In this issue

What's New  •  College Governance Communications

Shout-outs!  •  In the News  •  Hello/Goodbye  •  Calendar

What's New

Mid-Term Report Accepted by ACCJC

Recently, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) notified the college that its October 2017 Mid-Term Report to the ACCJC was accepted. The purpose of the review is to determine the degree to which Cuesta College has made progress in implementing its plans and improving outcomes related to student achievement.

ACCJC President Richard Winn states in the letter, “On behalf of the Commission, I wish to commend the evident achievements of the College as it continues its efforts in the best interest of its students.” The next accreditation report due from Cuesta College is the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report in the fall of 2020. For further details, check out this press release.

Thank you to Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Academic Affairs and Accreditation Liaison Officer Dr. Deborah Wulff and all the faculty, staff and administrators who worked on the report.

Presidential Search Update

Five individuals have been selected as finalists for the position of Cuesta College superintendent/president. On Tuesday, February 20, the finalists will answer questions from faculty, staff, and the public at open forums on the SLO Campus in building 5400, room 5401. The public, media, and Cuesta College employees are invited to participate. Question cards will be available to all who attend the San Luis Obispo Campus forums and the North County Campus live broadcasts in Dallons Hall (building N5100, room N5102).

The five finalist candidates and their corresponding forum times are included in this press release.

The Board of Trustees is scheduled to interview the finalists on March 1st. Please direct all questions to Human Resources at ext. 3129.

Remind Students about Late Start Classes & Scholarships

The Spring semester may be in full-swing, but keep in mind that most late-start classes begin around March. Please encourage students to check out the many short-term course offerings (in areas like art appreciation, automotive technology, business, computer information systems, journalism, and more - plus many free emeritus classes). All currently open courses can be found on this webpage.

In addition, the deadline for students to apply for 2018-19 general scholarships is March 2nd. Please encourage students to apply for scholarships via the simple-to-use online application process. Last year, nearly 450 scholarships were awarded to Cuesta College students.

Educate - Si Se Puede is Coming Up


Cuesta College is gearing up to once again host hundreds of local Latino/a high school students at the Annual Educate - Si Se Puede on March 16 on the SLO Campus. The conference will include workshops, motivational speakers and more. For more information, visit the Educate - Si Se Puede website. Thank you to all the Cuesta College faculty and staff who are involved in planning this important student service event.

BSSOT Grant Update: Faculty Learning Community

In 2016, the California Community College's Chancellor's Office initiated the Basic Skills and Student Outcomes and Transformation (BSSOT) Program, awarding 64 California Community Colleges $89 million in grant monies, $1.4 million of which was awarded to Cuesta. The purpose of the BSSOT Program is to improve the progression rate of students needing basic skills instruction into college-level instruction by implementing or expanding innovations and redesigning areas of assessment, student services, and instruction. In order to update the campus community on the BSSOT Program, the President’s Newsletter is featuring its three components in separate issues. The December 2017 issue included the ¡Zoom! Program, the January 2018 newsletter featured details on Cuesta QuickStart, and this issue includes the Faculty Learning Community piece.

The Faculty Learning Community (FLC) component focuses on the professional development of a diverse group of faculty interested in pedagogical practices that support Basic Skills students. Since its development in Fall 2017, the five members of the FLC have attended more than 10 teaching workshops and seminars, presented at the Spring 2017 faculty retreat, given presentations during the Fall 2017 Flextravaganza, and have developed a Canvas resource page for all Cuesta faculty. This Fall, the FLC Coordinator will be reaching out to college departments to share the work of the FLC and develop collaborations between the FLC members and interested faculty.

For questions on the BSSOT Program, contact Basic Skills Initiative Coordinator Regina Voge.

Upcoming Art Exhibit: Portals


The latest exhibit at the Cuesta College Harold J. Miossi Gallery will connect participants to individuals around the world in real-time. The global public art initiative Portals: Connecting the World: A Social Practice Exhibition is coming to Cuesta College February 22nd – March 29th. During that time, an inflatable portal, equipped with immersive audio-visual technology, will be located in the gallery, providing face-to-face, live, full-body interactions with individuals in identical portals all over the world. The Cuesta Portal will connect to the countries of Afghanistan, Australia, Germany, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Palestine, Panama, Rwanda, and more.

An opening party will take place on February 22nd in the gallery, from 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. More information, and details on how you can book a time to check out the portal, can be found in this press release

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College Governance Communications

One of College Council’s current initiatives is to improve its communications on important actions and recommendations taken throughout the year. IThe committee decided at its January 23rd meeting that the President's Newsletter would provide this conduit of communication. Beginning this month, you will be able to find monthly summaries from College Council, Planning & Budget Committee, Academic Senate Council and the Board of Trustees in the President's Newsletter. 

Board of Trustees Meeting of February 7th, 2018

75 Acres Discussion

At the meeting of October 4, 2017, the Board of Trustees requested a discussion item be agendized regarding the properties, potential uses, and restrictions in regard to the 75 acres property, which lies directly north of the SLO Campus. After some discussion at the meeting of February 7th, it was determined that future program use or lease options could be considered at a later time.

Update from the North County Campus Land Use Committee

The Board of Trustees directed the Cuesta College superintendent/president to facilitate a land use study and appraisal for the two auxiliary parcels on the North County Campus. At the July 5th, 2017 Board of Trustees meeting, the Land Use Study was presented as well as an appraisal of the retail value of the parcels.

The Board requested additional information regarding leasing options. A subcommittee was formed. The group has since discussed the criteria to be included in the drafting of the Request for Qualifications and Proposal (RFQ/P) process for potential leasing property on the North County Campus. The subcommittee provided a detailed summary of the discussions held regarding the potential RFQ/P process. 

Nine Newly Tenured Faculty

new tenured faculty

Following the recommendation from the Institutional Tenure Review Committee, the Board of Trustees approved granting tenure to the following nine faculty members:

  • Fionnuala Butler – Psychology
  • Jessica Gonsalves – Library
  • Neil Higgins – Business
  • Bradley Langer – Spanish
  • Brian Locher – Kinesiology
  • Christopher Machado – Biology
  • Patricia McQuillen – Nursing
  • Cynthia Wilshusen – DE Instructional Designer
  • Karen Wilson – Licensed Vocational Nursing

Congratulations to these excellent instructors!

Pictured above, left to right: Christopher Machado, Bradley Langer, Dr. Gil Stork, Brian Locher, and Neil Higgins at the February 7th Board of Trustees meeting. 

College Council

At the September 17th, 2017, College Council meeting, the committee was tasked with appointing a committee reorganization taskforce. The taskforce submitted their recommendations at the September 26th meeting and approved several restructures including: 

  • To remove the Pass Committee and Nursing Selection Committee from the college-wide committee list and for the bodies to return to their respective divisions (kinesiology/athletics and nursing).
  • To merge the Technology Committee and Web Committee into a single Technology and Web Committee. 
  • To merge the Outreach Committee into the Enrollment Management Committee.
  • To create a new name, description and composition of the Distance Education Committee. It is now named the Online Education Committee.

Through the end of February, College Council will hear two remaining presentations about committee restructuring (Equity and Student Success Committee and the IPPR/SLO Committees).

Planning & Budget Committee

At the January 16th, 2018, Planning and Budget Committee meeting, a discussion was held on the Governor’s initial budget proposal for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Major aspects of the budget proposal include significant changes to the funding formula for community colleges and the creation of a new online college (operated by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office). While not all details of the proposal had been released at the time of the committee meeting, potential impacts on Cuesta College were brought forth, and the group took a first look at the Budget Assumptions and Criteria for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The meeting also included the approval of the committee’s Mid-Year Report and an update on the college’s 2017-18 FTES from Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Deborah Wulff and Dean of Academic Affairs – Institutional Research, Library, Learning Resources and Instructional Technology Dr. Ryan Cartnal.

Academic Senate Council

January saw the Senators returning from the holidays with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Some of the highlights from the January 31st, 2018, meeting, are:

  • The approval of a new Board Policy and Administrative Procedure related to faculty hiring (BP-7120 and AP-7120). The new policy and procedure emphasize faculty’s role in hiring decisions, with Human Resources playing a necessary and supportive role. Many thanks to the Academic Senate Task Force (Ceramics Instructor Jarred Pfeiffer, English Division Chair Steve Leone and Physical Sciences Division Chair Bret Clark) for their extensive and well-reasoned revisions. Thank you also to Assistant Superintendent/Vice President Human Resources and Labor Relations Melissa Richardson and Human Resources Analyst Stephanie Federico for their input. Now, on to College Council for their approval.
  • The approval of a proposal to join the Online Education Initiative (OEI) Exchange Consortium. Membership in the Consortium allows Cuesta to offer eligible online courses on the exchange and allows students to register for courses at other community colleges and transfer those units to their home college. 
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SLO Campus Instructional Building Open for Business

On February 5th, approximately 100 people attended the San Luis Obispo Campus Instructional Building ribbon-cutting ceremony, including members of the County Board of Supervisors, representatives from local legislative offices, Board of Trustees members, Foundation Board members, former college superintendent/president Dr. Frank Martinez, and former and current faculty, staff and administrators, and members of the public. After the ribbon was cut, attendees were split into groups of four and toured the building, learning all about how it was built, special features, and future bond projects.

In case you missed the event, you can check out a video of the ceremony here:

Drama Department Earns National Acclaim

man of la mancha

Cuesta College’s award-winning Drama Department is once again gearing up to compete on the national stage. The production of Man of La Mancha, first debuting at Cuesta College in October of 2017, was chosen from among hundreds of schools to compete at the 2018 Kennedy Centre American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Mesa, AZ, February 19-23. Cuesta College is one of six colleges featured at KCACTF this year; this is the third Cuesta College Drama Department production to compete at the annual KCACTF in the past five years.

For more information, check out this press release. Congratulations to all the students and program faculty and staff on this exciting accomplishment!

Cuesta Students Qualify to Compete at SkillsUSA State Competition

This year, 20 Cuesta College students are eligible to participate in the SkillsUSA California 51st Annual State Leadership and Skill Conference. The students qualified to compete at the State level in 11 different contest areas. On February 10th, 22 Cuesta students competed at the regional competition held at Paso Robles High School. The students earned 21 medals*; 14 gold, five silver, and two bronze. (*Not all medal earners qualify to compete at the State competition.)

The SkillsUSA California conference competition will take place April 19th - 22nd, 2018, in Ontario, CA. This is the 12th year in a row the college has qualified for the contest.

The medaling students are:

  • Gold: Rich Lock, Automotive Service
  • Gold: Alexandra Newsom, Criminal Justice
  • Gold: Milan Tolani, Early Childhood Education
  • Gold: Daniel Gowdy, Electrical Construction Wiring
  • Gold: Ben Braun, Information Technology Services
  • Gold: Mason Steiner, Plumbing
  • Gold: Jeremy Fleming, Related Technical Math
  • Gold: Jonathan Righetti, Welding Combination
  • Gold: Nicholas Hasch, Welding Fabrication
  • Gold: Braden Abatti, Welding Fabrication
  • Gold: Michael Dye, Welding Fabrication
  • Gold: Mikayla Stone, Welding Sculpture
  • Gold: Nathan Heaston ,Welding - Oxyacetylene
  • Gold: Alfredo Saucedo Welding, Shielded Metal Arc
  • Silver: Edith Salgado, Early Childhood Education
  • Silver: Eric Smith, Electrical Construction Wiring
  • Silver: Salome Fonseca, Welding Combination
  • Silver: Jared Thompson, Welding Sculpture
  • Silver: Andrew Winfrey ,Welding, Shielded Metal Arc
  • Bronze: Matthew Nish, Information Technology Services
  • Bronze: *Onesimo Galarza, Welding Combination

skillsusa pge check

While at the conference, PG&E presented the SkillsUSA program with a check of $20,000. Pictured above, left to right are: John Stokes (Cuesta College Engineering & Technology Division Chair and SkillsUSA Regional Coordinator) Chris Williams (Superintendent of Paso Robles Joint Unified School District) Todd Lamas (SkillsUSA California Postsecondary President) Jen Gaviola (Assistant Superintendent Paso Robles Joint Unified School District) Jim Brescia (SLO County Superintendent of Schools) Eric Daniels (PG& Governmental Regulations Representative for the Central Coast), Randy Canaday (SkillsUSA Regional Coordinator) and Pat Mullen (PG&E representative, SkillsUSA California Board of Directors member, and Vice President of the Cuesta College Board of Trustees).

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In the News

Over the past few weeks, the following information was included in media segments:

  • Cuesta faces budget shortfall while faculty negotiations continue | Tribune
  • SLO Instructional Building ribbon cutting ceremony | KSBY
  • Cuesta Foundation Board member Anita Robinson is SLO’s 2017 Citizen of the Year | Tribune
  • Cuesta Track & Field Assistant Coach is former Olympian | KSBY
  • Drama Department accolades | Paso Robles Daily News & Tribune
  • Cuesta student seeks prosthetic hand | New Times
  • Cuesta mentioned in article about local ranchers speaking out on federal farm bill | Santa Maria Times
  • ranked Cuesta College's RN Program number onein California | New Times

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Hello / Goodbye

As the Cuesta College family changes, I would like to acknowledge our new full-time employees, changes in assignments, and retirements. At the February 7th meeting of the Board of Trustees, the following action took place:

Changes in Assignments

  • Glenda Moscoso, Division Chair of Student Services

Classified Retirements

  • Ronald Eminhizer, Fine & Performing Arts Technical Director (effective 2/7/18)
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Here’s a look at some of the events going on around campus. For the full calendar, visit the Cuesta College Events Calendar:

  • February 16th-19th: All District sites closed in observance of the President's Day holiday
  • February 20th: Presidential search open forums
  • February 20th: Food Bank Distribution Site open
  • February 22nd: Portals art exhibit open
  • February 23rd: Nursing Education Fair
  • March 1st: Board of Trustees Special meeting / Presidential Finalist interviews
  • March 7th: Board of Trustees regular meeting
  • March 9th: 34th Annual Jazz Fest
  • March 16th: Combined Choirs Spring Concert
  • March 16th: Educate - Si Se Puede
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