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 undergraduate departments of Fine Arts and Management (now Business).
Graduate level programs were added with the Teacher Education Program in the late ‘80s, culminating in the creation of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) (2005), the Master of Education (MEd) in advanced teaching and leadership (2008), and the Master of Arts in Administration (MAA) in 2015. Innovative low-residency MFA degree programs inaugurated in 2012 allow aspiring writers (and soon visual artists) to learn from acclaimed professionals from any location.
SNC Tahoe currently enrolls over 500 undergraduate students and almost as many graduate students. Students come from throughout the United States and over 30 other countries.
As SNC Tahoe grew, Ralston Hall, David Hall, and the MacLean Library were added to the historic Mountain Campus. 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 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 within the walls of a LEED-certified, Platinum-rated laboratory building, the first building in Nevada to earn this recognition. The Holman Arts & Media center opened in 2014, housing the Fine Arts programs in expanded spaces intentionally designed to foster collaboration and cross-fertilization.
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, the Teacher Education program established satellite locations to to help address the growing statewide need for high-quality teacher education programs throughout Nevada. As a result of this expansion, SNC Teacher Education students can now complete their degrees 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 is a private, independent, accredited four-year liberal arts college with graduate level programs in education and creative writing. It is located in Incline Village, Nevada, an alpine mountain community on the north shore of Lake Tahoe.
SNC Tahoe offers 30 undergraduate majors and concentrations organized in five departments (Business, Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, Science & Technology and Interdisciplinary Studies). It offers three masters degree programs in education, with classes in both the Reno and Las Vegas areas, and a low-residency MFA degree in Creative Writing. It also offers continuing education programs, and an acclaimed summer arts workshop series.
Student-faculty ratio is 11:1.
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.
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 Logo | Shown To Left