Increase college graduation rates, improve society

August 4, 2016

Andrea Devitt


As the 2016-2017 academic year draws near, it’s important to remember what our colleges and universities do for our local communities.

Most of us know that people who earn a college degree are likely to earn more money than people who have not completed college. However, the benefits to our communities and to society as a whole extend far beyond the individual worker.

Since college graduates generally make more money, they pay higher income taxes which help support our local, state and national economies. Furthermore, there is a greater chance degree recipients have full-time jobs that provide retirement benefits and health insurance.

College graduates are also less likely to be incarcerated; for every four high school graduates who are imprisoned, only one college graduate is imprisoned. It costs California taxpayers over $47,000 per year to house one inmate; it’s much less expensive to educate a person and the benefits of an education are exponential.

College graduates are more likely to vote. College graduates are more likely to volunteer. College graduate are more likely to be involved in their children’s education. Together, we can increase our college graduation rates.

Andrea Devitt is an academic counselor at Cuesta College.  She earned a bachelors degree in history from Loyola-Marymount University, a master’s degree in education and a master’s degree in public policy from Cal Poly SLO. She was born and raised in San Luis Obispo.


I’m pursuing an advanced practice degree. It is $475 per unit, and that is WITH my CA resident discount. Let’s not even TALK about books….


College – Junior College costs are too high because of the salary and benefits of the staffing and administration. Look at their annual budget, it is ridiculous for what we get! There is no money for maintenance or construction anymore because they want to build Taj Mahal buildings so we keep passing bonds for more buildings and maintenance and then salaries keeps getting higher because the operating funds go to employees. It is like a Ponzi scheme! Why, because of situations like Ms, Devitt (she might be an excellent counselor) where they hire a “counselor” with a bachelor and two master’s who wants to be paid for her “education” instead of worth to the position. She’s a counselor folks!

Why are we paying teachers and government employees all these benefits. 40 years ago teachers and government workers were low paid jobs and were given good benefit package. then, in the 70’s they got smart and starting getting these ridiculous salaries while keeping the best benefits in the nation. Why do I have to pay for their retirement, health-vision-dental care, all those holidays, and a summer off. I am not against a great salary but then pay for your own benefits, no matching contributions from public funds. Most of us pay for our healthcare, I am putting MY money into a retirement fund and I get 7 paid holidays a year and I have a college degree. Why do taxpayers who get less for working harder have the burden to pay for all these government employees. I have been done with Cuesta for years, their politics, mismanagement, their programs or lack of thereof. This is a failing school they just know it yet! Someone will response and spin this about how hard they wor, how little they, how dedicated they are, and how successful the students are!


NPR anyone?


well, ok. i’ve never been more moved from an article. i’m going to stop after this. i have advanced degrees. so does my brother. my son? works with his hands. i am so shocked at what he can do. my neighbor and fishing buddy? mechanic and owns the best house on the block.

advanced degrees? after a year on my boat in France i was told i could have a job if i cut my hair.

so, no more marketing about college.


We need more trades people. That and military personnel.


ok, i’m going to stop now. but a diploma is not a way of life.


I don’t mean this as a slight to Ms. Devitt, because i do believe she’s quite intelligent, but two masters and a BS degree to be a counselor at Cuesta? Either the job requirements are extremely high in academia or perhaps she could have stopped a degree or two earlier trying to raise the graduation rate of the general populace by single handed.


“I don’t mean this as a slight to Ms. Devitt” Yes you did, otherwise you would be commenting on education and society instead of commenting on her life.

Is this like educator shaming? Found a intellectual? She could even be a reader!

Or perhaps she could live her life, her way.


Amen! You are a breath of fresh air. Keep up the good work.


If tuition costs could be brought under control more people could go to college and get their degrees faster. That should be a major focus of congress.


tuition costs are directly associated with administration


So, you’re saying that Cuesta has the among lowest administrative costs in the country. Then Poly’s administrative costs must be in the lower-middle range, while UCSB and the other UCs are closer to the middle. The schools with the highest administrative costs must be Stanford, USC, CalTech, Oxy and other private schools.

Thanks for the insight.

I’m sure glad that I went to a community college for two years and then transferred to a Cal State. That’s still a good strategy for those who weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth.