Cuesta College placed on probation

February 3, 2010

Cuesta College has been placed on probation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and could lose its accreditation if it does not address problems that have plagued the college for the past few years.

Accreditation is an established process for evaluation and quality assurance for education used by the American higher education community, according to the ACCJC’s Website. If accreditation were to be revoked, course credits would no longer be transferable to other colleges and universities, and students would be unable to collect financial aid.

To keep its accreditation, Cuesta College must demonstrate improvements by October, when the commission will conduct a follow-up visit.

College officials made the news public Wednesday afternoon after being informed in writing of the ACCJC decision. However, the school will remain an accredited institution through the response process. Dr. Gil Stork, Cuesta Superintendent/President, has scheduled a press conference for Thursday morning to address the issue.

Cuesta College was placed on warning status a year ago by the ACCJC, with recommendations to make improvements in nine separate areas. Wednesday’s announcement regarding probation comes as a result of a follow-up campus visit by ACCJC officials last October.

Cuesta spokesperson Jill Beck said the college would continue to focus on the nine improvements requested by the ACCJC before the next campus visit in October. After that review, Cuesta will find out whether or not it remains on probation in early 2011.

The bad news for Cuesta comes the same week the school announced plans to cancel the majority of its summer school classes due to the poor economy.