Ivy Tech Kokomo honors Rochester teacher as top dual credit faculty member 

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Ivy Tech Community College has honored Valerie Hoover of Twelve Mile, an English and Education teacher at Rochester High School since 2004, as one of 19 individuals across the state selected to receive the inaugural Excellence in Dual Credit Instruction President’s Awards, the highest honor for Ivy Tech dual credit faculty.

At a banquet in Indianapolis June 8, the College honored each of the winners for their excellence in instruction and their positive impact on the dual credit students that they served during the 2021-2022 academic year. A committee made up of Ivy Tech faculty, program chairs, and college administration selected the honorees based on nominations from various stakeholders including dual credit students, secondary and post-secondary administrators, and Ivy Tech K-14 team members. Lori Kixmiller from Fishers High School was named the 2022 statewide award recipient at a ceremony in Indianapolis this week.

“Dual credit faculty serve an important role by introducing our high school students to college material and providing them with an opportunity to see that they can do college-level work,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “Without a dual credit experience, many students would never take the next step into higher education.”

Mary Craig, executive director of K-14 Initiatives for the Ivy Tech Kokomo Service Area, said it was an honor to nominate Hoover for the award. “In the seven years I have worked with Valerie in the dual credit role, I have learned she is a relentless advocate for her students, as well as a perpetual, consummate professional in all she does – a stellar representation of Ivy Tech’s mission and values,” Craig said. “Rochester Community School Corporation is fortunate to have a teacher of her caliber and integrity on staff.”

Hoover teaches five college-level Education courses at Rochester High School through Ivy Tech’s dual credit program. Tara Kaser, Education department chair for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Service Area, seconded Craig’s assessment.

“Valerie puts in the time and effort to make sure that her classes are interesting and her students want to be there,” Kaser said, noting the interactive projects and field experiences that Hoover utilizes. “It is clear her students trust her and feel supported by her. As should be the case with all teachers, Valerie is her students’ number one advocate.”

Kaser said Rochester students can earn up to 14 college credits, representing about $2,000 worth of college classes per student, through the dual credit Education courses Hoover teaches. The majority of those credits can transfer directly into Ivy Tech’s Education programs.

“By earning these credits, students essentially complete an entire semester of college work by the time they leave high school,” Kaser said. “That sets them up to earn their associate degree in a year and a half, or to easily handle the accelerated work of Ivy Tech’s ASAP program and, in just one year, be ready to transfer on to a four-year school as a junior.”

The Excellence in Dual Credit Instruction President’s Award is modeled after the College’s President’s Award to recognize College faculty and adjunct faculty members from Ivy Tech locations throughout the state.

“Our dual credit faculty work tirelessly to ensure high quality, college-aligned content to students for little to no cost, saving families thousands of dollars,” said Dr. Rebecca Rahschulte, vice president of K-14 Initiatives & Statewide Partnerships for Ivy Tech. “We are honored to be able to recognize dual credit instructors throughout the state through this award.”

SOURCE: News release from Ivy Tech Community College

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