College of the Desert (COD), located in Riverside County’s Coachella Valley, opened in Palm Desert in Sept. 1962.
The 160-acre campus offers transfer students an affordable option for starting college and transferring to a four-year institution. It is the top source of transfer students to California State University, San Bernardino, offering a number of vocational and technical programs, including nursing and health sciences, digital design and production, turf grass management and ornamental horticulture, advanced transportation technologies, and a full range of administration of justice courses at the new public safety academy training facility. The college also offers courses at its Eastern Valley Center in Indio, and its new Mecca/Thermal campus opened in 2009.
The College of the Desert is a nationally recognized leader in renewable energy and alternative fuel training. It is the administrative home to the Advanced Transportation Technology and Energy (ATTE) statewide initiative and operates one of seven centers established by the California Community Colleges to develop curriculum and conduct training for workforce development in emerging transportation and energy industries.
The surrounding community strongly supported the passage of a $346.5 million bond measure in 2004 to upgrade the college’s infrastructure, renovate buildings and construct new facilities Completed construction projects include an infrastructure upgrade, a new alumni center, public safety academy, student services building and a nursing complex. Classrooms, the cafe and athletic field lighting were renovated. Numerous projects are in the design phase.