Soldiers stationed at Fort Leavenworth and civilians in the surrounding communities now have access to classes at Barton Community College via a new campus at the fort, college officials announced.
The latest addition to Barton’s offerings is thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the college and the fort, which was signed by Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman and Garrison Commander Col. Timothy Wulff on Monday morning. In many ways, BCC’s presence will be similar to what it already has at Fort Riley.
The MOU brings numerous offerings to Fort Leavenworth, including the military-specific Basic Skills Education Program (BSEP) and Leader Skill Enhancement Courses (LSEC). Civilians will also have access to Barton classes and the opportunity to earn more than a dozen different associate’s degrees and certificates, ranging from criminal justice and corrections to networking computer specialist.
“The expansion of Barton’s programs to Ft. Leavenworth will benefit the soldiers and their family members as well as military retirees, reserve and national guard members by providing a cost-effective and affordable educational opportunity utilizing a variety of different educational options, whether it be face to face, online or hybrid classes,” said Gene Kingslien, Dean of Fort Riley Learning Services and Military Operations. “From an economic standpoint, this partnership with Ft. Leavenworth will benefit the Barton County taxpayers through the revenue that is produced. The program is designed to be self-sufficient and will not create additional cost for Barton County.”
Kingslien noted the Fort Riley location has historically offset the Barton County mill levy by about 4.5 mills by bringing in more revenue than expenses. Considering one mill generates more than $240,000, BCC’s military education offerings have provided huge cost savings to Barton County taxpayers he said. Nonetheless, the focus is on providing quality education opportunities to our nation’s servicemen and women.
Heilman agreed, adding that the agreement will be of mutual benefit.
“The provision of diverse services throughout Barton’s 30-year history of association with Ft. Riley, affirms Barton’s commitment to meeting the professional development needs of military personnel,” he said. “ In assessing Barton’s feasibility to support the educational needs of Ft. Leavenworth military personnel, it was recognized that Barton could provide BSEP and LSEC, National Test Center support and expanded office hours, which would make available on-site advising, placement testing and enrollment processing. Ft. Leavenworth determined these support functions were necessary in addressing personnel education and training needs.”