Accreditation and Certification


The Higher Learning CommissionBarton County Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges (30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, (800) 621-7440, Also, Barton County Community College is accredited under the provisions of the Kansas Community Junior College Act of 1965 and is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges as well as the Council of North Central Junior Colleges. You can also access Barton's accreditation documents

The Open Pathway: HLC Pathways for Reaffirmation of Accreditation

The College's Open Pathways planning starts with the Board of Trustee's mission and vision, followed by an institutional environmental scan (SOAR - strengths, opportunities, aspirations, results).


The Open Pathway seeks to achieve the following goals.

  • To enhance institutional value by opening the improvement aspect of accreditation so that institutions may choose Quality Initiatives to suit their current circumstances
  • To reduce the reporting burden on institutions by utilizing as much information and data as possible from existing institutional processes and collecting them in electronic form as they naturally occur over time
  • To enhance rigor by checking institutional data annually (Institutional Update) and conducting Assurance Reviews twice in the ten-year cycle
  • To integrate as much as possible all HLC processes and HLC requests for data into the reaffirmation of accreditation cycle.

Assurance and Improvement in the Open Pathway

The Open Pathway separates the continued accreditation process into two components: the Assurance Review and the Quality Initiative.

  • Two Assurance Reviews take place in the ten-year cycle; one in Year 4 and one in Year 10. The Year 4 review occurs asynchronously via the Commission’s online Assurance System and without a visit. The Year 10 review also is conducted with the Assurance System but includes a visit to the campus, as noted below. No change requests may be combined with the Year 4 review; all change requests at Year 4 are evaluated separately through the Commission’s change process.
  • Between Years 5 and 9 of the ten-year cycle, the institution proposes and completes a Quality Initiative. The Assurance Reviews free the Quality Initiative to focus on institutional innovation and improvement. The institution undertakes a Quality Initiative as something it elects to suit its own purposes. Its timeframe is flexible to accommodate the amount of time necessary to complete or make substantial progress toward completion.
  • In Year 10, the institution undergoes a comprehensive evaluation.


Year 1 – 10 create and maintain online Evidence File
Year 4 Assurance Review – 2016-2017 (no campus visit)
Year 5 – 9 – propose and complete quality initiative
Year 10 Assurance Review and comprehensive evaluation – 2022-2023 (campus visit)

Click here for more information on the HLC ten year cycle.

Eligible Programs and Locations

Barton County Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and has been approved by the Department of Education (ED) to participate in Title IV federal funding. All programs and locations must be reported to and/or the HLC and the Department of Education.

View Barton’s accreditation profile with the Higher Learning Commission.

View the status of Barton’s programs and locations with HLC and the Department of Education. 

Open Pathways Contact Information

Click on the underlined names below to send an email to the Open Pathways contact.

Open Pathways Liaison 
Myrna Perkins

Open Pathways Institutional Leader 
Dr. Penny Quinn

Open Pathways Core Team 
Dr. Penny QuinnMyrna PerkinsCharles PerkinsCathie Oshiro, Marsha Miller

Statement of Affiliation Status 

Click here for definitions.

Chief Executive Officer: Dr. Carl Heilman, President

Name change notes: Barton County Community Junior College to Barton County Community College

HLC Institution ID: 1267
Current Accreditation Status: Accredited 
Candidacy Date(s): 03/31/1971 - 07/24/1974

Pre-accreditation notes: Pre-accreditation status: Federal Fund Eligibility Approval (1966)

Recognized Candidate for Accreditation (1971)

Candidate for Accreditation under new policy (1973)

Accreditation Date(s): 07/25/1974

Summary of Commission Review

Last Reaffirmation of Accreditation: 2012 - 2013

Next Reaffirmation of Accreditation: 2022 - 2023

Last Date of Information Change: 12/02/2013

Degrees Awarded (details below): Certificate, Associates