From Needs to Degrees

COD Foundation’s Transformative Role Through the Fund for Student Success

I am personally thrilled by our growing number of dedicated community partners who believe in the potential of our College of the Desert (COD) students – and actively involve themselves in supporting their success. When I think about the groundbreaking innovation at COD in the healthcare, hospitality, automotive, solar energy, and aerospace industries, it’s truly spectacular! What an exciting time to be a COD student!

Very soon, these bright, resilient students will become proud graduates, adding to the 125,000 COD alumni already contributing to our Valley as skilled nurses, firefighters, EMTs, chefs, accountants, business leaders and more. With the knowledge that our alumni consistently give back to our community, generating nearly $400 million annually into our local economy, I am moved and inspired. This only furthers my commitment as Chair of the COD Foundation and its 40 years of advocating for the College in securing financial support and enhancing educational opportunities for all students.

The core mission of the COD Foundation is to provide support to the College, thus transforming the lives of its students. The Foundation assumes a 24/7 commitment to both understand and meet students’ financial, academic, and emotional needs, enabling them to fully appreciate their educational experience. When students speak, we listen. COD believes in education’s power to unlock potential, one student at a time.

Upon graduation, these high-achieving graduates are critical for excellence in our local workforce. Businesses need quality workers, and COD supplies them. Some launch careers locally; others earn a four-year degree before coming back to serve the community in essential fields. The impact of their contribution returns to its roots, with nearly 80% of students returning to the Valley, rendering the College a crucial link to our thriving economic success.

Over the past four decades, the COD Foundation has raised over $120 million to empower students who are struggling with paying tuition and childcare while managing the high cost of housing, transportation, and food to triumph in pursuit of their educational and career goals.

Our efforts to make higher education accessible – because state funding and financial aid fall short – don’t stop at free tuition and scholarships. Recent initiatives have allowed students to rent textbooks for $5 (instead of facing the hardship of a purchase cost of up to $950 per book) and to board our free Roadrunner Express shuttle bus, which connects COD campuses from the East Valley to the West.

By providing comprehensive access to education and removing significant financial and logistical barriers, we transform individual lives and cultivate a professional workforce, strengthening our Valley’s socio-economic infrastructure.

Together, we continue to seek strong community partners to join us in making a lifechanging impact on students and their families while advancing the economic growth of the Coachella Valley.

Join us as we shape the future of our community by educating local students. We celebrate and thank the dozens of strategic partners who are investing their time, training, and financial resources to grow and develop our current and future programming – our students thank you, too!

Diane Rubin
Chair, COD Foundation Board of Directors

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