Bloomington — Hannah Walls is the first student from Bloomfield Jr-Sr High School to earn a full associate degree upon high school graduation. Walls earned her Associate of General Studies (AGS) degree from Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington and completed her Statewide General Educational Core (STGEC) certification with honors. She also earned an agribusiness animal technical certificate.

“I feel very proud and accomplished that I was able to set this goal for myself and that I was able to obtain an associate degree before my actual high school graduation,” Walls said.

At the end of her junior year, Walls realized that she would only be a few credits short of obtaining a full ASG degree by the end of her senior year, so she made it a goal to reach that milestone. This required Walls to take more summer courses than she had planned and to enroll in more complicated classes. At the time, she was not aware that she would be the first student from the school to earn a full associate degree, but once she was notified by her principal, she was “more determined than ever” to reach her goal.

Walls has been accepted to Purdue University Honors College and the College of Agriculture in Animal Science. She will begin studies to become a veterinarian in fall 2020. Since all of her Ivy Tech classes that she would have taken during freshman year transferred, she will start taking classes that count toward her pre-veterinary program right away.

Walls says that earning an STGEC and full AGS degree in high school, made it possible for her to apply for scholarships to Purdue. “By taking advantage of early college opportunities and earning Ivy Tech credentials, plus my honors, I was able to earn scholarships to assist with the 8 years of veterinary medical schooling I have ahead of me,” she said.

During high school Walls was a participant in cross country, track, basketball, and tennis. She served on student council, 4-H, and as a volunteer, among other activities.

“I couldn’t have done any of this without the support of my family and coaches who all believed in me when I just wanted to give up,” she said. “I struggled with injuries and depression—and then COVID-19 quarantine and e-learning—but with their support, I was able to rely on that encouragement and my own determination to succeed.”

Once Walls earns her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, she plans to come back to her home community to work as a veterinarian. 

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.