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Great Bend native transfers to Barton to pursue dreams
mitch johnson
Mitch Johnson

After leaving his hometown and studying for a couple of years at a four-year university, Mitch Johnson decided he needed a fresh start. He found it at Barton Community College.

The results are an associate’s in applied science degree in computer networking, and a solid job at a Kansas City, Mo., engineering firm.

The Great Bend native had studied computer engineering at Kansas State University for five semesters before deciding to transfer to Barton.

“It became apparent to me that computer engineering was not something I was passionate about,” said Johnson, 23, Overland Park. “And to tell you the truth, I was not especially talented in that field of study.

“Barton was a natural choice because it is in my hometown. The classes are affordable and they offer a program I was genuinely interested in.”

Johnson was referring to Barton’s online networking program, which covers Information Technology (IT) basics, with an emphasis on networking.

Topics in the program include hardware, software, operating systems, programming, information security and service-desk basics. Several classes focus on networking.

“I have always enjoyed solving problems and puzzles, along with having an interest in computers,” Johnson commented. “All this lends itself naturally to troubleshooting and IT.”

The payoff is Johnson’s position as an end-user support technician at Burns & McDonnell, the Kansas City engineering firm.

“A large part of my job is troubleshooting various systems and software,” Johnson explained. “The technical courses at Barton gave me the knowledge I needed to land the job and the troubleshooting skills to perform my duties on a daily basis.

“Not only did I earn an affordable degree and move into a field I was passionate about, I was able to walk on to the golf program,” he added. “These were wonderful experiences.”

Johnson studied at Barton from January 2017 to July 2018. He hopes to earn an IT-related bachelor’s degree and advance to a networking position at Burns & McDonnell.

Cristi Gale served as an advisor/instructor for Johnson during his time at Barton.

“Given Mitch’s background and goals, Barton’s networking program provided him solid preparation for the job market,” Gale said. “With several college credits under his belt, he finished his degree here in a little over a year. Mitch excelled in his coursework and demonstrated his true potential. His hard work really paid off.”