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The Economic Contribution of Barton Community College
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Dear Editor,
The vision of Barton Community College is to “be a leading educational institution, recognized for being innovative and having outstanding people, programs and services.”
It is the belief of the Barton Board of Trustees that a genuine pursuit of this vision will not only lead to the college’s ultimate success, it will build the college into a tremendous economic and social asset to its communities.
We frequently reassess and keep a close eye on our progress. However, social and economic impact can be difficult to measure with accuracy, which led the board to pursue an evaluation by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., a company that specializes in providing such data for colleges.
The EMSI study details the role that Barton plays in promoting economic development, enhancing students’ careers and improving quality of life for our area. Data sources include the 2012-13 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.
The Board of Trustees will be sharing more information about the study with an upcoming news release and details on the Barton website. The release will focus on each of the four perspectives presented in the study, including taxpayers, students, businesses and social value.
From each perspective, there are interesting aspects that reinforce the college’s value to our community. For instance, every dollar appropriated by state and local governments to Barton is doubled in value in the form of higher tax revenues and lower social costs. Another interesting element from the study: For every $1 students invest in Barton in the form of out-of-pocket expenses and forgone time and money, they receive a cumulative of $3.50 in higher future wages.
The importance of Barton, not only to Barton County but the entire Central Kansas area, cannot be underestimated. The institution is an integral part of this area’s educational, recreational and economic development activities.
We encourage you to examine the study and reports in more detail. You can access those online at Also, if you have questions or wish to receive any portion of the study or reports in the mail, call the President’s Office at (620) 792-9302.
Mike Johnson Chairman Board of Trustees