Shannon Dawkins (left), from Lincolnton, gets information about registration at the Thomson campus of Augusta Technical College from Admissions Assistant Julie Carter.
Photo by Elwood Hamilton
School is back in session.
The Thomson-McDuffie branch of Augusta Technical College will open its doors Monday to begin its winter quarter.
The branch's enrollment - 573 students - is up from last year's winter quarter enrollment of 413 students. Dr. Peter Crawford, the vice president of operations of the Thomson-McDuffie campus, expects that number to grow.
"We'll have another four to five hundred (enrolled students) in addition to the 573," he said.
Dr. Crawford added that the extra students don't count toward the branch's maximum of 600 students, because they will more than likely enroll in weekend and night classes, which tend to focus on continuing education.
However, all is not rosy for the institution. Dr. Crawford expressed a growing concern of forthcoming budget cuts.
"We've got a plan to grow, but we're gonna need some more instructors and some more funding," he said.
Dr. Crawford also denied that a proposed Columbia County satellite campus of Augusta Tech would in any way affect the Thomson-McDuffie campus.
"I don't think it'll affect it at all. It'll be a center and not a branch campus. There will be both some remedial classes and some basic classes, but it'll be more for industry-related classes," he said.
However, the site is only in the planning stages and Augusta Tech is still in the process of acquiring funds to begin the project.
Regardless of expansion plans, it's business as usual in the Thomson-McDuffie admissions office.
"We're always accepting applications and we're always willing to help anyone who comes in find programs that are helpful to them," said admissions recruiting specialist Julie Stamey. "We can help them figure out what meets their need, and we'll be glad to go over the application processes with them."
* New year means big changes for McDuffie County
* New businesses have come to the county
* Three sporting goods stores compete for business
* Augusta Tech's Thomson Campus opens Monday
* McDuffie County's Animal Shelter is a furry success
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