BLOOMINGTON – Lexy Shimkus is pursuing her business administration associate degree with the help of Ivy Tech’s Achieve Your Degree tuition deferral program. Shimkus works at Yoho General Store in Solsberry, Ind., owned by CFC Properties, a Cook Group company. The Cook Group is partnered with Ivy Tech to offer the Achieve Your Degree program to employees.

In contrast with tuition reimbursement programs, Achieve Your Degree is a tuition deferral program that allows working adults to earn a college certificate or associate degree with no upfront cost to them. In a unique arrangement of the program, Cook Group allows its employees to earn their associate degrees at no cost to them.

“I will be graduating debt free due to this amazing program and will continue to work for Cook,” said Shimkus. “Without this program I would be graduating with so much debt and would be starting from scratch in the employment world. Because of this degree, I will be able to get my foot in the door at Cook for possible jobs when I graduate.”

Shimkus chose to earn her degree in business administration to gain broad experience before deciding on a specific career. However, she is most interested in human resources.

To gain experience in business administration, she plans to start an internship this summer at Cook Medical.

“My experience at Ivy Tech has been great,” said Shimkus. “I enjoy my classes because I know that the more that I learn and get involved in, the closer I am to earning my degree to better my future. My instructors are always there when I need them and I know that I can count on everyone I interact with. Compared to all of my friends and what they have said about the colleges they are attending, I couldn’t be more glad that I chose Ivy Tech to be my college.”

After she graduates, Shimkus plans to continue her education and earn a bachelor’s degree.

Employers who wish to learn more about Achieve Your Degree can arrange a time for Ivy Tech to visit their company. To arrange a meeting, contact Jessica Duncan at or (812) 330-6349. More information about Achieve Your Degree can be found online at


About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.