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Jackson hired as BCC camp ranger
BCC saw increase an in federal student aid last year

There’s a new camp ranger at Barton Community College’s Camp Aldrich conference center in northern Barton County. The appointment of James Jackson was the only new employee on the agenda at Tuesday’s BCC Board of Trustees meeting.

The camp ranger position is not new, said Amye Schneider, assistant to the president and clerk to the BCC Board of Trustees. Jackson will live at Camp Aldrich in the Ranger House once some upgrades have been completed there.

Todd Ammeter held the park ranger position for at least 10 years.

Financial aid

The bulk of Tuesday’s board meeting consisted of reports. For example, Myrna Perkins, chief accreditation officer and director of financial aid, gave the 2019-2020 financial aid report.

• Total aid disbursed increased from $10.3 million for 2018-2019 to $11.1 million in 2019-2020 for a total increase of $802,666.

• The increase in aid was primarily due to $424,000 in federal CARES funding plus an additional increase in federal aid overall.

• Barton’s default rate on student loans is 15.8%. This is an increase by 3% from last year, moving BCC slightly above the national rate for two-year public institutions, which is 15.2%. It remains below the 30% level that is the “cautionary zone” with the U.S. Department of Education, Perkins said.

“This past year was the first year we required students who received any kind of institutional aid to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid),” Perkins said. Interestingly enough, she said, the number of FAFSAs received was down (4,151, compared to 4,262 the previous year) but the number of FAFSAs awarded was up (2,080 compared to 1,762). The average time to process the applications was seven weeks, which was 10 weeks faster than the previous year.

The Barton Experience

“If I had it to do all over, I would enroll at Barton again.” In a survey administered to all Barton students in the fall of 2019, 975 students completed the survey and 90% of those responded that they “strongly agree” or “agree” with that statement, according to a report from Annie Maddy, vice president of student services.

This was part of a monitoring report on “END 4 - Barton Experience.” The college seeks to achieve its mission through eight ENDS policies and four Core Priorities.

The “Barton Experience” policy states:

• Students will be positive about their Barton experience.

• In exit surveys and other feedback report mechanisms, students will speak positively of their experiences at Barton.

• Students will cite individual, personal, caring attention from faculty and staff as a significant factor in how they perceive their experience at Barton.

“For many years, we’ve pulled information from a graduate survey,” Maddy said. “About three years ago, we started a fall survey that goes to every enrolled student.”

In the graduate survey, 94% said their overall education experience at Barton was positive and 93% would recommend Barton to others.

Website hits

Charles Perkins, dean of institutional effectiveness, reported on statistics for the BCC website over the past 30 days.

Online-related webpages received 38,162 views, up 2,511 over the last month. Population career program views were: nursing, 1,243 views; health care, 607; med lab tech, 581; Emergency Medical Services, 540; dietary, 480; Commercial Driver’s License, 391; and pharmacy tech, 370.

Dr. Kathy Kottas, dean of workforce training and community education, said it was exciting to see interest in the programs. Although the college has promoted some of these programs, Kottas said she hopes the interest is generated by the fact that Barton offers solid programs, as evidenced by competitive pass rates, and by the job security in these fields.