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Barton maintains high school partnerships
TAKING THE OATH - Barton County Clerk Bev Schmeidler administers the oath of office to Barton Community College Board of Trustees who won the November election. From left: Schmeidler, Don Learned, Carl Helm and John Moshier. - photo by photo courtesy Barton Community College

BCC to close for holiday

Barton Community College will be closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17. Barton’s Center for Adult Education and the Shafer Art Gallery also will be closed. Offices will reopen and classes will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

A growing number of students are starting their college coursework while they attend high school, thanks to programs and scholarships developed at the state and local levels. Karly Little, coordinator of community education at Barton Community College, presented an overview of BCC’s high school partnerships at a Board of Trustees study session on Tuesday.

“I work every day with high school students, counselors and administrators,” Little said. Barton offers several options:

• College Advantage - These are courses taught by a Barton instructor at the student’s school. Students typically earn high school and college credit at the same time.  

• Partnered Online - These are college-level courses taught online by a Barton instructor with a high school mentor in the room. They are closed to a high school audience.

• Get Ahead Program (GAP) - These are taught on-campus or by Zoom. In many cases, GAP students come out to the college in the afternoon to take a class.

• BartOnline - Students can work on an online course at school or at home, on their own schedule.

• Excel in CTE - Thanks to the Kansas Legislature’s Senate Bill 155, since 2012 high school students have been able to enroll in a specific list of career and technical education (CTE) classes that cost no tuition. (Textbooks or materials charges may apply.) These courses are offered online, on-campus, and at some high schools. Little said Barton is getting more online enrollments in this area, and can even accept online students from outside the college’s traditional service area.

“There are lots of benefits to high school students,” Little said of taking college courses. They can experience college-rigor coursework with credentialed instructors, receiving support from high school and college faculty. They can save time and money as they get a head start on their college education.

“The more things they can build into their high school schedule the better,” Little said. However, this option isn’t for everyone. Students who take college classes in high school are spending time and money while starting a college transcript.

Partner schools

Partner high schools in the BCC service area include Central Plains, Chase, Ellinwood, Ellsworth, Great Bend, Hoisington, La Crosse, Larned, Lyons, Otis-Bison, Pawnee Heights, Russell, St. John, Wilson, Blue Valley-Randolph, Kinsley, Macksville, Ness City, Skyline (Pratt), and Stafford.

“We’re always forming new partnerships,” Little said. “We are working to set up an info session for a local homeschool in the next month.”

Little said she is meeting with the partner high schools to expand the CTE offerings, since Barton has recently added on-campus courses in carpentry and plumbing, and has expanded its welding program. 

Barton Vice President Elaine Simmons said the college started working with area school districts in 2000.

“The high school mentors who work with us show high school students what a college experience is,” Simmons noted. “It’s an excellent opportunity.”