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College of Southern Nevada

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
700 College Dr
Henderson, Nevada 89002
(702) 651-3000
School Information
The College of Southern Nevada 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. 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 areas of study, CSN has something for everyone. And not just something, but high-quality programs that are equal to those at universities.
General Information
The College of Southern Nevada has made efforts in recent years to enhance its diversity, equity, and inclusion focus. Since a 2019 study by the Sawgrass Group rendered low marks to CSN for "poor commitment" to DEI, the College has changed course. For instance, it created the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to provide training for faculty and staff. CSN also established the Anti-Black Racism Taskforce to improve equity. The college president lent support to the Black Lives Matter movement in a statement after the Derek Chauvin verdict. The College’s library also advocates for a book pushing to end mass incarceration and enact “revolutionary projects” to end racial injustice. There is no evidence CSN requires critical race theory-related training for students or faculty; however, the Sawgrass report recommended this for faculty, and CSN has taken steps to provide training, though it is not clear if this is mandatory.

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusions offers training on "diversity awareness and cultural sensitivity among faculty and staff with a focus on providing practical tools to enhance student success."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • As part of CSN's 2023-2024 Catalog and Student Handbook, "[all] students MUST fulfill" the Values and Diversity requirement in order to complete the AA/AB/AS General Education requirements.  
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • CSN's Office of Institutional Equity Compliance Trainings include "Discrimination in a Diverse Workplace," and "Cultural Awareness: Interacting with an Open Mind" for faculty and staff.
Program and Research Funding
  • The purpose of the "Conference Opportunities for Underrepresented Students in STEM" project at CSN is to "introduce underrepresented students to research opportunities through conferences and their associated organizations in 2021, with the hopes they are inspired to continue their interest and graduate CSN and transfer to pursue their research."
  • The "Full 'STEM' Ahead in Year One: Getting Black and African American Students on the Right Track" program focuses on "creating a paid opportunity for new, first-year, Black and African American students at CSN" and will be "created in both Student Affairs and Academic Affairs supporting student retention and intentional connection to the STEM fields."
  • "The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is part of the President's Office and works closely with all levels of the administration, staff, and faculty to achieve its mission, vision, and goals.
  • In 2019, CSN contracted The Sawgrass Group for a "Strategic Plan Report" on DEI. The consulting firm found "low cultural competence on DEI," "Marginalized minority staff, students, and teachers," and "Unclear commitment, transparency, fairness and consistency about recruiting and hiring qualified and diverse faculty and staff." The report recommended hiring a Chief Diversity Officer, establishing "clear and consistent DEI culture and values," a program to further the values, and required DEI training for all new and existing employees.
  • CSN Library promotes the book "Just Mercy," by Bryan Stevenson. This book calls for ending "mass incarceration in America." It "tells the story of the Equal Justice Initiative from the early revolutionary projects designed to confront Americans with our history of racial injustice."
  • CSN Libraries features a book titled "Between the World and Me" which is summarized as follows: "Between the World and Me is a letter that Coates writes to his son, Samori, about their lives in a world that continues to be full of prejudice. Coates writes this letter to his son in 2015 after learning that the killer of Michael Brown would go free. The announcement causes Samori to break down in tears. This is not a message of comfort; it is a factual and honest look at racism experienced by a black family."
  • The NSHE Southern Nevada Diversity Summit took place on October 6, 2023, at CSN and "exists to support and promote diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education and our community."
  • CSN's Spring 2021 Convocation program included an event titled "Who's Afraid of a Little CRT? Applying Critical Race Theory in Education."
Symbolic Actions
  • President Federico Zaragoza issued a statement after the Derek Chauvin verdict. He wrote, "This disturbing case — and far too many others like it — has brought to light serious inequities in our nation, sparking a yearlong series of protests and giving energy to the Black Lives Matter movement that seeks to end racially motivated violence against Black people."
  • "The Anti-Black Racism Taskforce was launched with the support of college leadership and is committed to addressing inequities on campus through programming and service."
  • On May 3, 2024, CSN's African American Heritage Community hosted the "African American Student Graduation Ceremony: Class of 2024: Excellence Unleashed."
  • CSN's Multicultural Center states, "Graduating students are encouraged to attend a series of multicultural graduation celebrations with their friends and families prior to CSN's official Commencement Ceremony."
Last updated May 24th, 2024
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