ACE Names Indiana Resident Jeffery Gearhart 2014 Student of the Year

Award to Be Presented at ACE Annual Meeting
Washington, DC (March 4, 2015)—Jeffery “L.J.” Gearhart II, a
McDonald’s restaurant general manager and student at Ivy Tech
Community College (IN) is the American Council on Education’s
(ACE) 2014 Student of the Year.

Gearhart, 24, of Bloomington, IN, will be presented with the
award at ACE’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, during
the Monday, March 16, morning plenary session.

The Student of the Year Award, formerly the Adult Learner of
the Year Award, is presented annually by ACE to an individual
who has benefited academically or professionally from the use
of ACE credit recommendations for workforce or military
training. Recipients must demonstrate outstanding achievements
in their community or workplace while successfully balancing
the demands of family, career and education.

“I am honored to work for a company that offers ACE credit
recommendations to assist me and other learners in obtaining
the college degrees and certifications that will help us
advance our personal and professional ambitions,” Gearhart
said. “My goal is to inspire others the way I have been
inspired by my mentors.”

ACE’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®) and
Military Evaluations are forms of credit for prior learning.
The programs evaluate employers’ workplace education and
training programs, or military courses and occupations, and
recommend academic credit when that learning is college level.

“Like so many nontraditional students, Jeffery successfully
balances the demands of family and professional
responsibilities even as he works to gain his degree,” said
Deborah Seymour, ACE’s assistant vice president for education
attainment and innovation. “His ability to inspire others to
also set high postsecondary achievement goals is another
example of how he exemplifies the qualities we seek in ACE’s
Student of the Year.”

Gearhart will receive a $500 scholarship to help continue his

Gearhart currently is a general manager of a McDonald’s
restaurant in Bloomington, IN, where he also teaches Shift
Management Excellence Courses at his and four other McDonald’s
restaurants in the area. He has successfully applied credits
from classes at McDonald’s Hamburger University to pursue an
Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Degree
and a Human Resources Management Certificate from Ivy Tech.
Prior to receiving this award, he already had received a
Technical Certificate in Business Administration from Ivy Tech.

Ivy Tech recently partnered with McDonald’s in order to develop
a degree crosswalk with the company’s Management Development
Program. The partnership allows McDonald’s restaurant and mid-
management employees in the Management Development Program to
transfer up to 21 credit hours of courses taken at Hamburger
University toward an associate degree.

About ACE

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the
nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than
1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200
related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key
higher education issues and influences public policy through
advocacy. For more information, please visit or
follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

About Ivy Tech

Community College Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s
largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s
largest singly accredited statewide community college system
serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses
throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of
workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and
training that are aligned with the needs of its community along
with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and
universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher
Learning Commission and a member of the North Central

About McDonald’s

McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer
with over 36,000 locations serving approximately 69 million
customers in over 100 countries each day. More than 80% of
McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by
independent local business men and women.

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