New Mexico State University Carlsbad was established in 1950 as the state’s first community college and was named the Carlsbad Instructional Center. Ten years later, the center was renamed as a branch campus of New Mexico State University. In 1980 the campus was relocated to a new building, which was expanded with an additional wing of classrooms in 1987 and again in 1996 by the addition of a computer facilities wing. Throughout its history, the campus has been responsive to the changing academic needs of the region and the immediate Carlsbad community. It has offered courses which apply directly to the university’s Las Cruces campus for graduation at the baccalaureate level.
NMSU Carlsbad has a facility of 142,000 square feet at its primary Carlsbad campus with more the 500 personal computers for faculty, staff, and student use. More than 400 are networked and have Internet access. The remaining computers are used for testing and teaching beginning computer skills in the ABE Program. The MSDP, a state-of-the-art training program located on campus, is equipped with computer-integrated manufacturing systems and equipment, such as computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, and computer numerically controlled systems (CAD/CAM/CNC).
The Board of Regents of New Mexico State University is the governing board of NMSU Carlsbad. Through an agreement between the Carlsbad Municipal School District and NMSU Carlsbad, the local elected Board of Education for the Carlsbad Municipal Schools serves as an advisory board for NMSU Carlsbad. The campus is a leader in the new NCA Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP). Specialized accreditation or certification is ongoing for the National League for Nursing, the New Mexico Board of Nursing, and the New Mexico State Department of Education.