NEWSLETTER December | 2017
Student Services:
Focused on Serving Our Students by Providing Access, Engagement, and Support to Success
A Message from the Vice-President of Student Services, Dr. Mark Sanchez

I would like to thank the faculty, staff, student ambassadors and administrators in Student Services for making fall 2017 a wonderful semester in serving our students and community. Many excellent programs and services have been implemented in order to ensure our students feel connected on our campuses. The programs and services developed are student focused and designed to support students through to completion of their educational, career and personal goals. Thank you for your hard work and dedication in serving the Cuesta College community.
StudyThon - Instruction and Student Services Collaboration
Focused on Student Success
Cuesta’s first STUDYTHON was a huge success for SLO and NCC! Over 200 students attended every night and took advantage of the extended hours in the library, Student Success Centers, and Math Labs. In addition, academic counselors and the Health Center provided services to students.

What a great collaboration between Student Services and Academic Affairs, providing comprehensive support for students during this stressful time! Faculty, staff, and student tutors all came together to help students prepare for exams and feel more confident going into finals week. We thank all who worked with the Student Success Center to make STUDYTHON a success!  
Latina Leadership Network (LLN) -
Creating a Welcoming Culture at Cuesta
The LLN had another excellent semester in providing leadership and guidance to Latinx and Dreamer students throughout the District. In September, the LLN provided leadership in hosting the Dreamer Forum on the San Luis Obispo campus. In addition, their leadership at many community events has been important in developing pathways for enrollment for populations of students who historically may not have considered Cuesta College. Thank you Latina Leadership Network for your amazing work with our community and students.
Admissions & Records Accomplishments
The Transfer Articulation Project is moving along smoothly since we started in early fall. More in-depth information is coming in mid-spring 2018. We are very excited for our students, as they will be able to see their non-native coursework in their myCuesta Pathway (coming soon). We are slowly rolling this out as we need to ensure the system is working as designed and the courses are going into the right areas based on the student’s general education patterns. Thank you Admissions and Records team!
Health Services Center
I would like to thank the Health Services Center Faculty and Staff for working through staffing shortages in order to maintain high quality care and support to students. We are working to fill the Health Services Coordinator position to ensure the Center has the day to day leadership and vision for expanding our Health and Mental Health services. Again, thank you for your commitment and teamwork in maintaining services to students. 

Finally, I would like to welcome our new Registered Nurse, Michelle Ewing to the team. She has brought a tremendous leadership dynamic to the Center. Welcome Michelle!
New Faces:
Malca Stein is the new Administrative Assistant and Scheduling Specialist in the Dean of Student Services Office. Malca’s background is in Human Resources and Culinary.    There are two new staff in Financial Aid: Rasha Demeter and Danielle Leone. Both are well on their way to being fully trained Financial Aid Technicians and have already improved the office’s workflow. Please join us in welcoming them to the Financial Aid Department! Please welcome Linda Agens and Sarah Lattimer to Admissions & Records. Lynda previously worked at Target.  Sarah Lattimer is an A&R Technician and she was a Bright Futures Leader/ Kinder Director with the Lucia Mar School District. She was also a Special Education Instructional Assistant with Lucia Mar District.
The Student Success and Support Program welcomes a new Enrollment Success Specialist. Kristina Barckley moved from North County Student Services to join our team. She assists with outreach, matriculation, and follow-up services. She also serves as a liaison for court schools and foster youth. We are very grateful to have her.

I would like to welcome and thank Kate Bennett for providing excellent office support while Kayli Chapman is out on maternity leave. Kate joins the Cuesta team from Chicago, Illinois where she was a Program Administrator at Northwestern University. Prior to the Northwestern assignment, Kate was an Asset Administrator at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
College Outreach and Support
In the fall 2017 semester, Cuesta College implemented a centralized outreach team for the college. The outreach team’s primary goal is to connect with the community, high schools, community based organizations, universities and other organizations to develop pathways for college enrollment to prospective students.  

Interim Director, Adrienne Smith has done a fantastic job in developing an Outreach Request Form and Outreach Toolkits. She also worked with Marketing to develop a map of all locations in the county people may access printed spring 2018 course schedules. Great work to the team!
Student Success and Support Program
Assessment Services successfully launched the Multiple Measure Assessment Project (MMAP) this semester. MMAP is based off a large study by the RP Group that uses high school transcript information to place students into English and math classes in lieu of testing. We want to thank Math, English and Counseling faculty for helping make this a smooth transition. We especially want to thank Vicky Almaguer and Robert Whiteford in Assessment Services for the time and effort they have put into this project as well as their commitment to helping close achievement gaps with the implementation of equity-minded placement practices.

Our team of Enrollment Success Specialists (Bonnie Gordon, Estella Vazquez, Kristina Barckley, and Lana Nelson) have been busy helping new Promise students at our local high schools this semester. With their assistance, students receive an overview of the Promise requirements and personalized support with their admission application.
Cuesta College hosted an informational session, “Sharing the Dream: Supporting Undocumented Students and Their Families,” on September 22. This event was presented by the Latina Leadership Network and the Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success and was co-sponsored by SSSP and Student Equity. The event featured guest speakers and provided resources for students and parents regarding the ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Student Success Highlight: Mario Espinoza
Mario Espinoza is currently a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). His doctoral research is focused on a broad range of sociological issues including: health, law, social movements, race, class and gender. Mario is the founder of a program “Know Your Status” located in San Luis Obispo. A primary goal of this program is to alleviate stigma from the HIV positive community. This is achieved by hosting professional workshops focused on healthcare and the provision of HIV screening for college students. Since its inception in 2015, the program has been adopted by a local non-profit called the Access Support Network. This allows for additional resources to be allocated toward these community health education
initiatives. In addition, Mario is currently researching different criminal cases that revolve around “criminal transmission of HIV” and how these cases differ by race, class and gender.

Mario is a former Cuesta College EOPS student who was very active on campus and in our community while enrolled. We are proud of Mario and everything he’s accomplished
so far in his life.
Associated Student Life and Leadership -
Working to Address Food Insecurity
During summer 2016, Cuesta partnered with the SLO County Foodbank to become a community food distribution site. Since we initiated our food bank distribution on the SLO and NC campuses in September 2016, we have served over 1500 households in our community. The SLO co-leaders are April McGee and Allison Phelps and NCC co-leaders are Julianne Jackson and Diane Limon. The distribution occurs on the third Tuesday of each month. Each student/community member receives a prepackaged bag of dry/can goods, fresh produce and a frozen protein.   

We decided to initiate this partnership because research shows that 1:5 students are food insecure. For our community, that number could be higher. We are also planning to open a food pantry during the spring semester on the SLO and NC campuses. We strongly believe these types of programs and services contribute to student success and retention!
Financial Aid Highlights
This semester, Cuesta began to fully participate in the Second Chance Pell Experimental Site Initiative which tests the relationship between financial support for incarcerated students and lower rates of recidivism. Julie Salgado has been working closely with the Success through Education Program (STEP) to administer Pell Grants to students at the California Men’s Colony (CMC). As of this publication, over 50 students have received an average of $240 to offset the price of books and supplies.

It pays to take more units! The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office implemented a new program this year that provides $1500 to Cal Grant recipients who are enrolled in 15 units and have a locked comprehensive SEP in their myCuesta Pathway.  

Negotiations have begun in the United States House of Representatives over the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965. We expect changes to be made to the way federal student aid is funded and administered. This kind of legislation is notorious for moving slowly through Congress. We will work to keep the campus community updated.
Financial Aid - Home Away From Home
Wiith support from the President’s Innovation and Motivation Fund (and a group of fantastic volunteers!), we held the 3 rd annual Home Away From Home event on November 20. Over 125 students and staff were able to come together and enjoy a holiday meal (with all the fixings). There was pie, live jazz music, pie, children’s activities, and did I mention pie? Thank you to Darlene Azevedo and the Cuesta volunteers for making this event such a success!

Counseling Highlights
The Counseling Department has had a wonderful semester supporting students. Below are key highlights from the Department's work in Fall 2017.

Counselors hosted presentations to several courses including College Success Studies 225, English 156, and Early Childhood Education 101 as well as the Biology Department faculty, the Dreamers Club, intercollegiate athletic teams, and students in the Music Department. Counselors also participated in the Library Information Technology and Psychiatric Technician orientation sessions as well as the pre-LVN/RN advising sessions. They attended the NCC Welcome event for Veterans and the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) advisory meeting. Counselors hosted a Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Career Assessment workshop to Nursing students. Counselors also presented at the “Sharing The Dream” Event and presented on December 5th to a group that visited from Mexico (Compostela Rotary Club). On September 22nd, they co-presented at the Sharing the Dream: Supporting Undocumented Students and their Families with Casey McCullough from Cal Poly on the topic of DACA. Counselors also assisted approximately 880 students in the Transfer Center in both group and individual settings during the months of Oct/Nov to get help with their CSU/UC admission applications.
Counseling - 2017 AGS Teacher Appreciation Night
Alpha Gamma Sigma, Cuesta College’s academic honor society and service organization for students, honored seven instructors and three classified staff for going above and beyond expectations and influencing students’ academic success at the 7th Annual Teacher Appreciation Night on December 7th. The honorees were nominated by AGS members and selected by AGS Executive Cabinet officers. The AGS Gamma chapter at Cuesta College is advised by Dr. Christopher Gilbert.
We would like to acknowledge the following Honorees from Student Services: 
Susan Gossard, Academic Counselor
Judy Rittmiller, Disabled Programs & Services (DSPS) Program Assistant
Thank you for your excellent work in serving our students. Well done!
Counseling - Supporting the Community
This Holiday season the Cuesta College Counselors donated to San Luis Obispo County Womenade and the 40 Prado Road Project.

San Luis Obispo County Womenade is a community network that donates items, time, and money to meet essential needs in the County. All funds go directly to support those in crisis, with referrals coming from schools, medical professionals, county health departments, and local social services.

The 40 Prado Road project will streamline current programs at a significant cost savings over time and will combine other social service functions such as Head Start meals preparation. The proposed facility will combine emergency shelter services and day services currently being provided at two locations, the Maxine Lewis Shelter and the Prado Day Center. The new facility will also eliminate the need for overflow sheltering at local churches and synagogues. Case management is the cornerstone of this innovative center, putting individuals and families on a path that will lead to self-sufficiency. First-time clients receive individualized plans, with a focus on permanent supportive housing.

The Cuesta College Counselors are grateful for the opportunity to support these two vital organizations in San Luis Obispo County.
And Finally . . .
Miss Riley Parks Chapman was born on November 27th at 8:50am at Santa Lucia Birth Center. She weighed 7lbs 11oz and measured 19.5 inches long. Mom and baby are healthy and recovering well. They are enjoying their time together as a family!
Riley Parks we know you will bring great contributions to the world.