College of the Desert chooses new president

College of The Desert has chosen its new president to lead the campus as they prepare for the return this fall semester. The new president has a close connection to our valley as she has spent most of her career helping run colleges in the neighboring valley.

“He said congratulations to me, you are the future superintendent / president of College Of The Desert and I stayed silent and asked him, are you serious,” explained Dr. Martha Garcia, new superintendent and president of the College. Of The Desert.

Dr Martha Garcia will begin her new role at Desert University at the end of August and is deeply rooted here in the Coachella Valley, she is no stranger to the needs of Coachella Valley students.

When asked about the College of the Desert’s expansion plans, she explained that the main goal was to provide access to students from across the valley.

“We really demonstrate access, access is the first step on a journey to success,” Garcia said.

After visiting many Cod campuses, Garcia shared plans for possible expansions and what we can expect at the new COD Palm Springs campus in 2025.

“I really want to share with Palm Springs City Council and the community what’s going to happen there, and I can tell you it’s very innovative. This is the first community college in California to have a learning hotel, ”Garcia revealed.

The Learning Hotel was born out of a similar idea where campuses featured learning restaurants providing students with a hands-on opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the hospitality industry.

Garcia also led an initiative to create a small family village in El Centro for students facing housing insecurity at Imperial Valley College, an initiative she said could be replicated at the College of the Desert.

“During the most difficult time I have experienced in all of my graduate studies. We have been able to develop a community of which I am very proud, of which the community is proud, in partnership with the city of El Centro, in partnership with the IVC Foundation, and it is truly a testimony of commitment to do our best. can for the most vulnerable students, ”Garcia said.

And when it comes to getting a COD campus in Coachella City, Dr Garcia says she’s following those conversations closely.

“If this comes to pass, it’s another example of the commitment to serving students in their community,” Garcia explained.

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