Tuition at Barton Community College will increase this fall by $3 per credit hour. The BCC Board of Trustees approved the increase Thursday as recommended by the administration.
A double whammy of cuts in state aid and a drop in oil valuations will have a negative impact on the college budget. The tuition increase won’t make up the difference, but it should generate about $216,000 in additional revenue for the college next year, Dean of Administration Mark Dean said.
The $3 tuition increase is for all students — Kansas residents, out-of-state, international and online. Fees will remain unchanged, and students in Barton County will continue to receive a scholarship which, in effect, reduces their tuition by $7 per credit hour. That means Kansas students will pay $68 per credit, or $61 if they live in the county, for classroom instruction.
Dean noted that last month the college returned $158,000 of its state aid, as colleges and universities were ordered to give back 2 percent and K-12 schools gave back 1.5 percent to balance the state budget. He also noted that, while there are some exceptions, many community colleges are raising tuition by $3-5 per hour, on average.
He also cited a report by AffordableColleges.com that ranks Barton as the 18th most affordable community college in the nation. Coffeyville Community College tops the list, and 11 other Kansas community colleges are in the top 25.
In other business Thursday, the board formally adopted a new strategic planning framework. Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman called it a new model for planning at BCC. Dr. Gene George from Butler Community College spoke as a consultant and said the system will be more useful and flexible that traditional five-year or one-year plans, which are more like to-do lists. The board of trustees still “sets the grand strategy” and the administration uses the plan, which is integrated with budget considerations.
Heilman said there has been support for the changes from the staff so far. He noted that when resources are limited, as they are now, “we have to be able to pivot quickly, within a framework.”
The board also approved a plan to create a two-year Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Health Degree and professional certifications that are recognized nationally. Bill Nash, Fort Riley Dean of Technical and Military Outreach, told the board, “We are now in a position to make that happen.” It will be the only two-year degree of its kind offered in Kansas.
Personnel approved by the trustees were Kailey Wingo, as a customer service representative at Fort Riley and Ashley Norton as an instructional specialist. The board also approved a position change for Brandon Green, to OSHA program coordinator at Grandview Plaza.