Cuesta College

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Cuesta College
TypePublic community college
Established1963; 58 years ago (1963)
Endowment$35.5 million (2020)[1]
PresidentJill Stearns
Academic staff
165 full-time
414 part-time
Administrative staff
Hwy 1, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-8106
, , ,
United States
CampusSuburban - 150 acres (61 ha)
ColorsGreen and white
SCWA (wrestling)

Cuesta College is a public community college in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States.


The first community college in the San Luis Obispo area was founded in 1916 as a division of San Luis Obispo High School, it lasted until 1919 with the United States involved in World War I. Cal Poly had a junior college division from 1927 to 1932. Miramonte College of Atascadero filled the void as a private institution from 1933 to 1936. The county's second public junior college was formed in 1936 as a part of San Luis Obispo High School District, but ceased operation in June 1959. On April 16, 1963, voters in SLO County agreed to form a community college district, forming the San Luis Obispo County Junior College District. In 1964, a limited evening division began at Camp San Luis Obispo, a California National Guard facility located between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay. On October 4, 1965, the college was officially named Cuesta College. In 1970, Cuesta broke ground on its current campus west of Camp San Luis Obispo.


Located on State Route 1, the Cuesta campus is six miles (9.7 km) from the beaches of the Pacific Ocean and six miles (9.7 km) from San Luis Obispo (SLO). Cuesta College also has a satellite campus, known as 'North County Campus', located in Paso Robles, which is twenty-nine miles (47 km) to the northeast of the main campus near San Luis Obispo. Limited course offerings are also available at two other sites within the county operated by Cuesta College, one located at Arroyo Grande High School in Arroyo Grande, and the other located at Nipomo High School in Nipomo.

Organization and administration[edit]

Cuesta College is the only college in the San Luis Obispo County Community College District (or SLOCCCD, part of the California Community College system) and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The district is governed by an elected five-member Board of Trustees.

Dr. Jill Stearns, the current president, began her presidency in July 2018 after Dr. Gilbert H. Stork retired. The gymnasium was renamed Gilbert H. Stork Gymnasium in his honor in August 2018.


The college offers 76 Associate's degree programs and 96 certificate programs. A number of Cuesta students transfer to the public California State University and University of California systems, including the nearby Cal Poly SLO campus, as well as private colleges and universities.

In 2012, Cuesta College's regional accreditor Western Association of Schools and Colleges placed the college on "show cause" status, warning the college that its accreditation might not be renewed. A year later, the college's accreditation was renewed and its status upgraded to "on warning." The Tribune, the local newspaper of San Luis Obispo, described this as the result of a "years-long struggle to fix several deficiencies identified by the commission [that] came at a cost: lower enrollment, difficulty recruiting applicants and damaged morale."[3] In February 2014, Cuesta's "on warning" status was removed and the accreditor certified that the college meets all of its standards.[4]


The college's athletic teams are known as the Cougars and the school colors are green and white.[5] The college currently fields seven men’s and nine women’s varsity teams. It competes as a member of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) in the Western State Conference (WSC) for all sports except wrestling, which competes in the Southern California Wrestling Association (SCWA).[6]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ California, State of. "California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office - Data Mart". Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  3. ^ Tonya Strickland (February 14, 2013). "Cuesta College retains accreditation, officials announce". The Tribune. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  4. ^ AnnMarie Cornejo (February 10, 2014). "Cuesta College's accreditation is reaffirmed, sanctions dropped". The Tribune. Archived from the original on December 16, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  5. ^ "California Community College Baseball Coaches Association". California Community College Baseball Coaches Association. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  6. ^ "2019-20 CCCAA Directory" (PDF). California Community College Athletic Association. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  7. ^ "20 Questions Tuesday: 173 - Dave Anthony". Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  8. ^ "GKR Mangkubumi, Penjaga Inti Kebudayaan Keraton Yogyakarta". Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Ian McCall's Violent Delights - Shakespeare Comes to the Cage". Sherdog. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Jon Moscot Bio". Pepperdine University Official Athletic Site. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2016-09-15.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°19′47.89″N 120°44′32.47″W / 35.3299694°N 120.7423528°W / 35.3299694; -120.7423528