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Oct 19, 2012 1:56 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Cuesta College faces program cuts

Higher education for local students could be getting even tougher. Cuesta Community College said it may have to cut 29 programs, many of which help students get hands on experience.

President Gil Stork said on Thursday the programs on the list include: Agriculture Technology, Culinary Arts, Real Estate, Interior Design, Physical Science, Counseling, Student Life and Leadership, Nursing Assistant, Fashion Design & Merchandising, Construction Technology, Dance, Geography, Hospitality, Library/Information Technology, Computer Applications/Office Administration, Art- Digital, Music - Audio Technology, Work Experience - Workforce Development, Broadcast Communications, Drama, German, French, Medical Assisting, Electronic & Electrical Technology, Vocational ESL, Emergency Medical Services, Legal, Computer and Networking Technology, Architecture.

Broadcast Communications student Clayton Wiley said he's gained lots of hands-on experience through the program and if it were eliminated, it could jeopardize his chances of getting his certification.

"It was kind of a disappointment when I heard that one, because this is a class/section that I've been taking for sometime now," said Wiley.

Cuesta said possible cuts are part of a long-term budget reduction plan.

"I spent over 40 years here helping build the college, and now to dismantle it is very distasteful and not a fun thing to do," said Stork.

Stork said he understands how students and the community would be outraged by the cuts. He said he's feeling discouraged too. But, he said many programs could be saved by the passage of Proposition 30. Proposition 30 would increase sales and income taxes in California to fund K-12 schools and community colleges.

Stork said, "it would help, absolutely."

But pass or not, for student Victoria Rangel, fewer programs at her fingertips will feel like a fail.

"This is my second year, but I've only taken certain classes, and I haven't been able to experience everything in here," said Rangel.

On November 13, the college council will make it's recommendation to Stork on which programs should be cut. Stork will then ask the college's planning and budget committee to evaluate it's five-year fiscal impact. The official vote will be on December 12.

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