COD wins 2018 Bellwether Award

“In more than 1,200 community colleges nationwide, this is one of the highest honors an institution can receive.”



Photo Courtesy of College of the Desert.

College of the Desert was presented with the 2018 Bellwether award for the innovative EDGE (Engage, Develop, Grow, and be Empowered) program. The Bellwether award focuses on cutting-edge programs that other colleges may consider replicating.

The award was presented to COD at The Community College Futures Assembly that took place in Orlando, Fla. on Jan. 29-31. COD was the only community college to be a finalist for awards in two categories. EDGE was awarded in the category of instructional programs and services; this category recognizes programs which have been designed and put in effect successfully to ensure that the diverse needs of all students are met. COD was also nominated as one of ten finalists for the planning, governance and finance category.

“The Board of Trustees and I are extremely proud of this recognition of the efforts of everyone at College of the Desert,” said Superintendent/President Joel L. Kinnamon, Ed.D. “We have a really great story to tell and we’re proud the Assembly recognized its value to our students and their success.”

EDGE is a program at COD that supports students by providing a 3-week course reviewing basic math and English skills. Students work independently at their own pace. Once they successfully complete the EDGE program, participants are able to retake their college placement exams for higher-level classes.

Kevin Hebb, a COD English student says he has benefitted from EDGE, “the tutors were very patient and they were able to give me a rundown of what materials I should study to advance in math.”

The goal of the EDGE program is to help students prepare and learn the valuable skills it takes to become successful in college. Students who participate in EDGE can save time and money. For many students, the EDGE program has helped them to advance their college career.

“In more than 1,200 community colleges nationwide, this is one of the highest honors an institution can receive. The awards are similar to being selected by your peers, comparable to the Oscar or Emmy Award,” said Dale F. Campbell, Professor and Director of the University of Florida’s Institute of Higher Education.

Other advantages of EDGE includes early registration, help with financial aid applications, advice from dedicated counselors and access to books and computers. The upcoming summer EDGE program will run from June to August 2018.  Students who are interested in participating in the EDGE program should email or call 760-636-7970.

For more about the Edge program see this special interview with COD’s Vice Presidents of Student Success, Dr. Annebelle Nery. Video

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