General Information at College of San Mateo - History of The College of San Mateo
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General Information
History of The College of San Mateo

College of San Mateo, the oldest of the three colleges in San Mateo County Community College District, is located on a 153-acre site that provides a panoramic view of the north Bay Area.

Completed at a cost of almost $19.5 million, the campus opened in its current College Heights location in 1963 and currently serves approximately 10,000 day and evening students. It enrolls students from the entire District, although its chief service area is central San Mateo County.

In 2001, voters approved a $207 million bond measure and $468 million in 2005 to repair and modernize College of San Mateo, Skyline College and CaƱada College. In 2010, CSM opened the doors to its new Allied Health and Wellness/Aquatics Center, which houses dental assisting, cosmetology, nursing and the San Mateo Athletic Club. In 2011, the College completed its construction of the new College Center which is the new location for the administration offices, Bookstore, cafeteria, Digital Media, Public Information office, Social Science division and Student Services.

The College's main educational structures are built along a north-south axis provided by the main pedestrian mall. A second mall, running east and west, connects the Fine Arts Center with the Library. In addition to three main lecture halls, the College has a three-building science center, an engineering building, a planetarium, a center which houses dental assisting, cosmetology and nursing, and one complex which houses electronics and aeronautics.

To assist students in profiting from their education, the College helps them explore their interests and abilities, choose their life work, and plan an educational program which will prepare them for that work. It offers this assistance through a formal program of guidance and counseling, and through informal student-teacher relationships which are among the most distinctive and valuable of its services. The College recognizes the educational value of organized student activities and encourages students and faculty participation in these activities.

Situated close to San Francisco and several fine colleges and universities, College of San Mateo is part of a colorful community which enjoys many cultural advantages. Many College of San Mateo graduates transfer to the University of California, California State Universities, and other major public and private colleges and universities. Because the needs of these students who transfer for upper division work are carefully provided for in the curriculum, the College enjoys a fine reputation among the universities of the State. CSM graduates have consistently had a pattern of success in transfer educational institutions. Many College of San Mateo students, having temporarily completed their formal education with the Associate in Arts or the Associate in Science degree, find employment in business and industry.