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Barton showcases campus on Senior Day
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High school seniors and parents visit with Barton Community Colleges Dean of Workforce Training and Community Education Elaine Simmons, Saturday in the Student Union at BCC. Campus tours and free tickets to that nights basketball games were all part of Senior Day. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

In colloquial terms, “senioritis” is defined as an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as they move closer to graduation. The opposite might be dubbed “senior excite-is,” a condition in evidence Saturday at Senior Day on the Barton Community College campus.
With 125 seniors there for the day, Barton staff and student ambassadors were ready and excited to lead prospective Cougars on tours, talk to them about college life and provide some pointers on enrolling and applying for financial aid. Many of the seniors brought their parents. During the check-in period, guests were treated to refreshments and invited to pose for photos with Cougar mascots Bart and Miss Kitty. Seniors also met with advisers and students in their perspective fields of study — from “undecided” to psychology, theater and many others. They were also invited to stay for the men’s and women’s basketball games.

Students came from beyond Barton’s seven-county service area. Alan Clark, a senior from Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita, explained that he already plans to enroll in classes here this fall, since he has been signed to play baseball. “I came to get more familiar with the campus,” he said.
Closer to home, Dayana Lopez from Otis attended Senior Day with her dad. “I’ve been here a few times for art shows, and I really like the college,” she said. Miss Lopez plans to study graphic design.

Barton holds this event every year and Director of Admissions Tana Cooper encourages all high school seniors to attend, even if they don’t plan to go to BCC. Elaine Simmons, dean of Workforce Training and Community Education, listed some of the benefits of the college, including certificate programs that can lead to careers is less than two years.
“Not all career fields require four years of college, or six or eight,” Simmons said. Barton can be a good choice for those seeking a certificate, those looking for an associate degree and those planning to continue beyond two years of college.
“Make good choices,” Simmons told the seniors, noting she and her daughter both attended Barton. “And by the way, choose us. I’d like to see you this fall.”

Barton Vice President Dr. Penny Quinn also spoke to the students, as well as Dean of Student Services Angie Maddy, Director of Student Life Diane Engle and Student Government President Branson Hoffman.
“Studies show if you’re more involved on campus, you’ll have more success later on,” Quinn said. “That will really help you be successful in your college experience.”
Everyone who attended was in a drawing for two $500 scholarships to Barton, but they also learned they were automatically eligible for scholarships of $200 to $1,000, depending on their grade point average, as long at it was at least 2.0 on a scale where straight C’s is 2.0 and straight A’s is 4.0