President's Page - October 9, 2020

Blog 23: Looking Ahead

We continue to emerge from the pandemic fall out, far from certain as to what lies ahead the following week. Barton has met remarkable challenges with character and resolve. As we move through the month of October, I wanted to share my joy and relief in that we have strongly maintained learning services and in many instances, heightened our efficiencies in relaying course information to our students and communications with one-another. Yes, challenges remain, but the past eight months have generated a tremendous response that has placed Barton in the best of light. This past summer, I joined others in assessing the length of time our doors would remain open for fall instruction and student services. But as hoped, we are learning and adapting to our COVID realities and establishing the many COVID-19 safeguards.

To emphasize our can do mindset in meeting the College Mission despite COVID interruptions, I bring to attention a number of developments/outcomes that speak to our commitments and promises:

  1. Academic performance has not been restricted as exemplified by the Nursing program and preliminary nursing graduate NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN pass rates. All students who tested prior to July 2020, for either the ADN (RN) or LPN (PN) received a passing score. This is the first time in program history that both levels have had a 100% pass rate. 
  2. A remarkable partnership has been established with the Barton County Health Department in great part due to the immediate attention and responsiveness of faculty and staff.
  3. Instances of COVID quarantine and isolation continue to trend downward in our student ranks.
  4. Safety guidance has become routine and thereby supporting healthy behaviors. Such guidance and recognition is displayed in Stephanie Joiner's production.
  5. In promoting instructional collaboration, professional growth, and student learning, Jo Harrington has developed Course Binder Project
  6. Routine college wide COVID communications are keeping employees and students up-to-date and informed.
  7. Expanded emphasis has been placed on electronic communications in lieu of traditional face-to-face encounters. For example, take note of Karly Little’s shift from a paper student guide to a video guide.
  8. With the rise of the pandemic, Barton Information Services carried out a monumental task in transitioning our data management processes to the Ellucian Cloud.
  9. Instructional quality has been maintained as exemplified by the following recognition and deserving accolades for Josh Snodgrass: Barton instructor at Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility recognized as Contract Employee of the Year by Kansas Department of Corrections.
  10. Overwhelming numbers of faculty have embraced video based learning and this has promoted student acceptance.
  11. Faculty and Coaching staff have maintained co-curricular programming events and student involvement. Example: the Autumn Concert was held this past Thursday. With relief and satisfaction, faculty members Danika Bielek, Karole Erikson, Luis Palacios, Vern Fryberger, and the many members serving in support, carried the day. Despite the pandemic disruptions, faculty and performing students adjusted quite well and with distinction.

The above accomplishments, represent the many that you and I have observed in the past 8 months. Each of us has been called to overcome adversity and to maintain our #1 focus – student well-being. Students thank you, parents thank you, the public thanks you, and the Board of Trustees join me in thanking you.

Concerning a second matter that also has been poisoned by COVID-19, concerns the traditional KBOR 20th day fall semester report. This report from last week, generated a recent news release from Barton PR. The dip in enrollment is disheartening, but it is not surprising for Barton or community colleges in general. Nevertheless, we will continue to make industry adjustments and persevere. It is our nature to do so and this trademark will bear our future progress and will lead to better days that are not COVID-19 tainted.