Bachelor's degree in entertainment management, and one of few that offer an online Master's degree in hospitality and tourism management.
Thad Seymour Jr., interim president of UCF, talked about the school's participation in the Aspire program:
"We could not be more excited to be working with Disney to make a high-quality college degree even more accessible. Many of our students already are Disney employees who will immediately benefit, and this program has the potential to change lives in our community for generations."
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