Barton Community College’s Hispanic Recruitment and Engagement Office had a strong first year, HERO Director Baudilio Hernandez told college trustees at Tuesday’s monthly board meeting. Hernandez said he identified 92 prospective students this year, of which 59 are eligible to enroll in the 2019-2020 academic year. The remainder of the 92 prospects are still in high school.
Out of the 59 students, 23 are already enrolled at Barton and Hernandez said he expects more to enroll for the fall semester. Most of the students were high school seniors but four will enroll as non-traditional students.
“The Hispanic population is growing,” Hernandez commented. “A lot of them have told me it’s such a great idea to have this — otherwise they might not have tried.” Students who may qualify for scholarships or financial aid may give up without some encouragement. “They qualify for it but they get stuck and don’t want to ask questions.”
Being bilingual has helped Hernandez communicate with parents who usually rely on their children to explain the message.
“I have spoken to or met with 37 of these students’ parents,” Hernandez said. “Parents and students have been very thankful for this program thus far that helps them understand and navigate the post-secondary education process.”
After being in contact with Macksville High School, that school sent students to Barton’s Senior Day for the first time this year and three Macksville graduates are enrolled at Barton for the fall.
Hernandez said he’s helped students fill out financial aid forms and traveled as far as Ulysses and Liberal to talk to students. He plans to continue to expand outreach to places with high Hispanic populations. He also hopes the college website can eventually include a link to HERO in Spanish. Again, that is “not necessarily for students,” he said, noting the need to communicate with parents who may have limited fluency in English. “The parents are always wanting to be involved,” he said.
Positive outcomes the first year have included being able to refer students to scholarships or other student support services; cultural events; opportunities for community service; and career exploration.
Dean Angie Maddie said another positive outcome since Hernandez was hired in April of 2018 is that his office has become a hub for international students, even if they aren’t Hispanic. “That has been a little bit of a nice surprise,” she said. He has incorporated the cultures of various parts of the world into his office decor.
Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said the HERO program is a good initiative for the college. “It was overdue,” he said.
In action items, the board approved the following personnel:
• James Miller – Director of Theatrical Activities (Barton Campus); contract
• Sarah Ball – Program Support specialist (HZMT/EMHS) (Grand View Plaza)
• Makenzie Maldonado – Instructor of Military Programs (Ft. Riley Campus); contract
• Paige Morgan – Program Support specialist (SSS) (Barton Campus)
• Kelsey Brummer – Assistant Athletic Trainer (Barton Campus)
• Heather Panning – Instructor and Coordinator of HPER (Barton Campus); contract
• Chris Elliott – Auto Mechanic II (Barton Campus)
• Philip Jacobson – Instructor of Art (Barton Campus); contract
The board also approved the renewal of property, casualty, workers compensation and other insurance as presented by Conrade Insurance Group, the college's current broker.
According to information provided to the board, the college is insured by Midwest Higher Education Compact (MHEC), as are most other Kansas community colleges, which enables them all to share in the benefit of being in a large pool with the other colleges throughout the nation. The deductible remains at $25,000 for property; however MHEC has changed the wind/hail deductible to $300,000 which is a significant increase.
MHEC provides protection in 17 states. In the past five years, MHEC has paid out total claims of $128,677,942. Of that total, $67,811,905 has been paid to Kansas colleges. MHEC had been using certain common rate factors across all the states (same rate for all states). Kansas colleges have significantly benefited from this pricing methodology.
Claims paid by the MHEC on behalf of Barton total $993,263 versus premiums paid by Barton to MHEC of $318,550. This does not include the recent fire loss to Camp Aldrich.
The total premiums shown in board information for the next year are $347,535.
Kudos for the caviar
A standing ovation was given as the board recognized Tracey Wagner, longtime director of Great Western Dining at BCC, and Iris Jenkins, who has worked for Great Western at BCC for seven years. The company has the food service contract at Barton and 12 other Kansas community colleges, as well as North Central Kansas Technical College at Goodland and the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center at Hutchinson. Trustees and administrators are always appreciative of the service and were especially impressed with service recently when the college hosted the quarterly Kansas Association of Community College Trustees meeting. Caviar provided by Great Western was not billed to the college, said Mike Johnson, chairman of the BCC trustees and the college’s KACCT representative.
Meeting at a glance
Here’s a brief look at what happened at Tuesday’s Barton Community College Board of Trustees meeting.
• A standing ovation was given as the board recognized Tracry Wagner, longtime director of Great Western Dining at BCC, and Iris Jenkins, who has worked for Great Western at BCC for seven years.
• Baudilio Hernandez, director of Barton’s Hispanic Engagement & Recruitment Office (HERO) reported on the program.
• There was a monitoring report on Strategic Planning and an update on the Higher Learning Center (HLC) accreditation process.
• A consent agenda was approved that include new personnel and property insurance.
• The board met in executive session for 15 minutes with Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman to discuss the performance of an employee.