Cuesta College classes are to remain fully online through the spring semester after federal social-distancing guidelines were extended to Apr. 30. A decision on the Summer 2020 term will be made by Apr. 17.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cuesta College enacted changes to campus operations to ensure instructional continuity and secure the health and safety of students and employees. Superintendent / President Dr. Jill Stearns declared a campus-wide state of emergency on Mar. 9, suspended classes from Mar. 16-18, transitioned all in-person courses to online delivery as of Mar. 19, and limited employees on campus to provide essential services. Forty buildings are closed to daily use to reduce utility costs and to ease custodial burden. Cuesta College events, athletic competitions, and in-person Community Programs classes are canceled until further notice.

“While we were hopeful that the county and state orders to shelter in place would be short, that has not come to fruition,” said Dr. Stearns in a news release. “Instead, we will continue to work remotely until it is safe to return to campus. Our world of work shifted abruptly, and I appreciate how exceptional our faculty and staff have been in meeting the needs of our students – from home.”

Student support services will remain online. Access to educational technology and resources are available from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday in the SLO Campus Library (3200) and NCC Campus Center (N1000/1100). Hours will be extended to include Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. starting Apr. 18 through May 16. Essential services that are still available include computer check-out, enrollment support, financial aid, food pantry, and transfer planning.

Spring break is Apr. 6 – 11.

Recognizing that the move to online instruction has been disruptive and challenging for students, Cuesta College established support resources and flexible grading options with guidance from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Students were sent email communication with information on academic success services and guidelines on grading, repetition of courses, and, if necessary, withdrawal of classes.

“These changes were implemented to reduce the negative impact of the uncertainty of the state-wide emergency and the required move to remote instruction,” said Dr. Stearns. “We are fully committed to helping our students complete their educational goals, and we encourage them to remain steadfast on their academic paths.”

Cuesta continues to plan for an extended duration of the coronavirus pandemic with guidance from local and state public health experts and the Chancellor’s office. A self-report system is available on the school’s COVID-19 webpage for individuals who may have been exposed to someone with coronavirus or are experiencing symptoms. While Cuesta College is currently not considered an exposure risk, we will continue to follow the SLO County Public Health Department’s authority on any self-reported or confirmed positive cases, the new release stated. In an effort to flatten the curve, we advise students and staff to continue the CDC-recommended practices of social distancing and proper hygiene, including thorough hand-washing, and following shelter-at-home orders.