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.”

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Let us remember that K-12 and the community colleges have a fixed part of the budget and actually have a lot more money relatively than the public universities; the fact that Cuesta has any problems should be a red flag.

Part of Cuesta’s problem is their–how do I say this — their ‘outlook on life’. The seem to me to care little about the community, the students, the faculty or the staff…. many examples exist. Years ago, my daughter Karen and I went to work out on their track facility and were confronted by the campus police… after much discussion we learned we needed a 1 million dollar policy to cover us while at cuesta… amazing.

So Cuesta wants more money? Don’t hold your breath.

If the State just took part of the 54 million illegal slush fund they “discovered” today, and give it to the community colleges, it would be a good first step to help with the crisis at Cuesta today.

If Cuesta were a free market enterprise, it wouldn’t have to worry about “state funds,” just CUSTOMER funds.

Then classes would be about $250 a unit instead of $46 a unit… and enrollment would drop sharply. The average CC student is not going to be able to afford $3K a semester (12 unit average).

How did you calculate that unit price?

How do you account for the huge “budget deficit” at Cuesta right now?

Can Cuesta even stay in business with this Sword of Damocles hanging over its head?

Can Cuesta continue to operate while at the mercy of the whims of bureaucats in Sacramento?

Would seeing Cuesta close its doors rather than be privatized be desireable?

Which is better, education at free market prices, or NO EDUCATION AT ALL?

Prices are not determined by fears, fantasies, or bureaucratic fiat; they are determined by the consumers, via supply and demand. If prices are ever “fair,” in any meaningful sense, it is when they are FREE to fluctuate in order to seek an accord with consumer demand and the various realities of production.

You forget that a free market economy is not based on the desires of the rich. There are special niche markets to serve them, but their consumption is really miniscule compared to the huge market for the AVERAGE PERSON.

Free markets are, therefore, based on the desires of the AVERAGE CONSUMER.

In an economy not sabotaged by government intervention (like Cuesta’s), reality will bring the price of education into the range that the average person can afford. The division of labor and mass production are what has brought the many products of a modern economy within the reach of the masses, those people who were once serfs, laborers, commoners, and slaves.

As Mises put it, “The characteristic feature of modern capitalism is mass

production of goods destined for consumption by the masses.” (The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, p. 1).

As a result of this mass production, we commoners have can buy products that even kings could not have bought for any price in their day!

Your suggestion suggests a reversion to economic primitivism, a time when the division of labor was operative only in the most rudimentary sense, if that! That means the Middle Ages! What divisions of labor did you have in the Middle Ages? Very few. In fact, you can count them on one hand! They were: slaves, serfs/peasants, lords, kings, and personnel of the Church (clergy, monks and friars. The Church was a special case of its own, declared exempt from many market forces, but not in reality.

At that time, we did not have an economic system in the sense that we have it now. The lords, the beneficiaries of most of the labors of the peasants, did not have to please anyone with their economic produce, since there were no alternatives to what they offered.

Obviously, those conditions could not hold forever, as times change, populations increase, and human beings are forever inventing new, faster, and better ways of doing things which greatly appeal to their neighbors (are you listening, Cuesta administrators?).

The reign of government education is coming to an end. The economic chaos now engulfing Cuesta is proof of this.

People are coming up with better ways of doing things. Free market education is infinitely better than government education.

Free market education can deliver faster, cheaper, higher quality, and better educational services to a wider population with all the choices and alternatives needed and desired by the consumers, than government education.

Free market education is the logical way of teaching a free people the fundamentals of civilization.

Government education means fewer choices, longer waiting times, fewer alternatives, less freedom, more political propaganda to put up with, less quality, less innovation, stagnation, rigidity, intolerance toward new ideas, political interference from the state, and, in the end, and unworkable system.

Free up education from government control, and watch it thrive, and you all right along with it!

I really believe Cuesta’s better days are behind them! .As an alumi that started at a great ;ittle community college with their focus on godd old fashion education in the 60’s they are now into pretty, social, and quota’s. I remember walking in mud to the barracks and getting a good education when the school first opened. Now they have all these grand buildings, free programs for everyone who can qualify, cronism everywhere and like every other government agency in California the unabliity to recreate, refocus and education. Everyone will tell you Allen Hancock is the place to go for learning and Cuesta is unproductive in offering the needed classes for certificates, vocational, and advance learinng. What good classes are available at college are unavailable or so over impacted that it is difficult to learn. And they want more community money in the name of bonds thrown at this mess – NOT!!!.

How many more revenue problems, staffing issues, and other failures and negative issues are needed before a board and adminstration change are done?