AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta Technical College President Dr. Jermaine Whirl spoke on past and future goals at the school’s State of the College Address on Tuesday.

He addressed new college programs that were launched in the past year, how they have affected enrollment and what his future plans are to grow the college.

“Whether it’s facilities that we need to build, whether its new program that we need to put into place, and of course ensuring that we have the right student programing,” Whirl said. “I think if we achieve those three things, we’ll have a phenomenal year leading into 2023.”

He said the college’s enrollment is up 9% since last year, and its job placement rate sits at 99.6%.

For some of this success, Whirl credits dual-enrollment programs, grants and funded partnerships with local agencies that allow students to pursue their careers without added expenses.

“We provide a phenomenal value for education,” Whirl said. “One hundred dollars a credit hour and our graduates were getting employed and making good money.“

Students said they are grateful for the opportunities the school provides.

“It’s definitely a money-saver in the long run,” said Hallie Boutwell, a duel-enrollment student. “I should be graduating here, the cosmetology program, as soon as I graduate high school.”

The college’s yearly theme for the 2022-2023 school year is “Accelerating Opportunities,” which is exactly what Whirl aims to do.

“If you’re in Nashville, if you’re in Charlotte, you can say ‘my gosh, we wanna do what they’re doing in Augusta,” he said.