Nevada State University: Propelling Nevada’s Economic Future Forward through Higher Education


Higher education institutions play a critical role in fostering a strong economy and workforce here in Nevada. As the Greater Vegas area continues to expand and grow in a multitude of diverse industries, there is also a growing need to fill these industries with skilled and educated workers, such as teachers, nurses, engineers, IT experts and other essential roles that are critical to a healthy and vibrant economy in the region.

That’s why I am proud to be ushering in what we call the “NewU for the New Majority” – encompassing our first-generation students, adult learners, students of color, Dreamers and immigrants, and anyone looking to find their way into a prosperous future. On July 1, 2023, our institution was officially renamed from Nevada State College to Nevada State University, bringing us ever closer to achieving our motto of being “A University for All.” This renaming will allow Nevada State University to continue being a leader in collegiate education while also providing new opportunities for students who haven’t been given the resources or support they need to succeed.

The renaming is more than a rebrand – it’s an identity. One that now shows a truer reflection of the institution that we are and will continue to become. Equally so, this renaming is an investment in our economy and efforts to provide quality education and workforce pathways to thousands of students who enroll in our institution each year. A study published in the Economics of Education Review shows that academic institutions can see a 5.2% increase in first-time student enrollment within five years of renaming from “college” to “university.” This renaming is not only essential for the economic future of Nevada, but it will also open doors for many students, especially those who have historically faced barriers to higher education.

We are already seeing first-time student and overall enrollment increases for the 2023-2024 academic year at Nevada State University. Our work in the region is also strengthened by our close alignment with our NSHE partners including UNLV, CSN, and the Desert Research Institute. This means more teachers, nurses, business leaders, and a more college-educated workforce – something that the Greater Vegas region must have in order to compete and thrive in the global economy.

That’s why Nevada State University is dedicated to investing in its supportive initiatives, particularly among underserved populations and students facing greater barriers to entry, in order to achieve academic success. For example, mentorship, student resources, and scholarships are available for first-gen students through our recently announced First & Fierce initiative; and the TRIO Student Support Services department offers academic help, career development, and financial assistance to students in need throughout their college journey. Our Nepantla Program, which recently had its largest cohort of students to complete the program, gives students the opportunity to take classes at Nevada State over the summer before their first semester of college to give them a head start on their degree. All of these programs help students to stay in school and reach graduation, so they can go off and pursue bright careers and futures right here at home.

With nearly 80% of students who graduate from Nevada State proven to stay and work in Nevada after graduation, we are on a mission to remove as many barriers to success as possible and help pave pathways for students while closing gaps in our workforce. With “University” in our name, this classification will continue to help our diverse student body (aka the New Majority) of 83% non-white or people of color, uphold a degree with the level of distinction it deserves.

Changing our name to Nevada State University reflects our commitment to being a leading educational institution to our students and a supporter of career pathways within the State of Nevada. Under this new name, we will continue to work towards our motto of becoming “A University for All” and aiding the growth of the economy here in the Greater Vegas region.

Join Nevada State University in celebrating the #NewU on August 30. RSVP here for the family-friendly celebration, which will include food, live music, games, and a brief fireworks display.

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