Clarissa M. Cota

2021-22 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow
Clarissa M. Cota has a distinguished 25-year career in higher education. As a proud member of a family with Mexican immigrant roots, she has seen firsthand the impact of educational attainment on family structures. She is passionate about improving educational access for all, aligning intentional pathways to the workforce and increasing student success outcomes by promoting innovation and making data-driven student focused change. She currently serves as the vice president/provost of the North Las Vegas Campus for the College of Southern Nevada. In 2018, she served as the interim vice president for academic affairs for the College of Southern Nevada and previously, as the interim dean for the School of Business, Hospitality and Public Service, department chair and professor of legal studies. The College of Southern Nevada is one of the largest community colleges in the country and serves close to 50,000 students.

She holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Arizona and is a member of the State Bar of Arizona. She has institutional accrediting experience and has served as the Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

She serves in numerous leadership roles with local and national boards, including chairing the HSI Task Force for the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) and serving as the American Council on Education (ACE) Office of Women in Higher Education, Nevada coordinator. She has been awarded academic recognitions including the president’s Outstanding Teaching Faculty Award for the College of Southern Nevada.