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Update: Cuesta drive-through commencement postponed 

Update posted Dec. 16:

–Due to the California Stay-at-Home Order and under the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department’s guidance, the Cuesta College Drive-through Commencement Ceremony scheduled for Friday, Dec. 18, is postponed until further notice.

“This is a difficult decision, yet our number one priority is the health and safety of our community, students, faculty, and staff,” said Dr. Mark Sanchez, Assistant Superintendent / Vice President of Student Success and Support Programs, in an email to student graduates. “Congratulations on your wonderful accomplishments – we will celebrate with you and your families/loved ones soon.”

Virtual celebrations for some support programs will proceed as scheduled. Students enrolled in those programs are advised to check their Cuesta College email or contact their program coordinator for more information.

Original story posted Nov. 10:

Cuesta celebrates Class of 2020 with drive-through commencement ceremony
School district to move forward with small group graduations for high school seniors

–Cuesta College will celebrate the Class of 2020 with a special drive-through commencement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 18, from 2 – 4 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo campus. The ceremony, initially scheduled for May, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am so proud of the graduating Class of 2020 and look forward to celebrating all their achievements,” said Superintendent / President Dr. Jill Stearns. “Our graduates leave Cuesta College with an incredible story, proving their ability to pivot, their determination, and ability to succeed.”

The ceremony will honor the accomplishments of 1,040 graduating students with their associate degrees, certificates, GED, and ESL certificates from Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020. Of this year’s graduating class, 520 students came from local high schools. A record-breaking 294 of these students are Cuesta College Promise Scholarship recipients, which provides two fee-free years of college.

Awarded this year are a total of 464 associate of arts degrees, 236 associate of sciences degrees, and 591 associate of transfer degrees. Cuesta College offers 46 associate degrees, 78 certificates, 54 noncredit certificates, and 36 associate degrees of transfer, providing students with a clear pathway into the California State University system.

The graduating class is made up of students with the age range of 17 to 72. Of the graduates, 311 earned honors or high honors by achieving a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, including 16 who earned a perfect 4.0 GPA. A total of 19 veterans earned degrees this year, representing the Air Force, Army, Marine, Navy, and Coast Guard.

The drive-through commencement caravan will begin at the Hollister Road entrance to the campus and be directed to Parking Lot 5, where participants will be cheered on by the campus community. Graduates will exit their vehicles at the end of the route, walk across the stage, and take a photo. The event will be streamed live on the Cuesta College website at and Facebook.

For students without a vehicle, transportation will be arranged for you to participate. Please contact Will Wooster at (805) 546-3100 x2328 for more information.

Masks and physical distancing of at least six feet are required during the ceremony. Students are asked not to come to campus if they are ill, experiencing symptoms, or may have been exposed to the coronavirus. For more information on Cuesta College COVID-19 policies and guidelines, visit the resource webpage at

Participating graduates are asked to register at by Dec. 14. Regalia, class rings, and other items must be ordered by Nov. 22 online at


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at