Cuesta College’s president said that officials there have embraced the challenge of meeting accreditation standards as the school prepares for a visit today by the agency responsible for determining its probation status.
Cuesta has been on probation since February 2010 when the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges said it wasn’t satisfied with progress on several recommendations given to the school since 2009.
President Gil Stork said that Cuesta has satisfied several of the commission’s recommendations and cited four remaining areas to address — in which he believes the collective work of the college has made significant strides.
Those areas that the commission will address with a visit today involve the following: administrative capacity, long-term planning and assessment, technology resources and long-term financial planning.
Stork said that about 10 key administrative positions were vacant in recent months and years. But all have been filled since.
The president, who was recently named to a permanent position, said several longer-range plans have been adopted as well, including an education master plan, as well as facilities and fiscal plans. Coordinating each of the plans took time, he said.
Stork added that money from the California Lottery can be used to upgrade the college’s technological system and other internal money will be used to pay for high-tech improvements.
Given state budget shortfalls, the college’s financial future will depend on an intensified fundraising effort and securing of grants, which Stork believes can continue and improve on campus.
“I think we have people here now who have been through the accreditation process before and have embraced it rather than feared it,” Stork said. “I think we’ve made a lot of progress and a lot of good work has been done.”