Ways to Get a Great Higher Education in SLO County

Did you know that there are multiple higher education institutes right in our backyard? There are various colleges in SLO County, including Cuesta College, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), and San Luis Obispo College of Law.

Free Community College Education Within the County

As college tuition seems to be ever-rising, expenses have been a deterrent to pursuing a higher degree. Cuesta College tackles this issue by offering the Cuesta Promise. For example, the Cuesta Promise grants a scholarship for every new SLO County high school graduate, paying all fees for a FULL TWO YEARS! Anyone interested must fill out an admissions application and a scholarship application. Cuesta accepts admissions from October 1, 2020, to August 1, 2021.

On top of this, Cuesta offers a wide variety of degrees ranging from an A.S. in Computer Science to an A.S. in Welding Technology. There are even noncredit certificate courses available! Another popular degree choice is nursing (Nursing Assistant, Licensed Vocational, and Registered). Classes from Cuesta can be applied to transfer and earn credit towards a bachelor’s degree. Assist (https://assist.org) helps articulate the transferrable credits between public colleges and universities in California.

Moreover, Cuesta has three campuses: North County, South County, and the original San Luis Obispo. Classes are held year-round with many online and accelerated options. On top of this, Cuesta has sports teams, including baseball, cross country, water polo, and wrestling.

Award Winning University

According to U.S. World News Report, Cal Poly ranks #3 in Regional Universities West and #2 in Undergraduate Teaching. With its in-state tuition and fees of $9,948, Cal Poly is also less expensive than many similarly-ranked colleges. According to the U.S. World News Report, a Cal Poly graduate’s median starting income is $64,700.

Great Specialty Degrees

Did you know that the San Luis Obispo College of Law, a Monterey College of Law branch, offers multiple degree options? The most popular degrees include the Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.), the Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.), and a combined degree of both. San Luis Obispo College of Law was one of the first two California accredited law schools approved to offer a separate hybrid online J.D. program before the pandemic began. To aim in students’ job searches, the college sponsors clinical workshops where students meet with clients under law faculty supervision.

Just a hop, skip, and a jump south from San Luis Obispo County is the new A.T. Still University’s new physician assistant program in Santa Maria. The University began accepting applications on July 1, 2020.

A.T. Still University (ATSU) has partnered with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) to develop the Central Coast Physician Assistant (CCPA) program, intending to educate community-oriented physician assistants who will provide whole-person primary care to our nation’s underserved communities. CCPA is a 24-month residential master’s degree program based in Santa Maria, California. Students will spend one year on campus in Santa Maria for the pre-clinical phase of the program. Next, students enter the clinical stage, including 30 weeks of supervised clinical practice experiences (SCPEs) in various medical disciplines. During the clinical phase, students spend their time primarily at one of the partnered Community Health Centers (CHC) located across the U.S.

So, no matter your educational needs, the SLO County area can deliver!