Highlights from Paradise Campus History

1948 – The Paradise Improvement Association, a group of magnesium workers who stayed in Paradise Valley after World War II, got a $100,000 bond issue passed to construct what is now the UNLV Paradise Campus. It would serve as Paradise Elementary School to local children for almost 50 years.

1966 – Dwight Marshall led UNLV – then Nevada Southern University – in the beginnings of its continuing education programs, health sciences, and university research and development in a 23-year-tenure as the university’s first dean of outreach.  This was the beginning of what is now the Division of Educational Outreach, and its Continuing Education unit.

1971 – Continuing Education offered its first computer class, with “eight electronic desk calculators, eight programmable calculator-computers and eight terminals wired to a large XDS Sigma-7 computer.”

1971 – In response to new Nevada licensure requirements for real estate salespeople and brokers, Continuing Education began offering a 90-hour pre-licensing course. Jerry J. Kaufman, now a Nevada Supreme Court Settlement Judge, taught in the real estate program in the late 1980s, which he calls “the singular and most important privilege that I have enjoyed in my academic life.” Real estate classes are now primarily conducted by the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies.

1976 – Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology Dr. Larry Golding began “Exercise for Men & Women,” a study group of male and female subjects that would collect “more research data on exercise, aging and coronary risk than any other study in the world,” Golding has said. The study has shown that despite the aging process, those that exercise regularly and watch their diet will not lose muscle strength and flexibility like the general “unfit” population. As of 2004, 869 men and women from the community and university had participated. Twenty-eight of those have been in the class for 20 years or more.

1976 – In one of Continuing Education’s first forays into travel and exploration, then UNLV president Donald Baepler led a group of about 30 participants on a trip to South America and the Galapagos Islands. Since, students have gone white-water rafting in the Grand Canyon, toured California wine country, traveled to Kenya, China and Scotland and England, and, in collaboration with UNLV’s natural sciences department, helped to scientifically excavate an ancient Anasazi Indian village near Moapa. All kinds of exploration and adventures continue today – with, most recently, a trip to Antarctica at the end of 2012.

1984 - Chef Les Kincaid starting teaching cooking with the division. He has taught beginning, French, intermediate Italian, “Mojavian,” and American  cuisine, among others. He now also teaches cooking courses on ethnic and cultural cuisine from around the world at the Creative Cooking School of Las Vegas, and has also expanded into wine tasting classes.

1987 – In January, local musicians formed the UNLV Community Concert Band, now a 70-plus member band with high school students, seniors, and everyone in between. The band is about 80 percent community members and 20 percent UNLV. They hold up to three concerts each fall and spring, for a total of six each year.

1988 – Continuing Education and KLVX Channel 10 Public Television collaborated to produce a three episode comprehensive documentary film about the struggle and triumph of the American civil rights movement from 1954 to 1961. As a Continuing Education course with an academic credit option, students went to classroom history lectures and saw the film at home. This was Continuing Education’s first distance education project and led to several other collaborations with Channel 10.

1989Paul Aizley, a former UNLV math professor, chair of the Faculty Senate, Summer Term director and assistant to the president, became UNLV’s second dean of Continuing Education. He merged Summer Term with Continuing Education and helped establish the Extended Studies Center for Lifelong Learning (EXCELL), now known as the Osher Learning in Retirement Institute. A reorganization resulting in the College of Extended Studies also led to the Army ROTC, Physical Activities, Radiography and Gerontology coming under his authority.

1990 – The Southern Nevada Chapter of what is now the Society for Human Resource Management helped the Division of Educational Outreach design professional development classes for Human Resource practitioners in Nevada. More than 500 people have since gained Basic or Advanced certificates in Human Resources. In 1993, the department added preparatory classes for national certifications from the Society of Human Resource Management. Gary Cottino now teaches many of those classes.

1991 – UNLV’s original learning in retirement program, the Extended Studies Center for Lifelong Learning, welcomed its first 78 students, with Stephanie Smith serving as the group’s first elected president. Since then, it has grown to more than 300 members and 20 study groups. It’s now known as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNLV, is a part of Educational Outreach Programs for Older Students , and is open to those who are retired or semi-retired. Membership is $45 each semester. Programs for Older Students also administers the Academic 62+ program, in which seniors attend academic classes tuition-free on a space available basis during fall and spring semesters, and for 50 percent of the regular fee during Summer Term. Many seniors earn their college degree this way.

1993 – Dan Barber founded the University’s Paralegal Studies Certificate Program, which has graduated more than 1,000 students now employed in law firms and legal departments across Southern Nevada and the country. The program covers topics like tort, criminal, bankruptcy, contract, family, constitution, immigration and hospitality law, consists of 250 credit hours, and has been adopted an emulated at universities around the country – including Duke, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Emory, University of Miami, Xavier University, and Rice University.

1994 – Spurred by a 500 percent increase in Clark County students who grew up speaking a language other than English between 1986 and 1992, Continuing Education, UNLV’s College of Education, CCSD and KLVX Channel 10 Television partnered to provide Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) preparation for record numbers of new teachers. During the next six years, hundreds of teachers enrolled, watching televised classes transmitted to their individual school and meeting in the classroom four times during the course.

1996 – For seven years, Continuing Education collaborated with the Clark County School District and UNLV College of Education professor Bill Healy in offering the only speech pathology program in Southern Nevada. Prior to the program, the school district had about 150 unfilled positions for speech pathologists.

1997 – Victoria Campe, fashion designer and founder of the Nevada Association of Fashion Design (NAFD), partnered with the Division of Educational Outreach to offer what is now a 232-hour series of classes leading to an NAFD/UNLV Certificate in Fashion Design. Students learn creative and technical sides of fashion, refine their design, presentation and portfolio skills, and afterwards pursue careers as designers, illustrators, manufacturers, merchandisers, models, photographers and costumiers.

1998 – Paradise Elementary School moved its students to a new modern facility on the UNLV Campus. Paradise campus was refurbished to house the UNLV Law School.

2001 – Spurred by growing concerns about Lake Powell and Lake Mead water levels, Ken Wright led a short, comprehensive course about water rights systems in the context of geopolitical time. The course was repeated in 2002, and brought together stakeholders from all over the Western US.

2002 – The Law School moved into new buildings on the UNLV Campus. In September, the Division of Educational Outreach moved into the former elementary school under the direction of Interim dean Dawn Neuman.

2003 – Educational Outreach opened two state-of-the-art computer labs at its Paradise Campus location. Now, the Division has around 70 computer classes a semester, ranging from basic computing to advanced software and networking, both for the professional and those that just want to learn.

2004 – Richard C. Lee became the first Vice Provost for Educational Outreach for UNLV – previous leaders held the title of dean. Lee supervised the addition of campus-wide Distance Education Learning services to Continuing Education, and helped expand programs for senior citizens, the fastest growing demographic group in Las Vegas.