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About CSM

Realize your Potential

Contact Us

College of Southern Maryland
8730 Mitchell Road
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910

CSM History

The College of Southern Maryland is rich in history with a promising and exciting future ahead.  The college's history dates to 1958 when the Charles County Community College was established as part of the continuing expansion of the community college within America.  At its inception in 1958, the college was governed by the Charles County Board of Education, with the first classes being held at La Plata High School in the evenings. The Friendly Hall Campus, which is now the La Plata campus, was established in 1968. The college expanded its services to St. Mary's County in 1978 and Calvert County in 1980.

On July 1, 2000 the college officially became the College of Southern Maryland (CSM), a regional college serving Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties. Today, College of Southern Maryland is known as a progressive, innovative and technologically-advanced institution. As a regionally-accredited institution that prides itself on delivering high quality educational services, it also serves as a catalyst for business, industry and government to identify the resources needed to grow and maintain a healthy economy and community. 

CSM offers an array of associate's degree programs, industry certifications, career training, wellness and fitness activities, and is home to the Corporate and Community Training Institute. CSM prepares its students for transfer to bachelor's degree programs and provides the tools and resources needed to immediately succeed in a competitive marketplace.


  • 1958 - Charles County Community College is established with evening classes at La Plata High School.
  • 1965 - Dr. J. N. Carsey is appointed the college’s first president.
  • 1968 - Construction begins on the La Plata Campus at its permanent 173-acre site on Mitchell Road with the Career Education and Administration Building.
  • 1969 - The college is accredited by the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education and a separate Board of Trustees is created.
  • 1970 - Construction continues on the La Plata Campus with the Science and Technology Building, the Learning Resource Center, Gymnasium, and Student Services Center.   
  • 1978 - The Community College at St. Mary’s County is established at Great Mills High School.
  • 1980 - The Community College at Calvert County is established.
  • 1982 - Dr. John Sine is appointed the college’s second president.
  • 1983 - The Fine Arts Center is constructed and the Maryland Center for Environmental Training opens at the La Plata Campus. 
  • 1996 - The Center for Business and Industry on the La Plata Campus is constructed.
  • 1997 - The Leonardtown Campus is established at its current location. The Waldorf Center for Higher Education opens as the college joins with University of Maryland University College (UMUC) to offer linked bachelor’s degree programs locally.
  • 1998 - Dr. Elaine Ryan is appointed the college’s third president.
  • 2000 - College of Southern Maryland (CSM) is established, joining all the campuses as a regional college serving Southern Maryland.
  • 2003 - The Leonardtown Campus is expanded with the addition of Building C.
  • 2004 - CSM is reaccredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • 2005 - The Prince Frederick Campus opens at its new location with its flagship building. CSM completes construction of the St. Charles Children’s Learning Center on the La Plata Campus.
  • 2006 - Dr. Bradley M. Gottfried is appointed the college’s fourth president. The Entrepreneurial   Center is established at the Leonardtown Campus to better serve new businesses. 
  • 2008 - CSM celebrates 50th Anniversary. CSM Foundation receives largest gift in CSM history - $1 million donation from Dr. Francis P. Chiaramonte. The Science and Technology Building is re-opened after a state-of-the-art renovation. CSM accepts 99-year lease on athletics fields in Charles County.
  • 2009 - The CSM Foundation completes first major fund raising campaign raising $7.7 million. CSM opens Center for Trades and Energy Training in Waldorf, MD for workforce training programs.
  • 2010 - The Leonardtown Campus opens new Wellness and Aquatics Center. The Center for Nuclear Energy Training also opens.
  • 2011 - CSM breaks ground on La Plata Campus Business Building (BU) renovation.
  • 2012 - CSM breaks ground for second building on Prince Frederick Campus and opens the La Plata Campus Business Building.
  • 2013 - Prince Frederick Campus dedicates its first building built to LEED-Certified standards. CSM breaks ground for the Community Education renovation on La Plata Campus.
  • 2014 - CSM is reaccredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. CSM opens the La Plata Campus Community Education building and purchases land in Hughesville for new Regional Campus.