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Study focuses on the future
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Dear Editor,
In forum letters these past months, I have provided report information from Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., which conducted an independent evaluation of Barton Community College last fall and winter.
The study focused on four perspectives to measure Barton’s worth to its community.
Of all the perspectives, social value provides the greatest far-reaching significance to our community because the college provides public goods that benefit the community-at-large in so many ways.
Would you be surprised to learn the monetary value of that social benefit to the state of Kansas annually tops $21 million?
It does, according to the EMSI report, which lists its data sources as the 2009-10 academic and financial reports from the college; industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; earning and demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau; and a variety of studies and surveys relating education to social behavior.
Social perspective benefits are identified in the study as “any benefits that impact the state as a whole — whether students, employers, taxpayers, or whoever else stands to benefit from the activities at Barton.”
Those benefits are then subdivided into two components: 1) increased income in the state, and 2) social externalities stemming from the improved lifestyles of students.
Higher student income and associated effects on business productivity add $20.1 million income annually to the state economy, according to the EMSI information.
The activities of Barton’s 2009-10 student body generate about $12.8 million in labor income within the state economy each year. This year’s Barton graduates are expected to contribute an additional $7.3 million in taxable income to the state.
The EMSI study utilizes the economists’ beekeeper analogy to explain social externalities, relating the analogy to educational institutions. The analogy follows that higher education institutions are in the business of providing education; generally that education raises people’s incomes; and along the way, external benefits are created.
Students’ health and lifestyles are improved through education, and that indirectly benefits our community and our state.
The total value of Barton’s social externalities is measured at $1.2 million annually in social savings, the study finds.
More about the social perspective of Barton can be read in greater detail by accessing the EMSI main report (page 21) online at
You can also access the social perspective break-out report at that same web address.
Of course, if you would like any portion of the report mailed to you, please call the president’s office at 792-9302.
Additionally, you can contact the president’s office if you are interested in having a board of trustees member share the EMSI report in more detail with your respective civic groups.
We are happy to accommodate your requests.
Paul E. Maneth, Ph.D.,
board of trustees,
Great Bend