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Barton Experience extends beyond college
Former student now works at BCC
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Kami Maxwell speaks to the Barton Community College Board of Trustees, Tuesday afternoon. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

When Kami Maxwell travels to other towns and talks to potential students about Barton Community College, she invites them to visit the campus — and watch for the billboard with her smiling face.
Once a Barton student, Maxwell is now an admissions representative, back doing what she loves.
“Coming back to Barton made me realize that it’s true that you never work a day in your life if you truly love your job,” she said. “And, I love my job.”
Maxwell shared her “Barton Experience” with the BCC Board of Trustees on Tuesday.
She was named Student Ambassador of the Year twice and was honored as a Barton Outstanding Graduate when she finished her degree in 2015, after which she began pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Fort Hays State University. She is now working on a master’s degree at FHSU while working at Barton full-time.
Admissions Director Tana Cooper had nothing but glowing remarks to share about her employee.
“In my 10 years of being around student ambassadors, which comes out to about 150 kids, I don’t have a favorite, but I have a best, and Kami is the best of the best,” Cooper said. “I know of no other student who loves Barton as much as Kami does. She posts on Facebook about how Barton has impacted her life and I think it’s mutual; she has had a great impact on Barton.”
Originally from Odin, Maxwell said when she was first looking for a college, Barton was the obvious choice.
“It’s affordable and I could live at home and save even more money. They had good scholarships for local students, and all the staff was extremely friendly when I visited. I was interested in becoming an ambassador because I enjoy public speaking and meeting to people and telling them how great Barton is,” she said.
“It was a really good fit,” Maxwell said of her time at Barton. She said she gets excited when she sees other young people realize the college would also be right for them.
Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman joined Cooper in praising Maxwell. As a recruiter who travels to schools in Kansas and Nebraska, Maxwell is a good ambassador. But, Heilman quipped, “We can’t promise everybody a billboard.”

Barton Experience
The board of trustees has made the “Barton Experience” one of its ENDs, or over-arching goals for the college. Maxwell was one of two former students scheduled to speak at the October meeting during the ENDs report. Since she was unable to attend that meeting, she spoke at Tuesday’s meeting.
The “Barton Experience” END states, “Students’ responses will reflect positively about their Barton experience.” It is supported by statements to guide measurement of the college’s success in reaching the END, including, “Student responses will be documented through student exit surveys and other report mechanisms. Student response will assess impact of faculty and staff. Student responses will reflect the diversity of the student body. Individuals/students will experience various cultural activities.”
Other highlights from last month’s ENDs report include:
• Post Graduation Survey responses are about 90 percent positive or better for most services.
• Barton Community College Survey of Student Engagement shows Barton students are satisfied with the services they receive.
• 98 percent of Graduation Survey respondents say their overall education experience at Barton was positive.
• 97 percent of Graduation Survey respondents say they would recommend Barton to a friend.

Senior Day
At Tuesday’s meeting, Cooper also reported on this year’s Senior Day, which was attended by more than 170 area high school seniors.
“It turned out to be a huge success,” she said. This annual event started in 2012 but 2017 was the first year it was held on a Wednesday, which boosted attendance.
Last year the college also started offering Junior Day for high school juniors.

Additional reporting by Brandon Steinert, Barton Community College director of public relations.