By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
BCC sets new teacher credential standards
Placeholder Image

Barton Community College will change its polices on faculty credentials to comply with changes in Kansas Board of Regents regulations, BCC Vice President Dr. Penny Quinn told the college’s board of trustees on Thursday. Now, off-campus instructors will need to have the same minimum credentials as full-time faculty.
Until recently, KBOR’s regulations on faculty credentials weren’t as strict at those of the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits BCC. That allowed some “wiggle room” for accepting competent instructors who didn’t have the ideal credentials — usually a master’s degree for teaching general education classes. But now KBOR is mirroring HLC requirements.
“We must have the same quality expectation,” Quinn said, whether the instructor is full-time, part-time, on a BCC campus, online or at an area high school.
There are exceptions, Quinn continued. For example, a scuba instructor doesn’t have to have a master’s degree in physical education, but must have scuba certification. A certified technician may teach a technical course in his or her field. That’s known as a third-party credential. Experience or language proficiency may also qualify. Examples would be an attorney teaching a class related to law, or a Spanish-speaking person teaching foreign language.
However, Quinn said, “exceptions must come through my office.” Exceptions aren’t about getting around the rules, she added. “We want to meet accreditation, provide quality instructors and meet partner expectations.”
Often the “partner” Quinn referred to is an area high school where courses are offered for both high school and college credit. Sometimes the local high school teachers offer the college courses, but now some teachers may find they don’t have the credentials. Some may just need to take a few classes. In one instance, the students will take a college level course online from a certified Barton instructor, and their classroom teacher will serve as a tutor.
Quinn noted that some high school students are already registering for classes for the next school year. College officials plan to meet with school superintendents in February to let them know the new requirements.
“We want to mitigate any adverse impact to our partners,” Quinn said.
Board of trustees chairman Mike Johnson reiterated that the changes weren’t brought on by the college. “It’s not a Barton (initiated) issue,” he said. “This is a KBOR-HLC issue.”
Trustee Don Learned indicated several Great Bend High School students’ parents had expressed some concern. Quinn said she didn’t want to discuss specific classes, because that would pinpoint specific teachers. But, the meetings with superintendents will answer most questions.
For the fall semester, Quinn said, 25 area schools, plus some home schools, were offering BCC classes to a total of 189 students. Larned High School has a class period where students may take BartOnline classes during the school day. This has resulted in 28 students from LHS enrolled in 151 hours of classes this past semester. St. John High School has a similar offering, and 11 students were enrolled in 52 hours. Otis-Bison High School had six students enrolled in 31 hours of classes.
Great Bend, Ellinwood and Macksville high schools each had three students taking BCC classes, while Central Plains High School, Hoisington, Stafford and Ellsworth each had two.
In action items Thursday, the trustees met in executive session with Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman for 30 minutes to discuss personnel matters. They approved new personnel for the Barton County campus: Mike Bammes, head wrestling coach; Susanne Yarmer, part-time Adult Education test proctor; Hayley Young, assistant volleyball coach and residence hall manager; and Abby Howe, Developmental Education instructor.