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BCC trustees approve tuition and fee changes
elsie randel 2020 BCC
Barton Community College student Elsie Randel speaks to the BCC Board of Trustees, Tuesday afternoon. “This college is amazing,” Randel said. - photo by Susan Thacker

Tuition and fee changes for next fall at Barton Community College were approved Tuesday by the BCC Board of Trustees.

In-county students who now pay $107 per credit-hour will pay $111, based on a $4 increase in fees (from $40 to $44). Other in-state students will pay $118 per credit-hour, again based on a $4 fee increase. Tuition will remain unchanged at $67 and $74, respectively.

“Some of the college’s locations will see an increase in tuition and others will see an increase in fees,” Vice President of Administration Mark Dean said. “Military-focused classes at the college’s military campuses, Fort Riley, Fort Leavenworth and Grandview Plaza, will see a reduction in tuition, but an increase in fees, which will yield a net increase of $10 per credit hour for those programs. 

There will also be an increase in the tuition for the night classes offered at the military campuses, which are not specifically military-focused, resulting in an increase of $10 per hour. In short, the net change for all military campuses is an increase of $10 per credit hour.”

The $4 fee increase will also apply to out-of-state and international students. Those students will also see at $4 per credit-hour tuition increase. 

The cost will not change for BartOnline, which is $145 in tuition and $5 in fees per credit-hour.

The net effect of these changes will raise revenue by about $362,000 next year, if enrollment remains the same.

Trustees have reviewed information about what other Kansas community colleges charge for tuition and fees. Depending on the category, Barton’s rates tend to be somewhere toward the middle of the 19 colleges. Dean said he expects other community colleges will also see increases next year.

Tuesday’s action also allows the college to increase tuition by up to $5, while subtracting a corresponding amount from fees, if deemed appropriate by the administration.

As part of the action, the trustees also approved individual course fees. These are additional fees and typically pay for items such as uniforms, lab tools, certification tests, specialized insurance and other special costs. They can change every semester.

Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman noted that trustees have not been asked to approve those fees in the past. Tuesday’s action establishes a practice to let it be known that the local, elected board of trustees is responsible for ALL fees.

Mike Johnson, chairman of the BCC Board of Trustees, explained that the Kansas Board of Regents is taking an interest in fees because colleges are reimbursed for tuition and fees for some career technical education courses taken by high school students. Senate Bill 155 allows the students to take these courses without paying tuition or fees. However, KBOR is taking a closer look at the fees being charged and some community colleges’ fees may not be approved in the future.

Ellucian Cloud Update

Chief Information Officer Michelle Kaiser gave an update on Barton’s transition from storing data in physical servers to moving everything to the Ellucian Cloud. Barton’s Spring Break will be March 16-20 and at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, all of the administrative computer systems will be shut down and will remain offline until 2:01 a.m. on Monday, March 23. The Barton website will continue to be active.

Ellucian is a leading technology solutions provider in high education. Barton has used Ellucian since 1994, starting with the implementation of Banner, which is used to process student enrollments, grades, payroll, financial aid and other core information. Students and employees also use PAWS, an online Banner self-service portal.

The shut-down is required to stop incoming transactions while the systems are put in sync, Kaiser said. “Twenty-seven of us have been working on this project weekly,” she said. There have even been mock drills of the shut-down period before going live.

Student testimonial

The trustees also heard a testimonial from Elsie Randel, a non-traditional student who plans to major in organizational leadership at Fort Hays State University after graduating from Barton. After 10 years of working in the mental health field, Randel knew it was time for a change and began taking classes at Barton Community College in 2019.

“This college is amazing,” she said. “It’s not just the teachers – it’s all of the staff ... every single person I come in contact with.”

Her father was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and Randel said she hopes to honor him and help other veterans who may need housing. “There should never be a homeless veteran,” she said. “I want to make a positive impact.”

Meeting at a glance

Here’s a quick look at Tuesday’s BCC Board of Trustees meeting:

• The board recessed to an executive session for 20 minutes to discuss the performance of an employee.

• Elsie Randel presented a student testimonial.

• Faculty Council Chairman Peter Solie gave the Faculty Council report.

• Chief Information Officer Michelle Kaiser gave an update on Barton’s transfer of data from on-campus servers to the Ellucian Cloud.

• Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Charles Perkins gave a Strategic Planning report.

• Vice President of Administration Mark Dean presented a hazard mitigation plan and resolution which the board approved.

• The board accepted the recommendation for Fiscal Year 20-21 tuition and fees as presented by Mark Dean.

• Personnel changes were approved. Daniela Reif was hired as an accounts receivable clerk and Andrew Hartzell was hired as a clinical coordinator of EMS Education, both on the Barton County campus. A position change and contract were approved for Lawrence Weber, instructor and director of the OSHA Training Institute Education Center at the Grand View Plaza campus.