McDonald’s launches program to help staff pay Ivy Tech Community College costs

INDIANAPOLIS — McDonald’s and Ivy Tech Community College launched an alliance to make earning a college degree more affordable by offering tuition-assistance and future job training opportunities to employees at more than 300 McDonald’s of Indiana locations. Ivy Tech has 18 campuses and 40 sites across the state.

Through McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program, restaurant employees who work a minimum of 90 days at 15 hours per week are now eligible for tuition assistance of up to $2,500 per year as a crew member and up to $3,000 per year as a manager. Ivy Tech is offering crosswalk credits to McDonald’s restaurant employees for some on-the-job experience, plus individualized counseling – enabling them to earn an associate degree faster.

McDonald’s restaurants in Indiana have enrolled a number of employees in the Archways to Opportunity tuition assistance program since its inception five years ago. Throughout 2019, McDonald’s invested more than $1.2 million in tuition assistance to restaurant employees across Indiana. “There is no limit,” said Robert Terhune, McDonald’s owner/operator and president of the Greater Indiana Operator Co-Op. “We want to encourage as many of our employees and students in Indiana as we can to take advantage of this tuition assistance program. This strengthens all of our communities throughout the state.”

Ivy Tech’s crosswalk effort will enable McDonald’s employees to work with an Ivy Tech counselor to determine which of their McDonald’s training and work experiences could turn into credits that count toward earning a certification or associate degree. The flexibility of Ivy Tech having classes online, in-person, at night, during the day and close to home, will give employees the option to complete coursework on a schedule that works for them.

Ivy Tech leadership says this new partnership fits in perfectly with Ivy Tech Community College’s mission. “Ivy Tech locations across Indiana currently enroll many McDonald’s employees who are pursuing upward mobility at their jobs and we expect this partnership to encourage even more employees to sign up, and at the same time, assist in recruiting new McDonald’s employees and Ivy Tech students,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann.  “Each Ivy Tech campus will dedicate an advisor to McDonald’s students. We are committed to helping each and every employee further their education and achieve their desired educational goals.”

“This is the exact kind of forward-thinking partnership that enables Indiana to develop a skilled and ready workforce,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “The combined strength of these two great entities will enable thousands of students to pursue their dreams and simultaneously help keep Indiana’s economy moving full steam ahead.”

Whether crew members plan to enjoy a career at McDonald’s or in another industry, the skills learned at McDonald’s restaurants are transferrable to a variety of career paths.

To learn more about the McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity education program, visit any Indiana McDonald’s or the Archways to Opportunity website (archwaystoopportunity.com) or visit Ivy Tech’s website (ivytech.edu/mcdonalds).

Chancellor Vaughan receives prestigious Phi Theta Kappa award

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington’s Chancellor Jennie Vaughan is the recipient of the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction from Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society – its most prestigious award for community college leaders. She was selected among 12 other community college leaders from across the nation. The PTK Award of Distinction will be presented at the Honor Society’s annual convention April 2-4 in Dallas, Texas.

“Chancellor Vaughan’s nomination and selection for this award is recognition that Phi Theta Kappa students at Ivy Tech Bloomington have the support of leadership and we appreciate that,” said Lynn Tincher-Ladner, Ph.D., president and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. “I enjoyed reading Ivy Tech Bloomington’s chapter nomination about the many efforts of Chancellor Vaughan to make Phi Theta Kappa the best it can be on her campus. It is truly an honor to have Chancellor Vaughan as a distinctive Shirley B. Gordon Award winner.”

As a hallmark of administrative support for PTK, Chancellor Vaughan has pledged, along with Ivy Tech Bloomington’s PTK chapter advisor and associate professor of English, Dr. Samantha Levy-Arnold, to remove financial barriers for eligible students who wish to become members of the Honor Society but cannot afford to do so. In order to accomplish the goal of accessibility, Chancellor Vaughan has established the PTK Endowed Scholarship and will direct funds raised toward it, with a goal of raising roughly $8,000-$10,000.

“With Chancellor Vaughan’s generous support, we are confident we will be able to reach the amount needed to endow the scholarship by our two-year goal,” said Dr. Levy-Arnold.

Along with establishing an endowed scholarship to cover new membership fees, Chancellor Vaughan directly supports PTK induction ceremonies, Commit to Complete events, and funds individual PTK scholarships. She is a past PTK Honor Society advisor.

Shirley B. Gordon Awards of Distinction are given to college presidents/leads who have shown strong support of student success on their campus by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high-achieving students at their schools. Recipients are nominated by their campus and are only eligible to receive the award once over the course of their career.

Ivy Tech biology instructor, Jeannie Galbreath, wins campus adjunct instructional award

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus has selected Jeannie Galbreath, adjunct faculty in biology, the recipient of Ivy Tech’s 2019 Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction. She was selected among 33 other adjunct faculty nominees.

Galbreath’s student nominations highlighted her ability to inspire a general interest in biology and her willingness to go above and beyond in order to advance student learning outcomes. “I have taken biology classes before and I was not interested at all until I took Jeannie’s class,” one student wrote in a nomination. “I now consider biology to be something fascinating!”

Other nominations spoke to Galbreath’s personality and dedication to students, that she is a “great teacher and very great person who makes sure her students are successful.”

The Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction is given annually to one adjunct faculty member from each Ivy Tech campus statewide. As a recipient of this award, Galbreath is also the nominee for the statewide Ivy Tech Gerald. I. Lamkin Award for Excellence in Instruction. The Award is named for a former Ivy Tech president and recognizes an adjunct faculty member who exhibits excellence in instruction and represents the mission of the college.

Classes start again on March 16 at Ivy Tech and it’s not too late to apply for free and sign up. Visit ivytech.edu/bloomington to explore degree offerings and apply now.

Ivy Tech assistant professor of philosophy, Joshua Farrington, wins campus instructional award

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus has named assistant professor of philosophy, Joshua Farrington, the recipient of the 2019 President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction. He was selected among 52 other full-time faculty nominees.

Farrington’s student nominations highlighted his ability to make genuine connections with students in a relatable and engaging way, which encourages class participation and sparks interest in the humanities.

“In all of Josh’s instructional award nominations, it was clear that he is interactive with his students, flexible in his teaching style, and is a favorite professor at Ivy Tech Bloomington,” said Christine Brandel, chair of the award selection committee and associate professor of English. “The number of nomination comments Josh received from students dramatically exceeded other nominees. The positive impact he has on his students is impressive.” 

His classes fill fast.

An academic advisor at Ivy Tech Bloomington says that numerous students request Farrington’s classes and that his teaching style makes him very popular. “I have not received even one complaint about him,” as noted in the nomination. “It must be difficult to be an instructor and please the many different personalities that students bring, but Josh is able to do this.”

Farrington began his own education at Ivy Tech, taking classes after high school graduation. He was unsure of his path when he began but says Ivy Tech changed his life. He completed all of his general education courses at the community college and then went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and political science from Indiana University in 2006. He earned his Master’s degree in philosophy with a graduate certificate in clinical bioethics from Indiana University in 2012.

He decided to give back to the community college that helped him find his “vocational calling in life.” In 2012, he began teaching philosophy courses as an adjunct instructor at Ivy Tech’s campuses in Warsaw, Columbus, and Marion, where he was nominated for his first teaching award for excellence in adjunct instruction at Ivy Tech Warsaw. He was also recipient of three other teaching awards at the Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Awards Ceremony, including “The Bunsen Burner Award,” “Running with the Bulls Award,” and “The Most Wanted Professor Award.”

In 2016, he accepted a full-time instructor position at Ivy Tech East Central where he taught philosophy at Ivy Tech campuses in Marion, Muncie, and Anderson. In 2018, he continued teaching at the Marion campus while also holding positions as Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) coordinator and program chair of the School of Public and Social Services. In 2019, he won Ivy Tech’s “Statewide Faculty Advisor of the Year Award” and joined the Bloomington campus, where he teaches today.

Farrington’s specialization is teaching Plato’s “Republic” and Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics.” He co-authored an article titled “The Pursuit of Happiness: A Philosophical approach to Treatment Beyond an Eating Disorder.” He has delivered multiple talks on Plato, Aristotle, Academic Excellence, Ethics in Leadership, and Student Retention.

He currently serves as co-chair of finance and financial aid for Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Committee, and sits on the Bloomington Campus Learning Committee and Statewide Academic Freedom Committee.

The President’s Award is given annually to one full-time faculty member from each Ivy Tech campus statewide. As recipient of this award, Farrington is also the nominee for the statewide Ivy Tech Founder’s Award for Excellence in Instruction, to be presented by the College in June. The Founder’s Award is presented to one full-time faculty member statewide who best typifies the teaching and learning mission of the College.

Classes start again on March 16 at Ivy Tech and it’s not too late to apply for free and sign up. Visit ivytech.edu/bloomington to explore academic programs and to apply now.

Facing Freedom: a celebration of Alexander Hamilton at Ivy Tech Waldron

Organizers Jordan Ferguson and Trina Sterling with the Ivy Tech Culinary Program’s Hamilton themed birthday cake

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus hosted a celebration of Alexander Hamilton’s birthday on Thursday, Jan. 30 at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center. The celebration included a discussion of United States history, Hamilton’s influence, and how the musical, “Hamilton,” has changed the musical theatre landscape and made a cultural impact.

The celebration was organized and hosted by Ivy Tech as part of an Ivy Tech educational opportunity, “Facing Freedom,” which is a program funded by a grant through the Circle of Ivy. The grant allows four students the opportunity to visit New York City to see “Hamilton” on Broadway and visit landmarks in the city that symbolize freedom. In addition, students will participate and engage in local activities to examine and honor monumental historic events that changed freedom for so many.

“The Hamilton birthday celebration is an opportunity for students and the broader community to discuss topics ranging from freedom and advocacy to immigration and equity – all of which are relevant today,” said Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning program manager Jordan Ferguson, who along with Ivy Tech Waldron assistant Trina Sterling, co-authored the “Facing Freedom” grant. “This event is a chance for us to learn from Hamilton, both the man and the production, and re-examine our own rights, privileges, and biases.”

Attended by Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton as well as Charlotte Zietlow, the event included discussions led by Kasandra Housley, Matt Herndon, and Donn Hall. Ivy Tech political science associate professor, Kasandra Housley, touched on American government and policy. Matt Herndon, local professional performing artist and fight choreographer, addressed how “Hamilton” has changed the musical theatre landscape and impacted us culturally, and Ivy Tech professor, Donn Hall provided insight on the historical elements of this chapter in American history.

The event included the opportunity to register to vote, a birthday cake prepared by the Ivy Tech Baking and Pastry academic program, as well as several songs from the Hamilton production performed by singer Rachel Holland and pianist Paul Pisano, members of the Bloomington Chamber Singers.

Volunteer firefighter, Tammy Wright, completes free job training at Ivy Tech

BLOOMINGTON – Tammy Wright, 51, enrolled at Ivy Tech Bloomington with just one week to go before classes started. When she applied to Ivy Tech, she had just learned that she could earn a tuition-free certification through Next Level Jobs Indiana, paid for by the Workforce Ready Grant. Wright decided it was the perfect opportunity for her to take that next step and become an EMT.

“There’s no way I would have done this if I had to pay tuition,” Wright said. “It just wouldn’t have been possible for me.”

Wright is a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder (EMR) at Shawswick Township Volunteer Fire Department in Lawrence County. By earning her emergency medical technician (EMT) industry certification, she knew she could make a difference for both the fire department and her patients. She could assist more as an EMT than in her EMR role, which she felt limited her service to patients. Wright was ready to do more.

“I hope to work for an ambulance service, and having earned my EMT certification opens more doors for me to work part time at neighboring Fire Departments as a paid firefighter,” she said.

Before Wright applied to Ivy Tech in Aug. 2019, she had been busy that year. She completed her high school diploma, not her GED. She also earned her fire 1 instructor, fire officer strategy and tactics, and CPR certifications.

“With Ivy Tech’s new Volunteer Firefighter grant that provides the opportunity to earn a free associate degree, I hope my story will inspire someone who has wanted to join the fire service but just hasn’t done it yet,” Wright said. “I hope they tell themselves they’ll join and get their education, and that if she can do it, so can I.”

In addition to Wright’s role at the Shawswick Volunteer Fire Department, she is also treasurer for the Indiana Volunteer Firefighter Association District 17B. She serves as treasurer for Lawrence Co. search and rescue.

Wright plans to take a break but more Ivy Tech classes may be in her future. Her EMT credits count toward an associate degree in the paramedic program.

“I know my options are now endless,” Wright said.

Classes start again at Ivy Tech on March 16. It’s not too late to apply for free and sign-up for classes. Visit ivytech.edu/applynow to get started, email bl-info@ivytech.edu, or call 812-330-6013.

For more information on tuition-free certification opportunities through Next Level Jobs Indiana, visit ivytech.edu/bloomington/nextleveljobs

For information on Ivy Tech’s Volunteer Firefighter Scholarship program, visit ivytech.edu/volunteer.

Ivy Tech to host information session on tuition-free job certifications

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus will host an information session for area residents to learn more about tuition-free job certifications on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. in Lamkin Hall. The information session is free to attend.

Ivy Tech Community College provides the opportunity for eligible Indiana residents to earn tuition-free certifications that lead to high-wage, high-demand jobs, and count toward associate degrees. Certifications are paid for by the Workforce Ready Grant through Next Level Jobs Indiana.

“With certifications in medical assisting, EMT, welding, automotive repair, cyber security and other high-wage programs, Ivy Tech graduates can start a new job quickly, in a field aligned with the state’s in-demand industries,” said Trudy Weddle, vice chancellor of enrollment services at Ivy Tech Bloomington.

At the information session, attendees will learn more about Workforce Ready Grant eligible programs and requirements, one of which includes not having previously earned a college certification or degree.

More information sessions on tuition-free program options will be held on campus at 6 p.m. the last Tuesday of every month, through October.

Ivy Tech accepts applications year-round and has multiple start dates. The next round of 8-week classes start on March 16—there is still time to apply to the college and sign up for classes.

For more information and to apply for free, visit ivytech.edu/bloomington/nextleveljobs.