Turning 40

This year promises plenty of challenges and frustrations for those of us at the College of Southern Nevada as we embark upon an ominous legislative session. But there is something to celebrate in 2011. This year marks the 40th anniversary of CSN.

In 1971, CSN was created to be an open-door community college, where any high school graduate or adult could come, work hard and obtain a postsecondary education and technical training. With our grads earning 35% more than individuals with high school diplomas, CSN has provided Nevadans with an avenue to a higher quality of life.

Photo provided by CSN Photo Faculty Larry Marx and Mark Olson: Chef Jody Lee stands with the floral arrangement she designed and created entirely out of chocolate.

During these four decades, we have dedicated ourselves to our access mission. We have grown from 400 students a semester to 43,600 or 67,000 unique credit and non-credit students each year. We have gone from operating in one building to busting at the seams at three campuses, nine centers and more than 50 additional sites throughout Southern Nevada. We offer 30 degree and certificate programs entirely online and classes as late as 3 a.m. 

If you are a current or former student, you are part of a college which is not only regionally accredited but has specialized accreditations in almost every field possible – a feat which vouches for the quality of the degrees CSN offers. The value of a CSN education is also significant. On average, CSN students receive a 14.2 percent rate of return on every dollar they invest in their education here.

The CSN academic experience is also enhanced by the amazing talents of our faculty, who have much to teach our students.

I recently had the opportunity to appear on Channel 13’s Morning Blend with CSN Chefs Jody Lee and John Metcalfe to highlight some of our accomplishments during the last 40 years. I’ve provided the clip below – it’s worth viewing if just to see the chocolate masterpiece Chef Lee created during the winter break.

This creation demonstrates the supreme expertise CSN faculty possess. They are masters in their field, a fact which we can all tout and celebrate.

Photo provided by CSN Faculty Larry Marx and Mark Olson: A close up of CSN Chef Jody Lee's chocolate design.

The coming months will be marked with many dismal budget town halls and summits. There will be a lot of dialogue about the impact of state funding reductions, reduced access missions and diminished opportunities. Let’s try to consistently remind ourselves and our community about the value we provide to the state, the quality of CSN’s education experience and the dreams we help students realize.

Happy 40th everyone.

Morning Blend show: http://www.vegasmorningblend.com/videos/112627819.html.

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