Cuesta College misses enrollment goal, focusing on next year
July 20, 2012
Even though Cuesta College expanded summer session attracted one of the largest student turnouts in years, it was not enough to qualify the college for $1.1 million in additional state funds this year, Superintendent/President Gil Stork announced.
College officials plan to try again next year.
“This does not dramatically impact our budget this fiscal year,” Stork said. “Our plan was to use the contingency money to help soften the impact if Gov. Brown’s November tax measure fails to pass. If voters reject Proposition 30, Cuesta will have to absorb a $2.8 million budget cut in January. The impact on our students will be devastating.”
After school officials determined that a modest enrollment increase during summer could qualify the college for mid-level status and make it eligible for additional funding through 2014, they began a Summer Starts promotional campaign. And while the campus reached its summer enrollment goal, the target for the entire year fell short by approximately 80 full-time equivalent students.
A large number of drops by summer students contributed to the shortfall.
Cuesta is considered a small college; state funding is based on a cap of 8,629 full-time equivalent students. The funded cap translates to a headcount of approximately 11,000 students.
Stork said the college needed 9,236 full-time equivalent students in the school year ending June 30 to again be named a mid-level college. Cuesta had achieved that status in 2008 but dropped in size.
Three years of back-to-back cuts from the state have resulted in fewer classes, a cut in support services, some layoffs, and classified and management staff reorganizations, school officials said.
While the result is disappointing, Stork said the college still plans to apply most of this summer’s nearly 650 full-time students toward achieving midsize status this fiscal year. Summer classes can be applied to either the past fiscal year or used for the current one.
“I’ve been at Cuesta College since 1967,” said Stork, a former mathematics instructor. “These are among the most challenging fiscal times the college has experienced. We will continue to use every manner possible to fulfill our mission of meeting the educational needs of our students.”