President Garcia speaks about vision and growth at the State of the College Address


Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. Superintend/President Martha Garcia.

Superintendent/President Martha Garcia shared the progress on developing projects at College of the Desert and how it’s maintaining accessible quality education to students in a State of the College address on Oct. 26 in Indian Wells. The theme was “COD Rising,” a vision of College of the Desert’s future growth across its campuses.

These plans include the Indio and Palm Springs campuses. The Indio Expansion Project will renovate the existing facility in addition to a new building. Garcia says the facility will accommodate 10,000 students, doubling the Indio campus’s current enrollment, once it’s complete in the summer of 2023. The expansion will introduce the Child Development Center with toddler and preschool programs and the construction of outdoor play yards for the youth.

Garcia additionally gave insight into the Palm Springs Development Project Phase 1 and its ability to provide West Valley residents with educational opportunities. The campus will focus on programs such as hospitality, culinary arts, and digital media. College of the Desert plans to construct the Roadrunner Motors facility to go along with the desert’s in-demand automotive technology program. Both projects anticipate being in completion by 2026.

Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. (Left to Right) Superintendent/President Martha Garcia, Dr. ElShafie, Grecia Siono and Josue Garcia.

“Planning takes effort, vision, and the ability to dream of what could be,” Garcia states, “From our facilities to our academic offerings, if we choose to settle for good enough, we stop growing and evolving,” explaining COD’s values and goals for students’ higher education.

Garcia said that this semester’s student enrollment has increased by over 1,000 compared to last fall’s semester and hopes to recover enrollment back to where it was before the pandemic. By maintaining this goal, Garcia spoke about guided pathways to connect students with support services such as Foster Youth.

College of the Desert provides opportunities for accessible programs like the NASA Curriculum Program. The program assists in developing courses equipped with labs and technology while also supporting summer internships led by faculty Dr. Ahmed ElShafie and Dr. Michael Gariety. NASA student Grecia Siono, crosses the border every week, choosing College of the Desert because of the supporting faculty and hands-on experience for student granting opportunities.

Garcia reiterates the importance of the school’s programs: reaffirming a future for faculty and students. These upcoming projects will guarantee accessible outlets to education throughout the valley, following consistency in providing students with the proper resources to continue on in their careers.