The campus at Barton Community College exhibits a certain unassuming demeanor. Though, there’s more to BCC than meets the eye.
A strong example of BCC’s progressive nature is evident in the College-to-University agreements the local college has set up with many four-year institutions, which makes it an effective launching ground for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees or higher.
One such agreement with Kansas State University has proven the worth of cooperation between two- and four-year colleges. Boasting more than 20 programs under the agreement, BCC students have a plethora of options for continuing their educations.
K-State and BCC will soon celebrate the agreement’s long-running success with a media blitz event, which will feature in-person interviews with K-State President Kirk Schulz, KSU Dean of Continuing Education Sue Maes and BCC President Dr. Carl Heilman along with several administrators and faculty members representing BCC’s many departments.
Several other members of the K-State Division of Continuing Education will be in attendance as well, and Stacy Kovar will represent the K-State College of Business. The K-State business program is the first College-to-University agreement to be implemented in all 19 Kansas community colleges.
All attendees will be available after the media event at a public reception in Schulz’s honor from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the StoneRidge Country Club in Great Bend. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m.
The reception is sponsored by BCC in partnership with two Great Bend businesses, Innovative Livestock Services and Marmie Motors. Representatives from several Kansas two-year institutions will also be present Nov. 7, including Pratt, Hutchinson, Cloud County, Dodge City, Garden City and Colby community colleges.
“The upcoming media event is an opportunity to reinforce to the public that Barton has been and continues to be responsive to our taxpayers and public and that it is our responsibility to promote educational access beyond the first two years of a four-year degree,” Heilman said. “K-State is an outstanding partner that understands and meets their responsibility for educational outreach.”
Elaine Simmons, Dean of Workforce Training and Community Education, echoed a similar sentiment.
“I think the agreements say we’re progressive, but more importantly, I think it says we are in a constant search for ways to offer more options to our students,” Simmons said. “When the College-to-University agreements occur in the correct format, they’re roadmaps for our students who desire a particular educational or career outcome, and they can look at those agreements and assess what they will do with our institution and what they will do at the university level.”
Dean of Academics Richard Abel has also had a hand in many of BCC’s College-to-University agreements. He said, “It’s a great opportunity.”
“It’s a great benefit to our students and we take pleasure in knowing the four-year colleges and universities are interested in having our students pursue degrees at their institutions,” Abel added.
BCC’s relationship with K-State started in 2002 when the university developed a presence on BCC’s campus. The College-to-University agreement began in 2004 with the Dietetics Program.
“Barton was the first of all 19 community colleges in Kansas to form a College-to-University agreement,” said Academic Advisor Jennifer Pfortmiller, who played a crucial role in establishing the agreement. “Barton was the model others worked off of and was very instrumental in getting things started.”
Keep up with the latest BCC news here: www.hilltopics.bartonccc.edu
SIDEBAR: The College-to-University agreement in action
When Nathan Legleiter of Great Bend started the process of pursuing a new career by seeking a degree in general business, he looked to Barton Community College for its accessibility and quality of education. However, it was the college’s relationship with K-State that ultimately solidified his decision.
“Somebody told me about a partnership with K-State, and I took one class to see if it would work for me. I’ve been a full time student ever since,” he said. “I chose Barton because of the ease of having my classes online, but I can come out to classes on campus if I need to. They worked around my schedule and everything.”
Legleiter is taking courses through K-State in the second phase of the program. He said the transition from BCC to K-State was seamless and would recommend utilizing the transfer programs to anyone.
“It’s perfect,” he added. “I love it.”