By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
BCC celebrates 50 years
Mike Johnson

Barton Community College is entering its 50th year this fall, and we have much to celebrate. When Barton Community College opened its doors in 1969, they were open to everyone. We have been the vocational launchpad for tens of thousands of Cougars who found their passion and explored their potential right in our backyard, here in Barton County. 

Thanks to so many who recognized the opportunity the college’s presence represents, we saw tremendous growth in just five decades. We went from a few hundred students served per year to 15,000+. The college added outreach programs in high schools, two campuses on military installations, an adult education center, a HazMat and OSHA training center and training centers at two correctional facilities. The diversity of our program offerings grew as fast as our outreach programs, with about 30 career-technical degrees or certificates, some offered in cutting-edge formats that allow students to land a $50,000-per-year job after a just a semester of training. 

Barton was also an early pioneer in online education. We’ve been teaching online for more than 20 years!

I would be remiss if I failed to mention our traditional academic programs and transfer options, which thousands of students utilize each year, and I’m proud to share that Barton graduates outperform other students at universities after they transfer. 

As the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and on behalf of Trustees past and present, and the entire college, I sincerely thank you, our amazing community, for the support, philanthropy and partnership that has made our institution one of the most successful comprehensive community colleges in the state and beyond. 

We have an incredible faculty, staff and administration who keep the wheels greased and turning efficiently. Their efforts paired with the investment, generosity and collaboration of our county’s citizens, businesses and communities has helped us remain good stewards of our local taxing resources and made it possible for us to maintain a vibrant educational institution both now and moving forward in the next 50 years.  

Join us on campus September 28!

Now is a time to celebrate and there will be ample opportunities to join us on the campus this year, starting with an elaborate open house celebration from 11-4 p.m. September 28. Save the date! We’ll have the grass area full of family-friendly activities, from bounce-houses to face-painting and crafts. Many of our programs will be set up to give information or demonstrations in the labs and classrooms and our performing arts groups, including music, dance and theatre, will entertain the crowd at the end of the day. We’ll have planetarium shows, contests and lots of prizes and giveaways. Did I mention the eats? More than half a dozen food trucks have been secured. You won’t want to miss this event! Visit for more details and updates as the event approaches. 

Mike Johnson

BCC Board of Trustees Chair