“Access to services and education is a part of our mission at College of the Desert,” said Dr. Jessica Enders, Interim Executive Director of Institutional Advancement for College of the Desert. ‘We want to make sure that we’re providing readily available services to students across the valley, no matter where their location is.”
College of the Desert is further expanding its services to students across the valley.
“Usually Phase 1 is in Palm Desert and that’s really far away,” said Amy Medina, a Coachella Resident and future College of the Desert student. “There’s a lot of students here that don’t have amazing transportation and sometimes it can be far away.”
Many students travel more than half an hour to get to the main campus in Palm Desert., but now campus will be a little closer to home.
On Thursday, College of the Desert Board of Trustees unanimously approved a five-year lease of an office space at Pueblo Viejo Villas opening a new student services center at the location on Cesar Chavez and Sixth Streets in Coachella.
“We’re expanding opportunities for access,” said Dr. Enders. “We want to make sure the students have readily accessible services so that if they are impacted by transportation or a limited schedule… that we’re meeting their needs where they’re at.”
College of the Desert previously extended educational resources to students who reside in the area, and this new expansion will provide additional services.
“We started offering services at the Coachella Library,” said Dr. Enders. “Since we already have those classes on the ground, we wanted to make sure they have access to tutoring, workshops, counselors, (and) financial aid. The adult school is right across the street from the library, so we see it as creating a bridge from adult school into credit courses at College of the Desert.”
At the same time COD expands to Coachella, questions arise about the planned Palm Springs campus that has been a work in progress for years.
“We’re not under construction yet. We do have the property that is acquired and we’re still in the planning phases,” said Dr. Enders. “We do actually have our temporary Palm Springs campus that is open and available for services. Students can come now and get the support that they need in Palm Springs.’”
As of now, the College of the Desert Palm Springs campus is expected to be complete in 2025, and the student services center in Coachella in the spring of 2022.
“It is our desire to expand services across the valley and we’re already at the Coachella site so this is an opportunity to quickly make an impact and provide those services,” said Dr. Enders. “We want to bring College of the Desert to the students.”