May 14

Vocational training in 1968 at Cuesta College

Instructor George Rumore shows data tabulator to Patricia Rager, Dorothy Sauldsbury, Larry Fiscalini, Mike Hamers.at Cuesta College. ©Michael Raphael/Telegram-Tribune

Instructor George Rumore shows data tabulator to Patricia Rager, Dorothy Sauldsbury, Larry Fiscalini, Mike Hamers at Cuesta College. ©Michael Raphael/Telegram-Tribune

In honor of Cuesta College’s 50th birthday a few posts this week from the Cuesta file.
Today a lot of technical schools advertise in heavy rotation on television. However many of those programs are offered at local community colleges for less money than a for profit school and often these instructors have good insight into the local job market.
Many of these jobs will require ongoing training as the years go by and systems and technology change. If your business is still using punch cards and data tabulators you may want to head back to school and learn a new skill.
The original captions [with the addition of "at Cuesta college"] are published with the photos, copy editors writing captions in 1968 sometimes called college age women, girls at the time. Classes were still being held on the old campus, drafty World War II era Camp San Luis Obispo buildings. The classic 1968 technology, hair styles, clothes and glasses make these photos an interesting record of the time.
On November 2, 1968 Michael Raphael wrote about the college students that wanted to be into the work world in two years:

One-third of Cuesta’s students enrolled in vocational training

One of every three regular students at Cuesta College is there to learn a trade.
These students are not bent on getting the four-year college education and the bachelor’s degree that goes along with it.
They want to lear how to be skilled auto mechanics, electronics technicians, nurses and secretaries. And they want to learn these skills in two years.
The still-fledgling Cuesta College offers a wide variety of vocational courses that lead to regular junior college Associate in Arts degree.
The major vocational offerings are automotive technology, business education, electronics, metals technology and nursing.
And the school also offers a group of vocational subjects for workers in the community who want to improve their understanding of their own jobs. Tese subjects include fire science, police science, real estate, correctional science and conservation.
Walk into an auto class and you might find instructor Ed shields, backed by a roomful of auto parts and repair equipment, lecturing a class in “Internal Combustion Engines.”
In later semesters, the prospective auto mechanic moves into the study of power trains, fuel and electrical systems, brakes, engine diagnosis and late in his two years at Cuesta he will get into the study of special auto problems.
The electronics student begins with basic electricity, then moves into electronic fundamentals, vacuum tubes and semi-conductors, and from there he goes into the various kinds of elementary and advanced circuits with a little “mathematics for electronics” thrown in as necessary background.
The nursing program, headed by Juanita Booth, provides the background for a student to become eligible to take the state examination for the nursing license.
A total of 58 students are enrolled in the Cuesta nursing program, brought about, school officials say, by demands of the community.
The nursing program covers the fundamentals of nursing, nursing care of children, care of adults, maternal nursing, nursing care of infants and nursing care of mental illness.
Dr. Frank Martinez, Cuesta’s assistant superintendent for educational services, said a major portion of the nursing program involves actual clinical experience.
It is an expensive program, he said, because there never are more than 10 students to a teacher.
The metals technology department, headed by james W. Hazzard, covers welding, metallurgy, machining and sheetmetal, and metal fabrication.
Business education at Cuesta covers a wide variety of subjects, including accounting business law, typing, business machines, business correspondence, office procedure, advertising, shorthand and marketing.
One of the up-and-coming vocational subjects is data processing.
“We have a couple of theory classes and three simple machines in data processing —a puncher, a sorter and a tabulator machine.
“We hope to get more sophisticated equipment and eventually one of the cheaper levels of computer,” Martinez said.
One of the interesting things about vocational students, Martinez said, is that many of them get jobs and wind up their Cuesta careers before they finish their two years of training.
And the director of counseling and guidance, Cynthia Perkins, said the converse often is true.
Some students come into the vocational program, find out how well the can do in college and decide to expand their horizons into four-year college educations and in some cases, they go on to get their master’s degrees or doctorates.
The vocational training leaders at Cuesta are kept abreast of the needs of the community through a series of advisory committees, which meet one or more times a year to study the curriculum and recommend whether it should or should not be changed.
The nursing committee, for example, includes Victor Farrell, administrator of the county hospital; Dr. H. Howard Kusumoto, county health officer, and a group of practicing doctors and nurses.

Girls are learning how to run business machines at Cuesta College. ©Michael Raphael/Telegram-Tribune

Girls are learning how to run business machines at Cuesta College. ©Michael Raphael/Telegram-Tribune

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  5. Madonna Plaza Opens 1968