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Cuesta changes Priority Registration requirements


Cuesta College academic advisors spent an afternoon informing students about the changes to registration priority policy.
Photo by Allison Turner / Cuestonian Opinion Editor

By Allison Turner
Opinion Editor

Returning Cuesta College students are in for a twist as the requirements for priority registration shift to focus on student planning and academic success.

Returning students are encouraged to talk to an academic counselor, as well as submit a required Student Education Plan prior to completing 15 Cuesta Credits, according to Cuesta academic counselors.

“The goal today is to inform students about changes to enrollment priority and to connect students with support services,” said Lana Nelson, a Cuesta enrollment success specialist.

Priority registration was previously based on a student’s academic standing, participation in Disabled Students Programs and Services, and the number of degree applicable units, according to Cuesta’s website.

Students in special programs such as DSPS, homeless youth, or Veteran Affairs, and students who have filed for graduation, will also need to complete the Comprehensive SEP.

Priority one and two students who do not meet the new requirements will lose priority registration and be moved to priority seven.

This update also eliminates priority for pre-RN students and graduation high school seniors from local county high schools, according to the academic counseling office.

These changes are part of a state of California mandate that returning students complete a comprehensive student education plan no later than completing 15 units to maintain their priority three level registration status.

“California has a strong interest in what it will take for students to achieve their goal,” said Thea Labrenz, a Cuesta College generalist counselor and articulation Officer. “This is a way for students to see how long it will take to finish their goal here at Cuesta,” said Labrenz.

This update was also implemented to help connect students to the academic counselors, as well as provide them a realistic idea of what their goal, and subsequent planning, will look like.

The new registration policy will not be applied to first-semester Cuesta students because they are required to complete an “abbreviated student education plan” as part of their application and orientation to Cuesta College.

New students may also receive a bump in their initial registration priority by attending Cuesta’s Cougar welcome days and completing a “sit down meeting registration” with a counselor, according to Labrenz.

“New student online orientation process requires them to develop a first semester plan as part of their list of orientation items,” said Labrenz.

The first semester plan will act as a guide for students until they will need to complete a comprehensive SEP to maintain their priority status.

Registration for fall semester 2018 began on Apr. 16 and continues through the summer.

For more information, or assistance in completing these steps, students can visit the Cuesta College academic Counseling office on the San Luis Obispo Campus in the 3100 building.