History & Facts
Sierra Nevada College opened its doors in the fall of 1969 with 23 students. Among the goals of the founders was incorporation of the unique environmental qualities and characteristics of the Lake Tahoe region into the academic programs at SNC. Decades later, fidelity to this goal is still reflected in the SNC academic mission and core curriculum, which emphasize the importance of environmental, social, economic, and educational sustainability.
Within four years of its founding, SNC had achieved candidate status for accreditation with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), and accreditation was granted in 1976. SNC experienced substantial growth in academic programs during the ‘70s, adding the departments of Fine Arts and Management (now Business). This expansion of academic offerings continued with the addition of the Teacher Education Program in the late ‘80s and culminated in the creation of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in 2005 and the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in advanced teaching and leadership programs in 2008. SNC currently enrolls close to 500 undergraduate students; approximately 800 graduate students are enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Education programs, and an even greater number of graduate students are enrolled in various specialty programs designed and offered in cooperation with local school districts. Students come to SNC from throughout the United States and several countries.
As SNC grew, three new buildings were added to the historic Mountain Campus: Ralston Hall, David Hall, and the MacLean Library. In 1991, the Lake Campus was acquired through private and foundation donations and, for many years, classes and activities took place at both the Mountain and the Lake locations. Sensing that SNC students and faculty needed to occupy a single campus where continued expansion was possible, the leadership at SNC decided to sell the Mountain Campus and relocate all activities, classes, and programs to the new Lake location by the start of the 2006-2007 academic year.
The move to the Lake Campus went hand-in-hand with the opening of several new, carefully designed buildings intended to facilitate student learning in this new location. The Prim Library and Learning Resource Center was opened in 2004 to provide students with an open, beautiful, and well-equipped space to study, research, and access academic services. The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, the product of a historic partnership between SNC, the University of California, Davis, and the Desert Research Institute, opened in August 2006. The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences is a cutting-edge, “green” building that allows SNC students to engage in scientific pursuits w ithin the walls of a LEED-certified, Platinum-rated laboratory building, the first building in Nevada to earn this recognition. In addition to these new physical structures, new technology was added to allow students to wirelessly connect to the Internet from all classrooms and public study spaces.
As the expansion of the Lake Campus proceeded, satellite locations offering graduate-level classes were established to help address the growing statewide need for high-quality teacher education programs in Nevada. As a result of this expansion, SNC Teacher Education students can now attend classes in Incline Village, Reno, and Henderson, Nevada.
Sierra Nevada College has only just begun—this young, proud, and growing institution is destined to take its place among the best small liberal arts colleges in the country. It’s been a college that has always been characterized by its outstanding faculty and dedicated staff. Whatever the exciting possibilities the future holds for the college, one thing will remain the same: Sierra Nevada College will always stay true to its core mission as a liberal arts college. It’s simply in the DNA of the place.
Sierra Nevada College offers degree programs in more than 30 different fields, as well as offering continuing education programs, an acclaimed summer arts program, and numerous courses at satellite centers in Nevada.
Sierra Nevada College (SNC) is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and licensed by the Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education. The Teacher Education programs are state-approved through the Nevada State Board of Education.
- Sierra Nevada College is registered in the State of Nevada, with the Articles of Incorporation last amended and approved December 12, 2011 and filed with the State of Nevada Secretary of State December 13, 2011. Sierra Nevada College’s Bylaws were last updated December 12, 2011.
- Sierra Nevada College is authorized to operate as a tax-exempt organization, with the most recent letter on file and dated June 17, 1971.
- Sierra Nevada College is approved by the Postsecondary Education Commission in Nevada, with the most recent letter on file and dated April 1, 2010.
- Sierra Nevada College is approved to offer Teacher Education Programs by the Nevada Department of Education, with the most recent letter on file and dated November 1, 2010.
- Sierra Nevada College is approved by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award degrees at the baccalaureate and masters levels, with the more recent letter on file and dated August 06, 2010.
If you are experiencing a problem with Sierra Nevada College and cannot resolve it with the appropriate school officials, you may contact the Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education using the process outlined on the following website: Student Complaints
Complaints regarding the institution’s eligibility requirements, standards, and policies may be submitted in writing to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, addressed to the President at 800 165th Ave. NE Suite 100 Redmond, WA 98052.
Students taking online courses outside of Nevada may contact their state’s higher education commissions. For more information on out of state higher education commissions, please see www.sierranevada.edu.
Sierra Nevada College is a private, independent, accredited four-year liberal arts college with a graduate level program in education located in Incline Village, Nevada, an alpine mountain community on the north shore of Lake Tahoe.
Student-faculty ratio is 13:1.
The Incline Village location has four undergraduate departments: Science and Technology, Humanities and Social Science, Business, and Fine Arts.
The Teacher Education Program is offered in Incline Village, Reno, and Las Vegas.
The College is affiliated with the following organizations:
- Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Licensed by the Nevada Commission on Post-Secondary Education
- Member of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC)
- Member of the Northern California Consortium Project
- Member of the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications
- Member of the Western Regional Honors Council
- Member of the Administrative and Campus Computing Environments at Small Schools (ACCESS)
- Member of the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
- Member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC)
- Member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)
- Member of the National Collegiate Ski Association (NCSA)
- Members of the Pacific Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers (PACRAO)
- Member of the Rocky Mountain Association of College Admissions Counselors (RMACAC)
- Member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
- Member of the Rocky Mountain Association Of Student Financial Aid Administrators
- Member of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB)
- Member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
Additional affiliations related to specific departments are listed within that department.
School Colors | Royal Blue and White
School Mascot | The American Eagle
School Seal | Shown To Left