President's Page - October 18, 2019

Ninth Blog Entry – Accessibility and affordability: College Credit for High School Students

Barton has a long established outreach service to our regional USDs in providing college credit courses to high school aged students.  Currently, the provision of courses include face-to-face (f2f) and online and is actively marketed and promoted via print materials including Excel in CTE, High School Student Guide and College Advantage to USD personnel, students, and parents. 

Outreach takes place in accordance to the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) service area policy – refer to the sixth blog.  The KBOR service area policy does impact the ability of Barton to serve interested USDs/high school students that reside outside of our seven county legislated service area.   From the first chart below, you note that enrollments took a sharp dip from FY17 to FY18 primarily due to courses being delivered face-to-face outside of our service area that were assumed by the two-year sector college designated to serve that USD.  Specifically, North Central Technical College and Salina Technical College have denied our continued service and have instead opted to provide the courses that are predominantly general education in content.  A recent addition to our outreach service has been to promote online courses to USDs.  The course emanates from Barton to a dedicated USD computer lab.  The online format can be used to provide service outside of the regulated service area.  You can see from the second chart that the Partnered Online approach was initiated in FY17 and so far is growing in usage

Total Dual Credit (College Advantage & College Advantage/CEP)

Academic Year Enrollment Credit Hours Headcount
2016-17 1235 3813 650
2017-18 759 2385 484
2018-19 876 2772 494

 BartOnline-PO (Partnered Online)

Academic Year Enrollment Credit Hours Headcount
2017-18 218 654 125
2018-19 266 798 164

In June 2017, KBOR received a letter from Senator Molly Baumgardner, Chair of the Kansas Senate Education Committee, recommending to Regents to create a taskforce that would be the start to expanding the availability of college offerings to high school students.  In January 2018, an issue paper was developed.  The issue paper was utilized to guide legislative discussion during the 2018 session. 

An outcome of ensuing discussions resulted in a proposed framework of five general education courses (15 credits total) that could be provided either f2f or online at a cost that would be would be determined and financed by the State – no expense to the student.  The five courses that were identified included Public Speaking, College Algebra, English Comp I, General Psychology, and American History to 1877. 

Although a framework was developed, it did not lead to bill passage in the 2018 Legislative session.  Several obstacles to a bill being passed included:

  1. The State was proposing a reimbursement rate of $100 per credit (including text book costs) that was well short of the average actual cost of a community college provider.
  2. The matter of “service areas” complicated the discussion where some colleges may not be able to provide the courses to their legislated service area USDs and this would then promote the provision of outside service area providers.
  3. When you add the cost of textbooks to the expense of the college, the gap between expenses and revenue is much greater.  Therefore, it was recognized that online delivery was the most efficient means to meeting the objectives and to limit textbook costs by applying open education resources (OER) to course curriculum. 
  4. Colleges have not integrated OER into online/f2f courses.

Although there was no bill passage in 2018, it was clear that there would be further bill consideration for future legislative sessions and KBOR was tasked to identify best OER practices to limit textbook costs.  (The 2019 Legislative session continued to recognize the advantages of the HS concept, but USD funding/Supreme Court findings took priority.)  Following the 2018 Legislative session, Barton began work on defining OER and its introduction and application to BARTonline and f2f courses. 

Barton realizes that regardless of the State legislature timeframe and KBOR OER collaboration results, the need for affordability drives the necessity to limit the textbook costs that are getting out of control.  If we cap or reduce costs, we are benefitting student pocketbooks and our enrollments will benefit.

From Barton OER deliberations, Project 5! was initiated this past spring/summer where six instructors were identified to align the five courses noted above to the OER platform and ready courses for 2019-2020 online delivery.  To date, four OER courses - English Composition I, Dr. Rigney; General Psychology, Dr. Knapp; College Algebra, Ms. Davied; and Public Speaking, Ms. Duncan and Ms. Lewis - have been provided this fall.  Courses that are tentatively being readied for spring 2020, fall 2020, and spring 2021, are referenced below. 

SPRING 2020 – 

Kristen Hathcock CHEM 1821
Deanna Heier EDUC 1142
Rita Thurber SOCI 1114
Janet Balk HIST 1409
Melissa Rigney ENGL 1206
Kathy Boeger ECON 1615
Kurt Konda SOCI 1100
Oleg Ravitskiy LIFE 1412
Jim Turner MATH 1809
Todd Mobray GRPH 1054
Melissa Stevens CRIM 1600
Timothy Folkerts PHYS 1600
Karly Little ENGL 1236
Mike Cox HIST 1400
Letitia Bergantz POLS 1800

 FALL 2020 – 

Kristen Hathcock ??? - Research
Deanna Heier BUSI 1600
Kathy Boeger ACCT 1602
Oleg Ravitskiy LIFE 1408
Janet Balk HIST 1411
Todd Mobray ARTS 1246
Timothy Folkerts PHSC 1408
Charlotte Cates LIFE 1402
Letitia Bergantz POLS 1828
Karly Little ENGL 1204
Stephanie Schottel LANG 1900
Stan Jones CHEM 1806
Carol Brooks PHED 1270
John Mack PHIL 1605
Hieu Cooney and Latoya Hill Phar Tech Course


SPRING 2021 – 

Kristen Hathcock MATH 1826/1828
Kristen Hathcock KSU-Math 320
Brenda Siebold BSCT 1036
Heather Panning HLTH 1284
Hieu Cooney and Latoya Hill Phar Tech Course

Even if you assume eventual legislative bill passage, there are growing numbers of HS aged populations pursuing college credits while enrolled in HS.  These two factors are prompting Barton’s proactive approach.  

Our goals are:

  1. to provide for timely delivery of courses to an expanding high school student market; and
  2. entice greater numbers of students who are searching for accessible and affordable online/f2f courses.

Early indications are that legislative deliberations are going to re-occur when the 2020 legislative session begins.