College of San Mateo

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College of San Mateo
CSM Signature 2009.svg
CSM Signature (2009)
Type Public Community College
Established 1922
President Michael Claire
Students 10,000[1]
Location San Mateo, California
Colors Blue and White
Entrance to the College of San Mateo

College of San Mateo (commonly referred to as CSM) is a community college in San Mateo, California. It is part of the San Mateo County Community College District.


1922 to 1996:

  • 1922 With 35 students, San Mateo Junior College opens in rooms of San Mateo High School on Baldwin Avenue.
  • 1931 Charles S. Morris takes over as the new dean (and in 1937 becomes president) of the college. Morris becomes one of the State's most eminent educators.
  • 1947 Enrollment skyrockets after the war. The college leases old U.S. Merchant Marine Academy buildings at Coyote Point. Classes are now held there, at Baldwin and at a $350,000 science building on Delaware Avenue completed in 1939.
  • 1954 Students vote to change name from San Mateo Junior College to College of San Mateo (CSM) in part to honor Charles S. Morris.
  • 1956 Innovative educator Julio Bortolazzo begins a 12-year tenure as college president and district superintendent, initiating a plan for a new campus site.
  • 1963 Present-day CSM hilltop campus opens with 5,000 students.
  • 1968 Racial discontent leads to a student protest and riot on campus.
  • 1979 Lois A. Callahan becomes the first woman president of CSM.
  • 1980 Vice presidential candidate George H. W. Bush speaks to faculty and students at CSM.
  • 1989 The 7.2 Loma Prieta earthquake leads to significant earthquake retrofitting on campus, including work done on the college’s library in 1996.

2000 & Beyond:

  • 2001 San Mateo County voters approve a $207 million bond measure for the repair and restoration of CSM, Skyline College and Cañada College.
  • 2002 CSM celebrates its 80th anniversary with a Book Fest featuring guest speakers including noted authors and speakers.
  • 2005 San Mateo County voters approve another bond measure, this one for $468 million for continued construction, repair and restoration for CSM, Skyline College and Cañada College.
  • 2005 CSM hosts the first-ever community college football bowl game in San Mateo County.
  • 2006 CSM’s new Regional Public Safety Center opens on June 14.
  • 2006 CSM’s state-of-the-art science building opens for classes on August 16.
  • 2007 CSM’s state-of-the-art planetarium opens for classes and the public in January.
  • 2007 Michael Claire becomes one of CSM’s youngest presidents, succeeding President Emerita Shirley J. Kelly.
  • 2010 CSM opens new Health & Wellness Building
  • 2011 CSM celebrates opening of College Center
  • 2012 CSM celebrates its 90th anniversary and "50 years on the Hill."

About College of San Mateo[edit]

College of San Mateo is located at the northern corridor of Silicon Valley and situated on a beautiful 153-acre site in the San Mateo hills that provides a panoramic view of San Francisco Bay. Since 1922, CSM has been a gateway to higher education leading to university transfer, career preparation and advancement, and professional and personal development. The campus was designed by internationally recognized architect John Carl Warnecke.

The College currently serves approximately 10,000 day, evening and weekend students. CSM students reflect the diversity of the Bay Area and have a range of educational goals. To best serve its students, the curriculum offers a wealth of programs that include traditional, semester-length and short courses in addition to distance learning options. The college offers 79 A.A./A.S. degree majors, 75 certificate programs and approximately 100 transfer areas and majors. A virtual tour is available at


College of San Mateo is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.


Transfer Programs[edit]

CSM is proud of its transfer and degree completion rates which are among the highest in California. Students transfer to campuses of the UC and CSU systems as well as private colleges and universities throughout California and out-of-state. CSM offers transfer admission guarantees with seven of the nine UC campuses, nearly all of the CSU campuses and many private colleges in California. For more information about the transfer process, visit

Career and Technical Programs[edit]

At CSM, students have access to career and technical programs that prepare them to find meaningful and well paid positions and compete in today’s global economy. The college offers more than 75 programs in some of the fastest growing and exciting career areas including multimedia, green technologies, cosmetology, nursing, broadcasting, accounting, computer and information science, fire technology and dental assisting. For a list of career and technical programs visit

Student Life & Leadership[edit]

Students can experience a vibrant campus life to complement classroom learning and will find there are many ways to participate in the life of the college. CSM has more than 20 student clubs and organizations that provide an opportunity to be involved with other students in activities related to majors, special interests, cultures or community service. For students interested in developing and practicing leadership skills, student government provides the opportunity to participate in the decision making process of the college as well getting involved in activities that enhance the overall student experience at CSM. The college also offers a variety of athletic, educational and cultural activities throughout the year. More information is available by visiting


The college’s library, designed by John Carl Warnecke offers a scenic view of San Francisco Bay. The library’s print collection contains approximately 71,000 volumes, 125 print periodical subscriptions and approximately 17,000 online periodical s accessible through electronic databases. More than 60 online resources provide access to thousands of journals, magazines, newspapers and subject-based research sources. The library is a member of the Peninsula Library System (PLS) which includes 31 public libraries in San Mateo County and of Cañada and Skyline Colleges. PLS libraries share an integrated online public catalog with a common interface that provides access to the bibliographic records and locations of over 2,450,000 items in member libraries.

The library also houses the college archives, including the Photographic History Project, which help preserve and make accessible the printed and visual history of CSM and the San Mateo County community colleges.

Academic & Student Support Services[edit]

Learning Center[edit]

To ensure student success, CSM offers a comprehensive selection of academic and student support services. Resources include financial aid and scholarships, counseling, transfer services, tutoring, employment assistance, health services and child care. The college also offers an Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, Veterans Resource Center and comprehensive services for students with disabilities. For more information visit

Discipline-Specific Centers[edit]

To support student achievement and development, CSM’s Learning Center offers a variety of free programs and services including peer tutoring in a variety of subjects, up-to-date technology, mentoring, workshops, group study rooms, a computer center, and a friendly, comfortable place to study. In addition to the Learning Center, CSM has established a number of discipline-specific centers throughout the campus where student can receive one-on-one and small group tutoring and other instructional assistance.


CSM’s championship intercollegiate athletic teams compete at the highest community college level, offering student athletes an opportunity to participate in a team experience. The college offers the following men’s sports: football, baseball, track & field, cross country and swimming; and the following women’s sports: softball, basketball, track& field, cross country, water polo and swimming. For more information about athletics visit

Athletics Hall of Fame[edit]

In 2011, CSM established an Athletics Hall of Fame to honor the many athletes who achieve excellence in competition, coaches who made a difference in the lives of their athletes, and other contributes to help to build and maintain the college’s rich athletic heritage. Among the notable inductees are John Madden, former professional football coach, analyst and broadcaster; Archie Williams, 1936 Olympic gold medalist; and Bill Ring, former professional football player. Names of all of the inductees are on display in CSM’s Hall of Fame Plaza.

San Mateo Middle College[edit]

San Mateo Middle College is an alternative high school program serving grades 11 and 12 which operates on the CSM campus. Middle College students take three high school classes on campus with high school teachers and fill the remainder of their schedule with college courses. Middle College students come from the San Mateo Union High School District; students in the Cabrillo Unified School District may also eligible to participate with approval of the Middle College principal.

KCSM Jazz 91, Public Radio[edit]

KCSM-FM 91, located on CSM’s campus and licensed to the San Mateo County Community College District made its broadcast debut in 1964. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day and has a growing audience that currently totals more than 200,000 on air and 4,000 on the web. According to Arbitron, the station is among the top 35 “most listened to” non-commercial stations in the nation. KCSM-FM has the distinction as the only station in the Bay Area with a 24-hour jazz format. Hosts of the station’s programs include veteran jazz musicians, educators, seasoned jazz broadcasters and often a combination of the three. The station and the college co-host “Jazz On the Hill,” an all-day jazz concert, free to the community.

Notable Alumni[edit]

For a more comprehensive list, see Category:College of San Mateo alumni.

NFL Alumni John Madden of the Oakland Raiders and Bill Walsh of the SF 49ers, both played & coached at the College of San Mateo early in their careers. Bill Walsh was claimed by some to be the best NFL Coach "ever." He later retired from the 49ers to become the Athletic Director at Stanford University. See the College of San Mateo Sports Hall of Fame websites for details on he and many others.

Note: Some of the above-mentioned athletes were inducted into the College of San Mateo Sports Hall of Fame. New individuals are inducted annually at the Sports Hall of Fame Dinner.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

1 The San Mateo County Community College District is a three-college district that includes College of San Mateo, Cañada College in Redwood City and Skyline College in San Bruno.

External links[edit]

College of San Mateo website

Virtual Tour

Transfer Services

Career and Technical Programs

Student Life and Leadership


Photographic History Project

Academic & Student Support Services

Learning Resource Centers


San Mateo Middle College

KCSM Jazz 91, Public Radio