Claudia Schrader’s academic path can appear disjointed. A master’s degree in special education followed by a doctorate in International & Transcultural Studies and a career as a college administrator?
“It gets back to capitalizing on strengths and working on weaknesses,” says Schrader (Ed.D. ’02), named President of 19,000-student Kingsborough Community College (part of the City University of New York) in September. “At TC, Virginia Stolarski, Douglas Greer, Bob Kreschmer and Florence McCarthy taught me that all children can learn and that my role as an educator is to make that happen. That’s been my approach, with students of all ages.”
Born and raised in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Schrader says studying international education taught her the importance of team-building. “You don’t go into a developing country and tell people what to do. They also have answers, so it is important to acknowledge and use their experience and skill base.”
Most recently, as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Success at Bronx Community College, Schrader helped improve graduation rates and expand the college’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs. She calls her new institution, voted the nation’s fourth-best community college and again a finalist for the Aspen Prize, “an amazing place.”
“My role,” she says, “is to build on our strengths to get students the credentials they need so they can walk across the stage at commencement and into careers or four-year programs.”