Cuesta College designated as Hispanic-Serving Institution

May 2, 2016

The number of Hispanic students attending San Luis Obispo County’s Cuesta College is on the rise, and as a result the U.S. Government is giving it a new designation.

Cuesta is now an official Hispanic-Serving Institution which makes it eligible for various grants.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the total enrollment of Hispanic students at a college or university needs to be at least 25 percent to get this designation. At Cuesta, that number is currently 33 percent.

Heidi Shaw is a psychology student at Cuesta. She started as an English as a Second Language (ESL) student there almost seven years ago and did not have much access to the resources that will be available to students like her in the future.

“I’m excited to know that other students are going to benefit from the services and accommodations that Cuesta is going to provide for them,” Shaw said. “It’s really exciting, it’s really exciting to know that Cuesta is embracing their diversity right now.”

Shaw said this new status will allow Cuesta to provide more resources for students to help them reach their goals.

“I think that it's’ going to encourage them to see that they can pursue a career, that they can find a way that it will enrich themselves with education,” Shaw said.

The college is currently applying for a federal grant to increase opportunities for Hispanic students in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Cuesta College will be notified about their grant award status in August.