President's Page - November 14, 2019

13th Blog Entry – Accreditation Progress

Barton is entering year eight of a ten-year Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Cycle. Barton is accredited using HLC’s Open Pathway model. The Open Pathway is unique in that its improvement component, the Quality Initiative, affords institutions the opportunity to pursue improvement projects that meet their current needs and aspirations.

In year four Barton demonstrated that we met the Criteria of Accreditation by preparing an Assurance Filling. The Assurance Filling was comprised of an Assurance Argument and an Evidence File, using HLC’s online Assurance System. In this system, we provided a narrative making the case that we met the Criteria of Accreditation. One important part of the Assurance system is the evidence file, which is where we uploaded evidence documenting how we meet the Criteria of Accreditation.  The Open Pathway Mid-Cycle Assurance Review indicated that all components were satisfactorily addressed with no Interim Monitoring reports being recommended.

In regards to our Open Pathway improvement components, Barton has pursued membership in HLC Academies.  The Academies accept a limited number educational institutions based on an application/selection process.

As for our first quality initiative, Barton was approved to participate in the HLC sponsored Assessment Academy.  This initiative recently met the condition of the Academy and the results were best summarized by Myrna Perkins in her 10/31/19 notice to College employees:  “As you are aware, Barton has spent the last three years participating in the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) Assessment Academy, a long term program offered by HLC and designed to guide schools on broad topics which benefit from mentoring towards developed strategies.  The past two days five representatives from Barton attended the capstone Results Forum where they presented a final report of the culmination of their achievements from participation in this academy.  Jo Harrington, Vic Martin, Ange Davied, Charlotte Cates, and Danika Bielek represented Barton in the final presentation of the Academy experience and in receiving commendation by HLC of a job well done!  Join in celebration of Barton’s accreditation recognition!  Well done to all involved in this project and a special thank you to those representatives this week – Jo, Vic, Ange, Charlotte, and Danika!” Barton’s Assessment Academy submitted a poster, that in summary listed primary achievements at the HLC Results Forum and Jo presented the highlights of accomplishment to the Barton Trustees this past Tuesday. With Jo’s leadership and broad faculty participation over the past several years, our HLC quality initiative has been developed in a format that will drive continued progress and meaningful results impacting the future quality of student learning.

Pertaining to a second quality initiative, Barton applied for and was approved this past June/July to participate in the Student Success Academy.  Angie Maddy, Project Director, led Barton’s team of Lindsay Holmes, Karen Kratzer, Stephanie Joiner and Matt Connell in an October HLC Roundtable training event.  In the next three years, this second quality initiative will take shape as did the 2016-2019 Assessment Academy.

With the above narrative, you can understand my optimism and belief that Barton is proactively and responsibly taking the necessary measures in securing continued accreditation following our anticipated fall 2022/spring 2023 on-site HLC evaluation.  Much work remains in terms of mining and interpreting data and identifying on-going institutional endeavors that can qualify for quality initiative status.  However, our current approaches and commitment to quality are serving us well.

Should additional details be helpful to your understanding and/or participation, feel free to contact Accreditation Committee members, Myrna Perkins (Barton’s HLC Liaison), Mark Dean, Jo Harrington, Angie Maddy, Cathie Oshiro, Elaine Simmons, and Randy Thode.  These folks and many others, are keeping Barton on the HLC Accreditation trail.


 Wednesday of this week, Barton sponsored multiple public events:

  • Senior Day hosting HS seniors and USD employees/parent – led by Barton Admissions;
  • High School partners meeting with service area USD personnel – led by Instructional Division
  • Fine Arts Dance event showcasing Barton dance students – led by Fine and Performing Arts

Great planning and presentation by a host of offices and individuals and it all added up to outstanding Barton promotion, public interest, and most importantly – student achievement.