Cuesta College was recently awarded $1,398,061 by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office as a part of the California Community Colleges Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation Program. The funding expands two new programs at Cuesta College that help students who need remedial instruction in math or English to move more rapidly toward college level courses.

“The foundation of student success is basic skills instruction,” said Cuesta College Superintendent/President Dr. Gil Stork. “We are very pleased to be awarded this grant so that we can improve our programs and services dedicated to helping students achieve success. Cuesta College is also dedicated to closing the local achievement gap and helping to prepare all students for college-level coursework.”

The Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation Program provides Proposition 98 funds to implement or expand evidence-based programs in the areas of assessment, student services, and instruction in order to improve the progression from remedial education to college level instruction.

According to the Cuesta College Office of Institutional Research, based on averages for the last five years, approximately 61 percent of Cuesta College students placed below a transfer-level math course, and 29 percent of students placed below the transfer level English course.

With the basic skills grant funding, the college will increase the number of students in two north county pilot programs already in place for summer and fall, and expand the program offerings to the San Luis Obispo Campus. The programs are:


  • Early Start to Cuesta. This summer-session program will provide a one-week placement test preparation and re-testing opportunity for more than 650 basic skills students; it is projected to improve math or English placement by at least one level for 60 percent of participants. The college anticipates that students participating in Early Start to Cuesta will complete a transfer-level English or math course twice as fast as basic skills students who are not able to participate.


  • The İZOOM! This first-year experience program provides proactive student support services with the goal of helping more than 250 students reach a college-level English or math course in one semester instead of two. It includes guaranteed enrollment in prescribed courses, free textbooks, and dedicated faculty and counselors.


“This grant demonstrates Cuesta College’s continuing commitment to student equity and dedication to creating more easily navigated and accessible pathways to transfer-level courses,” said Cuesta College ESL faculty, Basic Skills Initiative Coordinator, and Project Director Regina Voge.

The grant funding will also allow the college to create a Faculty Learning Community (FLC). The FLC will consist of a peer-led group of faculty members who engage in professional development activities resulting in best practices for supporting basic skills students.  

Cuesta College is one of 43 colleges awarded a portion of the $60 million grant from the 86 colleges that applied. The term of the grant is July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, with the possibility of two additional annual renewals. A complete list of the community colleges receiving these funds can be found here.

For more information on both Early Start to Cuesta and the İZOOM! Program, contact Regina Voge, Project Director at (805) 591-6200, ext. 4526, or at