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BCC nets big savings on eCollege contract

POSTED June 21, 2012 9:54 p.m.

A new agreement with the company that makes online courses available at Barton Community College could save BCC $1.25 million over the next five years, college trustees learned Thursday.
Trustees voted to amend the master service agreement with Pearson eCollege. Dean of Business Management Mark Dean said there’s still one year left on the current agreement, but eCollege is willing to follow the amended agreement now. It will lower its fee of $54 per each enrollment at Bart-Online to $32.40 in anticipation of the college renewing the multi-year contract in 2013.
“We anticipate $250,00 savings on the contract next year,” Dean said. That doesn’t mean the college will pay $250,000 less, because the number of online enrollments continues to grow. The eCollege company provides the platform that allows BartOnline and EduKan to provide online courses. EduKan is a consortium of six Kansas community colleges, including Barton. (Students can take Barton County courses online via BartOnline or EduKan.)
BCC President Dr. Carl Heilman said EduKan will also receive the new lower price from eCollege, and that will also save the college money in the long run. “By maintaining these services, EduKan also saves $138,000,” Heilman said. Members of the consortium receive a dividend check from EduKan each year.
Pearson eCollege isn’t the only platform available for offering online courses, Dean said. “We received quotes from two others vendors.” However, he indicated the contracts for this type of service are complicated and changing platforms is confusing for everyone, so for now the college’s business will remain with eCollege.
In other business, the trustees met in executive session for 45 minutes to discuss personnel. They also approved previously discussed items on a “consent agenda” that included:
• Renewing property, casualty and workers compensation coverage with EMC/Cincinnati Insurance (Conrade Insurance Group). The renewal rates for next year are approximately 15 percent higher than the current premium. The increases are mainly due to increases in property coverage and increases in workers comp coverage. Property increases reflect an increase in the value of campus facilities as well as the Kansas industry trends toward damage claims.
• Approving a new agreement with KanREN (Kansas Research and Educational Network) for Barton’s Internet connection.
• Continuing the college’s succession plan, which outlines what to do if the president is unable to serve.
• Hiring Trisha Bailey as a secretary  to the MLT/Dietary Manager; Shannon Lewandowski as an advisement coordinator at Fort Riley; and hiring Regina Reynolds-Casper as the Director of Learning Resources.


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