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Barton challenges Kansas Regents' scores

Barton Community College failed to meet three of its six performance agreement indicators with the Kansas Board of Regents in the latest assessment, said Charles Perkins, dean of institutional effectiveness. Perkins told the BCC Board of Trustees on Sept. 24 that the college will appeal the decision, noting it missed one of the criteria by one half of 1 percent and would have met that objective if just one more low-performing or remedial student had been retained in 2015.

The college also missed one criterion by 2 percent and another by 8.9 percent. KBOR uses three-year averages and establishes a baseline that colleges can meet, exceed or fall below.

“We were given goals; we didn’t meet our goal,” Perkins told the board.

Still, the college came close to getting a passing score on all six criteria, Perkins continued.

Only 10 of Kansas’ 19 community colleges scored high enough to earn 100 percent of any new state funding allocated in 2019; Barton will only be eligible for 90 percent, pending appeal.

Most years there is no additional state funding, which means the college would be eligible for 90 percent of nothing. However, Barton administrators want the 100 percent designation as a matter of institutional pride and also because there’s always a chance that the Legislature will approve more money for higher education.

Missing the criteria can translate into lost funding. Perkins said in 2012-2013 the college missed out on 20 percent of the new money, which ended up being $134,111.

The indicator that Barton missed by almost 9 percent was to increase the number of Barton degrees and certificates awarded. Perkins said this was difficult because the objective came at a time of declining enrollment.

“KBOR wanted us to increase three-year graduation rates but we knew enrollment would go down,” Perkins said.

The baseline sought was 946 and Barton awarded 869.

“We were so close on all of these that we really feel like we can form an appeal,” Perkins told the trustees. “We must have the appeal in by Oct. 15.” The college will learn the results of the appeal sometime in December. “I’m optimistic,” Perkins said.

“If we’d only missed two it would have been an automatic approval. We didn’t miss any of these by much,” he said.

“We believe we’re still showing sustained excellence.”

The six indicators were:

Indicator 1 - Increase the number of Barton degrees and certificates awarded. Barton missed this indicator by 77 awards or 8.9 percent. The baseline sought was 946 and Barton awarded 869.

Indicator 2 - Increase the percentage of successful responses on competency-based reasoning questions pooled from multiple sections of five courses. This indicator was met or exceeded.

Indicator 3 - Increase the yearly passing percentage rate of students receiving third-party health care technical program certification and licensure credentials. This indicator was met or exceeded.

Indicator 4 - Increase fall-to-fall retention of low-performing students requiring entry level developmental education courses (Basic English, Basic Reading, College Prep Math). This indicator was missed by 1.3 people, or 0.55 percent.

Indicator 5 - Increase the three-year graduation rate. This criteria was missed by 2 percent.

Indicator 6 - Increase the percentage of students performing at the “Proficiency” level on a mandatory competency within written communication assessments of gen ed. This indicator was met or exceeded.