STAMFORD, Conn. — Even after Danielle Ranocchia landed her dream job working with children at Bright Horizons Family Solutions in Stamford, she realized something was missing — her diploma.
“I already had my associate’s degree, but I really wanted to go for my bachelor’s degree in psychology,” said Ranocchia, who started as a preschool teacher and is now director of the child care center. “I’ve grown up the career ladder in the nine years I’ve been here, but I won’t feel truly successful until I finish school.”
So two years ago, Ranocchia enrolled in the University of Bridgeport’s accelerated adult IDEAL program to do just that. Straight from work, she now commutes to classes at the institution’s Stamford location and learns about new subjects — such as music and biology, which she has studied as part of her elective coursework. Ranocchia said that is just one of the ways the IDEAL program has encouraged her to “think in different areas.”
Small classrooms and a student body enthusiastic about education has also led her to become that much more motivated to reach her goals.
“It’s a great feeling of knowing I’m in class with a group of people who care about their education as much as I do,” she said.
When she graduates, Ranocchia said she is excited to take what she has learned in the classroom and use at Bright Horizons Family Solutions, where the children are ages 6 weeks to 12 years.
“I’ve always known this is the field I want to be in,” Ranocchia said. “I’m excited to understand more about how people think and develop.”