KOKOMO, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region will honor Michael Erny, program chair for Automotive Technology, with the region’s President’s Award for Excellence during commencement May 10. This award is presented annually in each region of Ivy Tech Community College to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in instruction and dedication to Ivy Tech’s mission.
While many college faculty members may have expertise in their field, a passion for education and the desire to leave a lasting impact on the College and community, few combine those traits as successfully as Mike Erny.
Erny’s learning philosophy is considered to be the foundation of his success. He believes that education is a lifelong endeavor, not something to attain and store away. In the ever-changing field of automotive technology, it is not just an idealistic notion, it is a necessity. Rather than spoon-feed his students information, Erny guides students to the answer through careful questioning and hands-on experiences and by allowing them to learn from their mistakes. He imbues students with the ability to learn, a skill that will keep them current amid the rapidly evolving automotive industry.
In choosing Erny, school leaders noted he leads by example, not only in the technical application of knowledge under the hood, but also in his pursuit of that knowledge. He is an expert in the automotive service field, holding a number of National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications as well as a full-service Cummins certification. In 2013, Mike earned his Master of Science Degree in Career and Technical Education from Indiana State University.
In the seven years he has led the Kokomo Region Automotive Program, Mike has revolutionized it into an innovative, adaptable and effective program that is producing highly skilled, well-qualified graduates ready to succeed in their field. He has secured donations of nearly $1 million in equipment, resources and funding from a number of major corporations, including Snap-on, Chrysler and Subaru. He leads in coordinating the College’s Automotive Institute, a 35-hour-a-week, 40-week program that prepares students for the schedule and demands of the workplace while they earn their accelerated associate degree.
School officials said Mike’s leadership and innovations through the Automotive Institute have paid dividends with both students and employers. Today, nearly 90 percent of his students successfully pass their Institute classes, three out of four students who enroll in the program graduate and many have job offers from eager employers long before they complete their studies.