Princess Tours Offers Students College Credit for Learning to Drive

Every year Princess Tours offers students an opportunity to prepare for summer jobs in Alaska by completing a Commercial Driver Training Program that qualifies them to guide visitors throughout the state in the company’s deluxe motorcoaches.  This year, a new benefit also gives them college credit through the University of Alaska Fairbanks for completing the program, which can be transferred to schools nationwide.

Beginning this spring, the employees participating in the training program will qualify to receive three credits for ABUS 267, Transportation and Logistics management, a course in the Applied Business Department from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).  Princess is the first tour company in Alaska where students can earn university credits by completing the commercial driver training program.

Program students prepare to become Princess Driver-Guides who provide tours for visitors on various routes throughout Alaska during the company’s Alaska summer season which begins May 4, 2008.  Driver guides often also provide narrative information to guests to give them more appreciation of the state’s many attractions.  They also learn basic maintenance and mechanical duties.

“We’re so pleased that The University of Alaska Fairbanks has recognized the high quality of our driver training programs by deeming them worthy of college credits,” said Bruce Bustamante, Princess’ vice president of community and public affairs.  “And we’re very proud to be the state’s first tour company to offer college credit for such a program.  This new element gives students an additional benefit as they train to become Princess Tours Driver-Guides, and it further demonstrates our commitment to the excellence of this program.”

Employees enrolled in any Princess Commercial Driver Training Programs can register for the class.  Students are eligible to receive three credits from UAF, a nationally accredited university, plus other UAF benefits.  The credits are fully transferable, giving students who attend other universities the opportunity to benefit from the program.

Professor Charlie Dexter, coordinator of the department which houses UAF’s Tourism Certificate and AAS Degree, said, “We are excited to partner with Princess Tours.  They are an outstanding and valued corporation, which employs many of our graduates.”

Over the past 15 years the Princess Tours Commercial Driver Training program has grown from a small training program to a state-of-the-art school that includes a Web-based manual covering everything from vehicle inspections to safe driving and technical trouble shooting of a motorcoach.  Training programs are offered throughout Alaska as well as in Rexburg, ID, Provo, UT, and Bellingham, WA.  Classroom instruction for new drivers includes presentations and training videos all developed and produced by the Princess Tours Driver Safety and Training Department. Achieving the ability to offer credit through UAF reinforces the strong reputation that the Princess Tours Commercial Driver Training program has established within the Alaska transportation community.

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