STAMFORD, Conn. — Camille Kramer, an adjunct professor at the University of Bridgeport, calls adult students “ideal,” which is why she enjoys working with the institution’s IDEAL program so much. IDEAL is an accelerated degree completion program.
“There is not one student there that has nothing better to do,” she said. “They are working all day, maybe taking care of children. They have the whole nine yards and yet they still come to school.”
Kramer, who teaches a variety of courses in the continuing education program, said she knows where the adult students are coming from: She went to school as an adult just five years ago.
A traditional graduate of Brooklyn College, Kramer decided to go back for her master’s degree at Fairfield University. Referring to her own adult education experience, she said, “I know it was one of the hardest things that I ever did.”
Kramer strives to give her students more. She wants them to learn how to communicate, both as writers and as speakers.
A Stamford resident, Kramer teaches at the University of Bridgeport locations in Bridgeport, Stamford and Waterbury.
She likes the pace of the accelerated courses. Using her American Dream course as an example, Kramer said the students focus each week on a different aspect of the American Dream, such as immigration, literature or Martin Luther King Jr.
Everyone at the university is supportive of the IDEAL program, one of the oldest adult education programs, Kramer said.
“It takes a village to educate a person,” she said. “At the University of Bridgeport, there is a village there for them,” from the deans to the secretaries.
Kramer’s enthusiasm for education is contagious. “To me learning is a lifetime. A degree you might finish, but learning goes on forever.”