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Barton teaches essential job skills
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Roni Wertz, Early Childhood Education coordinator at Barton Community College. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Students enrolled in career and technical education courses at Barton Community College are taught accountability and other aspects of professionalism that employers want, Dean of Workforce Training & Community Education Elaine Simmons told the BCC Board of Trustees on Tuesday.
Simmons was presenting a monitoring report on Work Preparedness. One of the college’s defining goals is that “Students will be prepared for success in the workplace.”
Simmons invited three career instructors to talk about how they incorporate six essential skills into each course: accountability, critical thinking, customer service, communications, professionalism and self management.
“Every day they come in the classroom is a mini job interview,” said Roni Wertz, Early Childhood Education coordinator.
Nursing instructor Brenda Glendenning and business instructor Kathy Boeger had similar stories. Boeger’s students are invited to a recognition dinner that is attended by business professionals who share advice. During the semester, students use planners, and create resumes and cover letters. Next week they will take part in mock interviews.
“Nursing lends itself to essential skills,” Glendenning said. At Barton’s annual Field Ops Day that involves all sorts of medical and law enforcement students, the nursing students set up an emergency room and triage area. Throughout the day, they will encounter patients from various scenarios. But the nursing students only spend half of their day performing medical tasks, Glendenning said. For the other half of the day they take on the roles of patients and family members. This not only helps the exercises continue for others, it is educational to see the work of professionals from the other side.
Simmons said these three examples showcase the goal of all of Barton’s career and technical education programs. “We do our best to try to make the environment actually feel like a job.”
The college also monitors its success in this area with student and employer satisfaction surveys, and by charting the percentage of students who pass state exams or other certificate requirements after completing the course.
This report showed the health-care certification pass rates for school years 2008-2009 through 2014-2015. The numbers reflect the percentage of students who passed the licensure exam on the first attempt. Overall success in 2014-2015 was 82 percent, with 297 attempts and 242 passing. Pass rates ranged from 100 percent for Medical Assistant to 63 percent for Emergency Medical Technician. The national pass rate for the EMT exam was 66 percent.
The overall pass rates for trades and technology licensure was 86 percent. BCC achieved 100 percent pass rates – 4 out of 4 – in automotive certification for brakes and electrical, but one or two of the automotive students didn’t pass engine performance and/or suspension tests on the first attempts.
The new Commercial Driver’s License program had a 60 percent pass rate its first year, with 9 of 15 passing the exam for a CDL on the first attempt in 2014-2015.
The IC3 certification (Internet Core Competency Certification) pass rate improved significantly, from 67 percent in 2013-2014 to 82 percent in 2014-2015.

All materials from this report, as well as other information shared at Tuesday’s board study session, may be viewed online at