Students looking to complete both an associate and bachelor’s degree right here in Augusta now have a streamlined pathway to transfer those credits from Augusta Technical College to Augusta University.
Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel, PhD, and Augusta Technical College President Jermaine Whirl, EdD, officially launched the new Augusta Advantage initiative with a ceremonial agreement signing and logo unveiling Jan. 25 in the Jaguar Student Activities Center Roscoe Williams Ballroom.
“Today is a historic day for the greater Augusta region,” said Whirl. “The new Augusta Advantage pathway program between Augusta Tech and Augusta University truly will be Augusta’s competitive advantage in ensuring the region has the workforce it needs today and for years to come.”
Augusta University boasts a rich history of welcoming students who have transferred credits from other institutions of higher education, Keel said, with nearly one in three new students enrolling as a transfer student each fall semester.
“We’re thrilled to welcome these students each year, but we also realize their path to transfer those credits and become a part of our campus can sometimes be challenging,” Keel said. “That’s why we’ve been proud to partner with Augusta Technical College since 2015 for a Cybersecurity to Information Technology Pathway that has proven to be a successful and valuable program for students seeking degrees in this field. Now, we are immensely excited to announce the expansion of this strategic partnership with our new pathway program, Augusta Advantage.”
Students in this pathway program will have the opportunity to earn their associate degree at Augusta Technical College, then receive accelerated admissions to transfer all those credits into eight possible pathways at Augusta University to earn their bachelor’s degree.
Pathways include the areas of business administration, communication, computer science, kinesiology, nursing, political science, psychology, and social work, all of which are important to Georgia’s current and future workforce needs, Keel said.
“By providing better pathways to earn a bachelor’s degree, Augusta University and Augusta Technical College aim to help improve these students’ economic prosperity for many years to come,” Keel said.
Studies show the value of a bachelor’s degree when it comes to employment prospects and earnings potential. Bachelor’s degree holders are half as likely to be unemployed as their peers who hold only a high school degree, and they will earn $1.2 million in additional earnings, on average, over their lifetime.
The Augusta Advantage program is open to all students seeking both an associate and bachelor’s degree, which includes dual enrolled high school students. Eligible students will also be able to utilize Georgia HOPE scholarship awards at both institutions under this new program.
At the launch event, Whirl and Keel also welcomed to the AU and Augusta Tech families April Byrd, the new Augusta Advantage transfer admissions counselor.
“We are so proud to welcome her to this role as we work to ensure student success at all stages of the college experience, from application, to transfer, and ultimately, to graduation,” Keel said. “Our goal is to provide as many resources as possible to give students an easy transition through the program, and April will have an office right on the Augusta Technical College campus in order to best serve Augusta Advantage students.”
Whirl reiterated the important role regional institutions play in educating the future workforce.
“Over 90% of Augusta Tech alumni stay in the region after graduation, and now with a clear pathway toward a bachelor’s degree with our neighboring university, we have a win for our entire community,” Whirl said. “I’m thankful to Dr. Keel and the Augusta University family for their partnership, and we look forward to graduating more students to keep Georgia the No. 1 place to do business in the country. Go Cougars, and go Jaguars!”