Earlier this month, the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) approved continuing the accreditation of Barton Community College for the next 10 years. The final step in the reaffirmation process was taken Tuesday when the BCC Board of Trustees approved its choice of accreditation pathway to HLC for the next reaffirmation, which will be held during the 2032-2033 academic year.
Myrna Perkins, Barton’s chief accreditation officer and director of financial aid, explained the recommendation to switch from the “open pathway” to the “standard pathway” for the next decade.
In its description of the two pathways, HLC states both focus on quality assurance and institutional improvement. “The Open Pathway is unique in that its improvement component, the Quality Initiative, affords institutions the opportunity to pursue improvement projects that meet their current needs and aspirations.” The Standard Pathway integrates improvement topics into comprehensive evaluations conducted during the cycle.
“The standard pathway can be described as basic,” Perkins said. “It really has the fewest moving parts.” There is no Quality Initiative but there is an on-site evaluation after four years.
“There is value in having a team on campus for the mid-cycle review,” she continued. “This keeps an institution focused on accreditation. The face-to-face nature of interactions with a team is more valuable than the exchanging of reports.”
In other business Tuesday, the trustees elected officers for the next year.
Chairman Mike Johnson said it was the consensus of the trustees to keep the same officers as last year, unless someone was interested in filling a position. Trustees approved keeping the slate the same as in 2022: Johnson is chairman and Kansas Association of Community College Trustees representative, Gary Burke is vice chairman, John Moshier is secretary, and Barton Vice President of Administration Mark Dean is treasurer.
Personnel and more
The board also approved hiring three new employees to work at the Barton County campus. Laurie Murray will be an academic advisor, and Logan Marshall and Michelle Freeman will be financial aid officers.
During the meeting, the board also heard presentations on the Academic Development Center, the latest Information Technology Audit, Strategic Planning, and monitoring of Academic Advancement goals.