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Ivy Tech opens
even more doors
for well-traveled,
homeschooled teen

“My education has been non-traditional from
the start,” says Ian McMillan, who is completing his
associate degree in Business Administration at the Ivy
Tech campus in Valparaiso. “I went to a Montessori
school through elementary and started homeschooling
in middle school. When I enrolled at Ivy Tech, I was
still homeschooling and my classes at Ivy Tech were on
the side, filling in for things that were harder to teach at
home, such as math and sciences.”
McMillan, who lives in Valparaiso, credits Ivy Tech
with his smooth transition in what is indeed an atypical,
but fascinating, educational experience.
“What I like most about Ivy Tech is the flexibility and
freedom it has given me, as my family travels a lot,” says
McMillan, who has visited Russia, the United Kingdom,
France and Spain as well as Argentina, Ecuador, the
Galápagos Islands and Chile. “I’ve been able to be more
engaged with nonprofits, my father’s company and some
of my other passions. Not many high school students
my age are afforded that kind of freedom, and I’m very
grateful and lucky to have that chance and still remain
successful academically.”
Ivy Tech Chancellor Aco Sikoski encouraged
McMillan to take the placement exam when he was 14.
“After taking the exam and taking entry-level classes
for a semester at Ivy Tech alongside my homeschooling,
it was clear to my parents that this was something that
could be turned into much more,” recalls McMillan,
who will turn 18 in April. “I’m glad they pushed me
and challenged me to step up at Ivy Tech, because it
has set me on a good path for my future. After two
years of taking classes at Ivy Tech alongside my other
schoolwork, we decided to stop homeschooling and
instead chose to enroll me as a full-time student, which
put me on the path I’m on today.”
McMillan’s short-term goal is to transfer to
Valparaiso University for the fall semester.
“I actually received a call from the university a few
days ago telling me I had been accepted after I applied
in December,” he says. “Ivy Tech absolutely had a hand
in my acceptance there. Thanks to my path toward
an associate degree, I was able to apply as a transfer
student to Valparaiso University. VU offers partial

scholarships to transfer students based on their GPA
and other factors and adds a bonus to that scholarship
if students come in with an associate degree. Thanks to
my time at Ivy Tech, I’m proud to say I’ll be attending
VU this fall with a scholarship, and I know that many
Ivy Tech students who transfer to four-year schools get
similar opportunities.”

“What I like most about Ivy Tech is the
flexibility and freedom it has given me.”
—Ian McMillian, Ivy Tech student
Ivy Tech provides many options for students, says
McMillan, including a pathway into higher education
and to earn a degree or credentials that can help them in
their career.
But it’s not only Ivy Tech’s educational aspects that
appeal to McMillan—there are also lots of social options
as well as student organizations for those who want to
join.
“I’m not currently a member of any clubs at Ivy Tech,
but that isn’t due to a lack of options,” he says. “Ivy Tech
campuses typically have a number of groups and clubs
that are centered on students’ interests. For example,
I know there is a book club at the Valparaiso Ivy Tech

campus, a film club and
Ivy Tech
many others. There’s
Community College
also a group of students
Pathway to Success
who have established
a branch of a fraternity
at the Valpo campus.
Homeschooling for high
As for making friends,
school while simultaneously
just like anything else,
beginning classes at Ivy Tech
that definitely depends
Program: Associate degree
on how outgoing you
in Business Administration
are. Many students
are focused on their
at age 18
classwork but everyone
Future Plans: Ian will be
I have met, both
transferring
to Valparaiso
professors and students,
University
in
the fall with a
has been very friendly
scholarship
and I’ve made a few
friends there.”
McMillan would
recommend Ivy Tech to others for the opportunities it
provides.
“Ivy Tech has set me on a more successful path, and
it does the same for all students,” he says. “I’m very
grateful to have had the opportunity for learning I’ve
had at Ivy Tech, and I’m also very grateful to Chancellor
Sikoski and all of my professors who have helped me
along the way and made me feel at home at Ivy Tech.”

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