Mother of two overcomes learning struggles to find success at BARTonline

Megan Janousek with partner

Megan Janousek struggled in high school and college. She had trouble learning in a classroom environment and decided to quit school. She started working at a local country club and wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. A mentor stepped in and encouraged her to continue her education and become her best self.

Janousek had tried a university setting and didn’t like it, so she started looking at community colleges. Her husband’s family was from Great Bend and had ties to Barton, so she enrolled.

“I signed up to study nursing in March 2016 and began my classes in spring intersession. I was doing well and enjoying it, but decided it wasn’t for me,” she said.

She took a step back to consider her next steps. After talking with advisors and doing some soul searching, Janousek discovered a common theme in her life—a passion for history. So, she changed major

Today, Janousek is fueled by a newfound passion for learning as she works toward her associate degree online. She shared how Barton has helped her in this journey.

What do you like about Barton?
Barton is an excellent school. It’s been very good for me. If you’re interested in going to school there, check it out because it gives you a lot of opportunities and classes other community colleges don’t have. And it’s very affordable.

Another thing I’ve really liked about Barton is the students. I’ve had classmates in Georgia and Afghanistan. You can have a discussion online and you’re getting knowledge from around the world and I really enjoy that.

What do you think of online learning?
I think taking classes online is probably the best method for people who cannot focus in live classes. When I decided to start taking these online classes, I was skeptical. But the second I started taking my first class, I started learning things I didn’t know. I learned when I’m on my own and I have the need and the want and the drive, I could do it. I was allowed to work on my own schedule. I would sit on the couch at 10 at night and I really enjoyed that. So, I stuck with it.

Since I started online schooling, I’ve become much more organized. Most of the classes start on Monday, so at the beginning of the week, I take 5 minutes out of my day to look at my classes to see what needs to be done that week.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about going to college online?
When you go to college, you’re investing in yourself. With online schooling, you could be across the world and busy. But in your downtime, you could be learning, making a better life, making a better future for yourself or your kids. Take that down time and use it. Learn what you’ve always wanted to learn.

What’s your ultimate goal?
My dream is to do historical conservation. It’s important to protect our history, so we can refer to it in the future and learn from our mistakes.

I also want to show my kids what you put into your education is what you get out. I want my kids to know that education is important and work ethic goes a long way. I want them to see me as an example.

How is Barton helping you get there?
I’ve had a lot of instructors that have taken time out of grading my papers to reach out to me. Even though [you're not in a classroom together], they’re still giving you the experience of having a real teacher. They’re giving you great feedback and showing you opportunities you could have in your communities and be involved.


Janousek plans to finish her associate degree at Barton next spring and is thinking about earning a bachelor’s and possibly a master’s degree. She’s also hoping to volunteer with a local historical society.


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