Cuesta College to facilitate $600,000 grant to support career education
Cuesta College is one of nearly 40 consortia in California chosen to receive a portion of a one-time, $250 million grant designed to help students stay in school and move toward college and employment in high-demand fields. According to the California Department of Education, Cuesta College is the only entity on the Central Coast to receive a portion of the grant. San Luis Obispo County will receive $600,000 over a four-year period; Cuesta College is the coordinator and fiscal agent of the funds, which will be used to develop career pathways in various college programs, including those in the areas of health, information technology and agriculture.
“This project will create a formal partnership structure in which SLO County high schools and Cuesta College can construct high-demand, career education programs by incorporating the voices of local teachers, industry representatives and Cuesta College faculty and staff,” said Sabrina Robertson, Cuesta College’s career technical education grant and categorical projects supervisor.
Robertson explained that the grant will strengthen the career education partnerships between SLO County’s high schools and Cuesta College by providing the opportunity to develop regional curriculum shared among the schools. The grant will also: provide the ability to approach resource development as a joint entity in order to maximize resources; implement skills-based career-planning courses that enable local students to be active participants in developing college and career readiness skills with an informed major at the postsecondary level; coordinate work-based learning, dual enrollment, and countywide professional development.
“The awarding of this grant to Cuesta College, in conjunction with our local high school partners, is a great opportunity to create seamless career pathways for students starting in high school and continuing through Cuesta College,” said Cuesta College Superintendent/President Gil Stork.
The grant is the result of California legislation passed in July 2013, establishing the California Career Pathways Trust, which created a one-time, $250 million competitive grant program in the state’s 2013-14 budget. Grant recipients are tasked with creating sustained career pathways programs that connect businesses, K–12 schools, and community colleges to better prepare students for the 21st century workplace.