College News

Senator Moran visits Barton Community College to discuss rural and technical education

Senator Jerry Moran meets with Barton leadership
US Senator Jerry Moran visits with Barton Community College leadership to discuss rural education and tour the new Ag and Transportation Complex.

March 5, 2024
Story by Maggie Harris
Photo by Courtney Liebl

US Senator Jerry Moran visited Barton Community College last week to address the challenges rural students face and how the College is providing opportunities to help overcome those obstacles.

During a multi-stop visit to Barton County, Moran spent time with College leadership, where conversations focused on the importance of community college and technical education. Moran highlighted his support for rural colleges and their importance to continued training opportunities for local students.

“I am an advocate for community and technical college,” he said. “I have visited a lot of high schools across Kansas, and the focus has shifted. We have a lot of focus on career and vocational-technical education.”

Moran is pleased with the opportunities Barton provides in the agriculture industry, with the expansion of programming over the past decade and the investment in a new facility to house these growing programs. He said that a primary focus for his visit to Barton County was to ensure that the kids interested in agriculture have the appropriate educational options relevant to that industry.

He also spoke about community colleges' advantages in terms of cost savings. With rising college costs nationwide, community colleges can help students save money with lower tuition costs, short-term education programs, and early college opportunities in high school.

“People talk to me about student loan debt, and one thought I have for them is, ‘Are you getting community college credit in high school, and are you going to continue to consider going to community college?’”

In his view, the shorter the time you are in college, the less debt you will have to contend with, and short-term certificate options like those featured in the new ag complex help students achieve a near-debt-free education.

The conversation concluded with a tour of the new Ag and Transportation complex. Moran was especially pleased to see the dedicated space for the Commercial Driver’s License program with the growing need for drivers in the trucking industry.