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Summer school is returning to Cuesta College

Cuesta College administrators plan to restore the community college’s summer school program — one year after the majority of the summer term was eliminated to save money.

Lower than anticipated enrollment this fall prompted the college to seek ways to boost those numbers in order to meet state funding requirements. The move is also designed to address local students’ needs, officials said.

In February, the college cut nearly all of its summer term classes to help balance the budget, citing the continued economic downturn and the elimination of federal stimulus funds that had previously helped to fund the summer session.

Cuesta’s move to reinstate summer courses came from the college’s enrollment management committee and was recently approved by its budget and planning committee.

Administrators plan to offer 150 to 200 classes in various general education courses — focusing on classes that are transferrable to four-year colleges, said President Gil Stork, who is serving a two-year appointment.

In 2009, about 3,395 students enrolled in summer courses.

The college had hoped to reach a 4,500 full-time-equivalent student count in the fall semester, but achieved 4,341. That number represents about 13,000 total students.

If the college does not reach a 9,200 annual full-time-equivalent enrollment, it will be penalized by the state at a cost of about $5,000 for each FTE student below that mark, Stork said.

Additional classes in high-demand core subjects such as math, English and science are also being added to the spring semester to boost enrollment.

“I am confident that by adding the courses in the spring semester and summer we will meet the enrollment cap,” Stork said.

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