College of Southern Nevada: Impacting Southern Nevada’s Business Community

The College of Southern Nevada (CSN) is the state’s largest and most ethnically diverse higher education institution, while also being a major economic engine for the region with an estimated annual economic impact of nearly $1 billion.

“The College of Southern Nevada is as vital to the regional economy as it is to each student who attends,” said CSN President Michael Richards. “Higher education impacts individual lives, and the cumulative effect touches nearly everyone in southern Nevada.”

CSN, founded in 1971, is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and specializes in two-year degrees and workforce development that lead directly to high-demand careers or transfer to a university. Combined, the college sees 60,000 unique students per year.

With more than 180 degrees and certificates available in over 70 different programs, CSN has something for everyone. And not just something, but high-quality programs that are equal to those at universities.

CSN’s English department has published a well-regarded literary journal, the Red Rock Review, for 20 years running. The college hosts national and regional exhibits in its two art galleries. Its anthropology department recently opened a state-of-the-art physical anthropology lab. And its science students routinely conduct independent research in areas such as antibiotic resistance and environmental science.

From drones and cybersecurity to culinary and casino management training, many of the college’s programs are unique or nationally renowned – often both.

CSN’s Culinary Arts Program has consistently been ranked among the best in the country. It’s Air Conditioning Technology Program provides cutting-edge training in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration in a city where staying cool is more than a lifestyle decision – it’s a matter of staying in business. CSN recently began offering the only cybersecurity associate degree in Nevada, and will soon launch the state’s only degree in unmanned aerial vehicles.

The college also offers five bachelor’s degrees in specialized fields, is the state’s largest provider of adult basic education and literacy training, recently became a Minority Serving Institution, and is Nevada’s first Hispanic Serving Institution. Diversity and inclusion are more than concepts at CSN. They’re part of the fabric of the institution.

The college’s Division of Workforce and Economic Development was established in 2005 to meet the training needs of southern Nevada’s workforce and employers. The Division is an entrepreneurial and self-supporting arm of CSN that works with the region’s business and key industry sectors in the assessment, design and implementation of customized curricula and training programs. It also provides services to students, employers, employees and adult learners seeking education opportunities, new skills and career advancement.

As a community college, community involvement is central to CSN’s mission, as well. Dental hygiene and veterinary clinics offer services free of charge to residents under some circumstances, accounting students provide free tax advice and help during tax time, and students in its health care programs provide more than a million hours of patient care to the state’s residents each year.

CSN’s students can create flexible schedules with day, evening and weekend classes available online or at multiple locations across southern Nevada. In fact, CSN offers 24 degrees available entirely online. The college is extremely accessible with three main campuses in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson, each covering 80 acres, as well as sites and centers placed throughout the southern Nevada area.

The college has had record-sized graduating classes for five years running, has been named the safest college in Nevada, holds career fairs each semester that see hundreds of students and local companies connect, and is currently in the process of building new student unions on each campus.

New programs aim to help educate the state’s prisoners before they are released and provide expert advice to the state’s growing small businesses. In addition, the college’s Small Business Incubator program has helped more than four dozen companies get started, all of them involving current or former CSN students.

CSN’s impact on the southern Nevada business community goes far behind its sites, centers, programs and degrees, however. A recent analysis completed by Economic Modeling Specialists International concluded that the college has an annual impact of $988 million on the region.

Among the business sectors most affected by CSN’s impact were healthcare, food service and accommodation, and professional and technical services.

To learn more about CSN, visit