There is a surge of full-time students looking to attend Cuesta College this fall. The latest figures from the college show a jump of more than 12 percent enrolling in classes throughout San Luis Obispo County.
The fall semester doesn't begin until mid-August, so there are still several weeks remaining for students to register.
The number of students looking to attend Cuesta took a big hit during the recession as budget cuts created a limited class schedule. Also, concern began to grow over the school's accreditation, forcing some to consider colleges elsewhere.
In November 2012 however, California's Proposition 30 was passed by voters, which in turn generated more money to pay for increased curriculum at Cuesta. Also, this past winter the regional accrediting agency that evaluates two-year colleges in California took action to remove Cuesta College from warning status and reaffirm its accreditation.
Cuesta College President Dr. Gil Stork says, in addition to those factors, the surge in full-time students can also be credited to the school's new Promise program.
A Morro Bay couple willed a third of their estate to the college recently, which is now being used to help San Luis Obispo County-based high schools students continue with their educations post graduation.
"So that gift is generating $300,000+ a year, and that money will be able to launch our Promise program," said Stork. "And so with this gift, we're able to offer in perpetuity, a fee-free first semester at Cuesta College."
Dr. Stork says he believes the community college system has turned a big corner this year, and believes Cuesta is solidly in the rebuilding process.