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BCC has goal to improve online education
Trustees hear Camp Aldrich report
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Goals for Barton Community College for the 2011-12 year are outlined in the Barton Yearly College Plan, which was approved Thursday by the BCC Board of Trustees.

Goals are listed for six departments: Athletics; Business Services; Grants; Institutional Advancement; Information Services; and Student Services & Instruction. Student Services & Instruction is divided into seven more categories: academics; distance learning; Fort Riley learning services & military operations; learning resources; student services; technical education; and workforce training & community education.

Dr. Joel Lundstrom, Barton’s associate dean of distance learning, gave a presentation on his department, focusing on the growth of online instruction through BartOnline. On the Yearly Plan, this department’s goals are to "Enhance online course efficiency and delivery," and "Increase support staff proportional to growth of (the) online program."

The number of enrollments through BartOnline surpassed 10,000 last year, a 24 percent increase. A student who takes five online classes would be counted as five "enrollments." The total number of credit hours was 32,888, which was also 24 percent more than the previous year. Lundstrom said reasons for the success include the simple registration and enrollment process, and the number of courses offered online — 230 to date. Other Kansas colleges offer fewer courses online, and may drop a course if only one or two students enroll. BartOnline doesn’t drop low-enrollment classes, but always makes a profit because instructors are paid based on the number of students in their online class. They receive $200 per student for the first six students, $100 each for students seven through 10, and $50 per student after that. For an online course with 20 students, an instructor receives $2,100.

In addition to the Yearly Plan, the trustees approved the five-year Barton Success Plan, which starts with "Maximize student learning and success." More specific targets for this plan will go in the AQIP portfolio which goes to the Higher Learning Center for Barton’s accreditation. AQIP stands for Academic Quality Improvement Program.

New personnel approved for the Barton campus are Amanda Moran, assistant care provider; Elizabeth Klima, academic adviser and data specialist; and Kenny Miller, groundskeeper II. Shawn Wood was hired as an instructor of technical education/military programs for the Fort Riley area. The early retirement request from Judith Miller was approved. There was also a 25-minute executive session for discussion of personnel.

The board also approved the new Fire Science Certificate program and a change to the Home Health Aide course that is required for an LPN certificate. Both programs were discussed at the last board study session.

Camp Aldrich Committee

Trustee Robert Feldt reported that the first meeting of the new Camp Aldrich Advisory Committee was held Aug. 24 at the Camp Aldrich Conference Center. "It was a very good introductory meeting," he said.

Those who attended took a walking tour of the facility and received an overview of revenue and expenses. "The buildings and infrastructure are aging," Feldt noted, adding it will be "a considerable cost" to improve them.

Camp Aldrich is used a lot in the summer, but Feldt said one goal would be to increase its use in the fall and winter. One suggestion is to make it available for lodging to duck hunters at Cheyenne Bottoms, although they do not want any shooting at the camp. Another suggestion is to make a portion of the camp available to bow hunters.

Fort Hays State University has two representatives on the committee, and Feldt noted many area game wardens received their degrees at FHSU. "I for one am interested in seeing some education programs presented at Camp Aldrich," he said.