Many students or their families are unable to afford the cost of a college course, and depend on the generosity of the community and local organizations to help them further their education. The Barton Community College Foundation assists the BASICS program in raising funds to provide scholarships for students who are unable to afford college courses on their own.
GED students are awarded a scholarship to Barton Community College based on their GED score. Students are provided with six credit hours for passing the exam and are able to obtain scholarships of 30 or 60 credit hours if they achieve scores based on higher requirements. Inmates are eligible to use these hours to take Barton classes inside the correctional facility or after release for either face to face or online classes (scholarship only pays the on-campus rate). Students are also provided with advisement services by a Barton’s career advisor, to ensure their scholarship hours are used for courses that relate to their career and/or educational interests.
3rd Party and Self Pay
Students in the BASICS program are also able to fund their education on their own or our staff is able to work with families to set up payment of college courses. Many students who are working within Private Industry at our correctional facilities have committed to self-pay options due to the limited availability of scholarships and the high level of interest in education.
Contracts and Grants
Promoting Reentry Success through Continuity of Educational Opportunities – PRSCEO
In 2013, Barton was one of three participants in the Department of Education’s PRSCEO project. The focus for this project was to invest in innovative programs preparing incarcerated individuals to successfully reenter society with the support of education and workforce training.
During this grant Barton refined our processes regarding correctional education and formalized many procedures for marketing, recruiting, and student selection. In addition to process enhancements, a partnership with the Kansas Department of Commerce was formalized, and we began offering career advisement to our students.
Kansas Department of Corrections
In 2014, Barton was awarded the education contracts for Ellsworth Correctional Facility (ECF) and Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility (LCMHF) by the Kansas Department of Corrections. Prior to this contract, Barton was continually seeking grant opportunities for funding our correctional education program. This contract created a sustainable program, and allows us to search for grant opportunities which enhance our program.
This contract supports our adult education and career technical programs at ECF and LCMHF.
Improving Reentry Education – IRE
In 2015, Barton was one of nine sites participating in the Department of Education’s IRE Project. The focus for this project is to demonstrate how the implementation high quality educational services in institutional or community settings are critical in support of educational attainment and successful reentry.
Barton has utilized this opportunity to expand the Accelerating Opportunity – Kansas model into correctional facilities. This has allowed us to modify and further develop a model which has proven successful in the traditional adult education setting.
With this grant project Barton has been increasing the impact technology has on correctional education. With the addition of an IT Assistant, we have enhanced our technology at ECF and LCMHF to allow the use of restricted web-based applications and testing. Increasing our technological footprint was identified as a necessity due to the dependence on the internet to institutions of higher education. Barton is currently utilizing tablets which allow our adult education students to have communication with instructors and access to educational resources outside of the classroom environment.
Other enhancements attributed to the IRE grant include additional advisement services, a renewed focus on professional development for staff, and the continued development of best practices and procedures for correctional education.