The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR Campus uses little bit of Disney in its approach

By Erin Ratigan/tr news editor

Jason Floyd/The Collegian  A copy of Inside the Magic Kingdom, along with Mickey ears and gloves, sits on Bryan Stewart’s desk on TR Campus, which operates on a Disney-inspired business model. Every new full-time employee is given a copy of the book when he or she is hired.
Jason Floyd/The Collegian  A copy of Inside the Magic Kingdom, along with Mickey ears and gloves, sits on Bryan Stewart’s desk on TR Campus, which operates on a Disney-inspired business model. Every new full-time employee is given a copy of the book when he or she is hired.

Mickey Mouse ears perch on a framed document. Giant, stuffed, white gloves stand on a bookcase housing several copies of Inside the Magic Kingdom: The Secret to Disney’s Success.

This is the office of Bryan Stewart, vice president for academic affairs on TR Campus.

“I think Walt Disney was an innovator,” said Stewart, smiling. “He saw the future in ways that no one else did.”

Some staff members even have Disney nicknames. Stewart’s secretary is called Tinkerbell.

This admiration of Disney is not just fandom, however. TR Campus was founded on a Disney-inspired business model. Anyone interviewed for full-time employment on TR Campus is given a copy of Inside the Magic Kingdom to understand how the school operates.

When campus president Tahita Fulkerson and Stewart were building the faculty and staff of TR Campus, Stewart said they wanted to make the school like Walt Disney World: a place where students would feel comfortable and want to return.

On a campus whose student population increased by 10 percent in the last year, Stewart said the comfortable environment makes TR Campus unique.

“Our students come and stay,” he said. “What we do for students is what I love about the place.”

In the fall, English professor Jim Schrantz and sociology associate professor Terri Schrantz offered a six-credit course called Popular Culture Dynamics: The Making of Culture. The class combined a World Literature and History of Minority Cultures class and focused on Disney’s work.

Students did literary analysis and discussed the different ways cultures were represented through Disney’s films. They also went on a field trip to the Music Hall at Fair Park to see The Lion King musical.

Terri Schrantz said one of the things she most enjoyed about the class was the level of student engagement. She used two words to describe Disney: “positivity” and “possibility.”

“We want students to see what’s possible,” she said. “How they can create their best selves and contribute to making the world a better place.”

Some of the principles of the Disney model are attention to detail, respect and the push for student feedback, Terri Schrantz said.

“The whole idea is to make people feel welcome, like they’re a guest, and we’re here to support and serve them. You can’t go to Disney World and not experience that,” she said.

A popular term used by TR Campus administration is “aggressive friendliness,” where employees offer help to students whenever possible. Jim Schrantz said this is a practice that faculty use in the classroom.

“You don’t wait for somebody to ask for help,” Jim Schrantz said. “A lot of students don’t know how to ask for help, or they’re embarrassed to.”

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