DANBURY, Conn. – The hardest part for Gloria Cosgrove in obtaining her college degree was finding a school that could accommodate her busy schedule. The University of Bridgeport’s IDEAL Program provided the perfect opportunity.
Cosgrove works extended hours on top of a long commute from Brookfield to her office in southern Westchester County, N.Y. When she learned she could take an accelerated program online and on weekends through the University of Bridgeport, she jumped at the chance.
“Two friends had taken the accelerated weekend program and told me about it,’’ Cosgrove said. “I can take classes on Saturday morning and it won’t disrupt my workday. With a demanding job, it’s hard to fit in the hours I needed during the workday. It’s a personal goal of mine, and I’m at the point where I’d like nothing more than to achieve that goal. To get to wear a cap and gown and attend graduation, that would be great.”
Cosgrove intended to obtain her degree long ago. She went to college out West and then moved to the East to begin student teaching. “It was more complicated than I thought,’’ Cosgrove said. “I was only a semester away in those days. Then life happened.”
She began working, married, had kids and raised a family. She used the skills she had to advance her career and climb the corporate ladder. The timing was not right to obtain a degree, until now.
She plans to pursue a degree in psychology, and hopes to finish in a year. “I don’t know if it’s humanly possible, but I’d like to try and get it done as soon as possible.”
Cosgrove liked the relationship with the University of Bridgeport from the outset. “I first started with another college, but it was just very confusing and impersonal,’’ she said. “I still can’t figure out how you disenroll. At Bridgeport, you have a personal relationship with someone. You really feel like you’re a part of it. You don’t feel like you’re alienated.”
Cosgrove feels fortunate that the lack of a college degree has not held her back in her career. Her skills and experience have been enough to progress in the jobs she has held. Obtaining the degree will put the cherry on top of a wonderfully crafted sundae.
“I feel very privileged to have learned so much through my work experiences, but I always felt like this was something I needed to do. It's important as a leader to set an example. This is now a requirement for my position. I am committed to get it completed as soon as I can. I feel very fortunate to have this great opportunity."