College of the Desert is being recognized as a champion of equity for underrepresented student populations

Pristine Villarreal

At College of the Desert, diversity is a strength.

For COD students Marquitia Salter and Timmy Tyson, a diverse culture of learning is helping them advance their higher educational journeys.

“College of the Desert has impacted me in the most tremendous way,” Salter said. “It makes me proud to be a student.”

“It gives you something to strive for outside of yourself,” Tyson said.

COD was recently recognized as a champion of equity for underrepresented student populations by the educational advocacy group, the Campaign for College Opportunity.

The group uses associate degrees for transfer as a measure of achievement.

“It says we’re moving in the right direction for our students especially for that disproportionate group,” Mary Eden, a COD faculty member and coordinator of the Black Student Success Center.

Eden says African Americans make up around 2 percent of the student population at COD.

She added that school resources are the keys to academic achievement.

“The sky’s the limit. If this is something you want to do, and this is your passion, you go ahead and you do it,” Eden said. “Because we are here for you, we want to support you and there’s no age limit for education.

As Tyson and Salter get ready to transfer to four-year universities, they say COD’s strength in diversity is opening new opportunities on their educational journeys.

“Education is always important,” Salter said. “And for those that are thinking about coming to COD, it’s the thing to do.”

This story was written and reported by Kai Beech. 

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