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Barton Community College renews faculty contracts
Six faculty granted tenure

Six faculty members at Barton Community College were granted tenure Tuesday when the BCC Board of Trustees approved next year’s contracts.

Danika Bielek, Brittany Fanshier, Scott McDonald, Wade Morris, Joshua Snodgrass and Kristin Steele were all tenure-eligible and their contracts were renewed.

There were also six faculty contract non-renewals this year: Makenzie Coffee resigned; John Mears, who teaches military classes, had a position change to adjunct (i.e., part-time) instructor; Glenna Guant, Stephannie Goerl and Linda McCaffery all retired; and Karla Johnston had already resigned but was on the list because she did not accept a 2020-2021 contract.

Contracts were also renewed for 35 tenured faculty and 14 faculty who are not yet tenured.

In other personnel matters, the board approved hiring six new employees at the Barton County campus: Robert Wilcox, systems analyst; Katelyn Scherer, lead care provider; Paula Bailey and Justin Brown, instructors of English; Leslie Taylor, registration specialist; and Jose Palacios, institutional research coordinator. Contracts were approved for English instructors Bailey and Brown. A contract was also approved for Eric Foley as director of Choral Activities. The board approved hiring Foley on Nov. 24, 2020, and he has served as an adjunct instructor while completing his contract as a vocal music teacher for Lyons High School and Lyon Middle School.

New scholarship program

The meeting began with a few comments about the Kansas Promise Scholarship Act signed by Governor Laura Kelly on Friday, April 23. It provides scholarships for students to attend an eligible postsecondary institution for any two-year associate degree program, career and technical education certificate, or stand-alone program otherwise identified by the Kansas Board of Regents. 

Myrna Perkins, Barton’s director of financial aid, noted that the recipients of these scholarships agree to be Kansas residents and work in the state for two years after completion of the program. For more information see “New state program allows BCC to offer full-scholarship programs” in the April 18 “Great Bend Tribune.”

Workplace preparedness

Trustees also heard a strategic planning report from Todd Mobray, director of institutional research, and a monitoring report from Kathy Kottas, dean of Workforce Training & Community Education, on “Workforce Preparedness,” which is listed as one of the board’s “ENDS,” or over over-arching policy goals.

The ENDS policy under review states that “students will be prepared for success in the workplace.” One way this is monitored is by tracking how many students pass state exams or tests required for a license or certificate on their first attempt.

For 2019-2020, students testing in the following areas had a 100% pass rate: Early Childhood (Child Development Associate); Certiport MOS; EMS instructor/coordinator; welding GTAW and GMAW. The pass rate for a Commercial Driver’s License was 93%; the pass rate for welding - blueprint was 97%, welding - cutting was 96% and welding SMAW was 98%; the pass rate for plumbing was 93%; and the pass rate for carpentry was 88%.

Kottas said the high passing rates represented a “huge accomplishment.”

The college also surveys student satisfaction in their vocational training and it surveys area employers on the general education, technical education and professionalism of Barton graduates they hire.

“We want our students to have the skills to get the job and keep the job,” Kottas said.