College News

Barton Online student from California makes pilgrimage to Great Bend

two women stand with the sign on college campus
Former Barton Online student Naery Kim and her daughter Naomi stand by the K-State at Barton sign on the Barton County campus during their recent trip to visit campus.

July 10, 2023
Story by Maggie Harris 
Courtesy photo provided

When Naery Kim graduated from Barton Online in 2017, she lived in California, and the idea of visiting Barton Community College in person was nothing more than a dream. That is until she relocated to Missouri last year. To fulfill a dream eight years in the making, Kim and her daughter Naomi made the trip to visit the Barton County campus earlier this summer.

Kim attended Barton Online with a focus on getting her general education courses before transferring to Kansas State University (KSU) and receiving her bachelor's degree in food science. She said the Barton experience helped her focus on her goals by setting a clear path to the finish line. 

“I needed a school that could help me complete all of my requirements to transfer to KSU,” she said. “I remember spending so much time trying to find out what I needed to do, but as soon as Barton showed up in the picture, everything was smooth sailing.”

Kim took advantage of a unique partnership that Barton and KSU share, where a representative from KSU has a permanent office at the Barton County campus to assist students interested in transfer opportunities between the two colleges. 

KSU Global Campus Admissions and Enrollment Coach Jennifer Pfortmiller helps students across the institution, including online, with the transfer process. She is available to help students with KSU admission requirements, program requirements, and course transferability.

“I’ve spent 20 years working with online students,” she said. “Naery is the first to make a special trip years after graduation to come to campus to meet me in person and say, ‘thank you.’”

Kim said the experience of traveling to campus and meeting Pfortmiller face-to-face was the highlight of her trip.  

“Jennifer’s encouragement helped me so much while I was going through such a hard time,” she said. “Her warm comments carried me through some difficult times.”

She is also thankful for the importance Barton has placed on technology over the years. The College’s emphasis on staying at the forefront of technology allows students like Kim to take classes from anywhere in the world.

“Every school should have such a robust online system,” she said. “Even though Barton was located in a different state, I was able to complete my goals. I couldn’t have finished college without Barton.”