College News

Barton Community College at Fort Leavenworth student to pursue criminal justice career; commencement ceremony held

graduate in blue gown smiling
Barton graduate Meisha Wilson takes time out of their graduation ceremony preparation to pose for a photo last Wednesday afternoon outside of the Lewis and Clark Building at Fort Leavenworth.

June 12, 2024
Story and photo by Joe Vinduska 

It would be hard to count the number of crime scene investigation shows that exist, but it’s no surprise there are so many as criminal activity and everything surrounding it is compelling in many ways. Barton graduate Meisha Wilson is so compelled by the subject that she is pursuing a career as a crime scene investigator or technician.

“I knew I loved and wanted to be in the criminal justice field for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I have a passion for following the disposition of criminal cases. I seek to understand why people do what they do. If we understand the why, we could find ways to prevent future incidents.”

Barton’s LSEC program offers an opportunity for active-duty military members, Department of Defense employees and dependents of either of those groups to earn an associate degree at no cost, thanks to the LSEC scholarship program, which is what prompted Wilson to look into what Barton had to offer.

“With so many sessions throughout the year, it allowed me to arrive from our previous duty station and begin classes without delay,” she said. “The fact that they are located on the base makes them very user-friendly and accessible. Also, being able to take classes in a small setting with classmates who understand and appreciate our military lifestyle was very comforting.”

 Barton not only has full-time staff and faculty on base, but all supporting departments on the Barton County Campus, such as Financial Aid, extend to the Fort Leavenworth students.

“The day I stepped into the Barton front office, I felt at home,” she said. “The staff is personal, patient, professional, and always so responsive to my inquiries and requests. The array of class options is endless. I was able to choose between in-person, online, and hybrid learning environments, and there were so many different course options. The professors are incredible. They created an interesting, challenging, and safe learning environment. All my professors had some military affiliation outside of Barton. Because of that, they spoke our language and appreciated our often high-stress environments, unpredictable schedules, and the unique challenges of our military lifestyle. That understanding helped to bring out the best in us and made for an exceptional educational experience.”

Wilson plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and enter the workforce once she has completed her education. Her family has a great history of law enforcement and criminal justice-focused careers, and she is ready to write her chapter of this story.

“Crime prevention and criminal justice work, both in and out of the military, runs in my family,” she said.

“So, staying true to the family business. “I want this focus on forensics and crime scene investigations so that I can directly contribute to the safety and security of my community.”

Wilson was part of a group of 32 students who graduated for the 2023-2024 school year, with 22 participating in the ceremony. The Barton students were part of a larger celebration Wednesday afternoon that included students from other colleges that offer classes on-base. The Barton students completed associate in arts, associate in science, associate in general studies, and associate in applied science degrees.

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