What programs and services are available for students?

California Mini-Corps

The California Mini-Corps program is a statewide program that places college students in local elementary and high schools in an effort to develop future teachers. College of the Desert students who join the Mini-Corps program will provide academic support to students from migrant family backgrounds and serve as a liaison between the child’s parents and the local school systems. To be eligible to participate in the Mini-Corps program, a student should come from a migrant family background and be enrolled in 12 semester units. To learn more or to request an application, please call (760) 862-1316.


Any student attending College of the Desert who is receiving financial assistance through the county and state programs of CalWORKs/GAIN or DPSS may receive services designed to assist them in obtaining their educational goals through this program. These services include assistance in obtaining county book vouchers, work study opportunities, individualized academic counseling, and other support services. For additional information about CalWORKs, please visit the CalWORKs office located on the second floor of the Cravens Student Services Center or call (760) 862-1343.

Career & Workforce Solutions Center 

The mission of the Career and Workforce Solutions Center (CWSC) is to enhance student success by empowering students with the tools and skills necessary to be active participants in their career development. The CWSC supports the economic vitality of the Coachella Valley and beyond by serving as a bridge between individuals seeking gainful employment and diverse industries needing to attract and retain a skilled and educated workforce.

The CWSC provides comprehensive career services that guide, engage, and inspire students to reach their full potential by maximizing campus, community, and technology resources. Services offered through the CWSC include career assessments, career counseling, work experience classes, workshops, in-class presentations, and assistance with COD JobHub, our electronic job board, which includes detailed information on career and job opportunities. The CWSC is located at the west end of the Administration Building. For more information, please call (760) 674-7799. 

Counseling Center

The primary goal of the Counseling Center is to provide learning opportunities for students to clarify their values and goals, to make decisions, and to develop self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-direction as related to their educational objectives.

Toward this goal, the staff of highly trained and diversely experienced professional counseling faculty are available to assist students with identifying their needs, assessing their strengths, and overcoming barriers. Counselors assist students in selecting the appropriate programs of study relative to their chosen objectives. Educational objectives may include completion of a vocational program, meeting major requirements for transfer to a four-year college or university, enhancement of employment skills, or improvement of basic skills. Services available include:

  • Academic, Career, and Personal Counseling
  • Development of Student Educational Plans (SEPs)
  • New Student Orientation
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Student Success and Study Skill Development Courses and Workshops
  • Information about Campus Resources and Financial Aid

Counseling services are offered to day and evening students. Appointments are encouraged and can be made by telephone or in person. Counselors are also available on a limited basis for drop-in counseling. To see a counselor or to obtain more information, please visit the Counseling Center, located on the second floor of the Cravens Student Services Center, or call (760) 773-2521.

Counseling Services are also available at the Indio Campus and Mecca-Thermal Campus. Appointments can be made by calling (760) 776-7200 for Indio or (760) 396-2010 for Mecca-Thermal.

Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS)

Students with disabilities at the College participate in the same activities and courses as any other student. Specialized services and mandated accommodations are offered to provide a more equitable classroom experience and to help successfully integrate the student into college life. Services and accommodations are determined by an interactive process with a DSPS counselor regarding disability related limitations to accessing the educational environment. Interested students must meet with a DSPS counselor to apply for these services.

Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) is located on the first floor of the Cravens Student Services Center and provides specialized instructional opportunities to qualified students. Specialized instructional programs include the DSPS High Tech Center, Learning Disability Assessment, WorkAbility III, and Adapted Kinesiology courses.

The WorkAbility III program also offers specialized courses, employment counseling, and placement assistance in cooperation with the California Department of Rehabilitation.

Participation in DSPS services is voluntary. For more information, please call (760) 773-2534, email DSPS, or visit the DSPS website for additional information.

EDGE — Engage. Develop. Grow. Empower.

EDGE is a 3-week program that offers a fast-paced review of basic skills in Math and/or English along with student development workshops. At the end of the program, students have the opportunity to retake their college assessment test potentially removing some (or all) of the basic skills courses required. EDGE provides college students with a full range of experiences to "Engage, Develop, Grow, and [be] Empowered." Students who participate and successfully complete the EDGE program are able to take advantage of many opportunities, including:

  • Math and/or Writing/Reading Review
  • Priority Registration
  • $100 COD Book Voucher
  • Access to Textbooks and Computers during participation in EDGE
  • Convenient, Fast-Paced Curriculum
  • Dedicated Faculty, Counselors, and Staff
  • College Student Success Strategies
  • Assistance with Financial Aid Applications and Financial Literacy Exposure
  • A chance to place into higher level classes, saving time and money to pursue a college degree!

For additional information about EDGE, please email or call (760) 636-7970.


The Extended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS) program is a State-funded program designed to provide "Over and Above" support services to students who are from educationally and financially disadvantaged backgrounds. EOPS promotes student success with priority one registration, educational planning, progress monitoring, and assistance with the cost of required textbooks. Participation in this program is limited to California residents who are eligible to receive the Board of Governors (BOG) Enrollment Fee Waiver A or B, are in good academic standing, are enrolled full-time, and have an educational disadvantage.

EOPS students who are single, head of household, CalWORKs/TANF recipients may also be eligible to participate in the Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) program. CARE provides specialized counseling and workshops, as well as transportation services and financial assistance with child care expenses.

For additional information about the EOPS and CARE programs, please visit the EOPS/CARE office located on the second floor of the Cravens Student Services Center or call (760) 773-2539.

Financial Aid

College of the Desert provides a variety of financial assistance for eligible students. Federal grants, state grants, fee waivers, scholarships (need based and non-need based), and part-time employment opportunities are available through the Financial Aid Office. All students are encouraged to apply. For more information, please visit the Financial Aid Office webpage.

Apply for Financial Aid

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online beginning October of each year. Be sure to list COD’s school code (001182). Students must have a current COD admissions application on file with the Admissions & Records Office.

Students who qualify for AB540 and who do not meet FAFSA citizenship requirements can apply for and receive State financial aid including the BOG Fee Waiver and Cal Grant by completing the California Dream Act Application online beginning October of each year. Be sure to list COD's school code (001182).​

Workshops are available to assist students with completing their FAFSA or Dream Act Application. Please refer to the Financial Aid Office webpage for workshop dates, times, and locations.

After the Financial Aid Office receives FAFSA or Dream Act Application, students may be required to submit additional documents directly to the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid status can be viewed by logging on to the Student Self Service Portal via WebAdvisor on MyCOD Portal. A student's financial aid file will be reviewed to determine eligibility and the student will be notified via MyCOD email. If eligible, the BOG Fee Waiver will be awarded automatically once FAFSA or Dream Act Applications are reviewed.

Financial Aid Programs

  • Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Cal Grant B
  • Cal Grant C
  • Chafee Grant
  • Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver (BOGW)
  • Federal Work Study
  • Scholarships
  • Book Authorizations
  • Full Time Student Success Grant

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to maintain eligibility for most forms of financial aid, a student must be meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standard. College of the Desert is required to determine whether a student is making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward his or her educational goal (AA, AS, certificate or transfer). This policy applies to all students whether or not they were previous recipients of financial aid. All students receiving financial aid are required to meet the following standards:

  • Be enrolled in an eligible program.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).
  • Complete at least 67% of all coursework attempted.
  • Complete educational goal within the maximum time frame (150%) of the published unit requirement.

For more information on College of the Desert’s SAP policy, please visit the Financial Aid Office webpage.  

Minimum Requirements for the Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGW)

Once a student is qualified for the BOGW, it is important to ensure that academic and progress standards are met in order to avoid losing it. Any combination of two consecutive terms of cumulative GPA below 2.0 and/or cumulative unit completion of not more than 50% may result in the loss of the BOGW eligibility. For more information, please visit academic and progress standards. 


COD’s scholarship program provides scholarship opportunities to new, current, and transferring students. The COD Foundation Scholarship application is available online at the Financial Aid Office webpage during the fall semester of each academic year. External scholarships are posted on the Financial Aid website under scholarships. 

The College is fortunate to assist in the coordination and delivery of a number of external or private scholarship awards from various civic groups, clubs, and agencies. Potential donors or scholarship committee chairpersons are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office or the COD Foundation Office if assistance is needed in establishing or implementing a private scholarship program. For more information, please call (760) 776-7435.

Repayment of Funds

In accordance with federal regulations, students who receive federal financial aid and withdraw from or receive FW grades in their classes for the semester may be required to repay any unearned grant funds they have received. Students who drop or withdraw from a portion of their classes may have an adjustment made to their second disbursement or may be required to repay a portion or the entire grant. All money received in the form of Pell Grants and/or Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) will be subject to repayment requirements. Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the Federal formula. For additional information, please visit Financial Aid webpage and click on Award Information, and click on Drops, Withdrawals, and Repayment of Funds.

Foster Youth (FY) Services

Foster Youth (FY) Services is designed for current or former foster youth. To be eligible for FY Services, a student must have been in a County foster youth services program from age 13 and up and provide official documentation from the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS). FY Services promotes student success with priority one registration, enrollment assistance, educational planning, and assistance with completing the Chafee Grant application process as well as the Burton Book Fund Application. FY Services also provides community resources and referrals.

For additional information about Foster Youth (FY) Services, please visit the EOPS/CARE Office Suite located on the second floor of the Cravens Student Services Center or call (760) 776-7498.

International Education Program

College of the Desert believes that international students add to the multiculturalism and diversity of our campus. International Education is an active program with nearly 200 international students from 30 different countries studying at COD. The International Education Program office is committed offering extensive services to support international students throughout their studies at COD and the Intensive English Academy. Services include orientation, counseling, university transfer assistance, activities, immigration advising, and housing assistance. Although there are no dormitories on campus, the International Education Program office works closely with the International Student Placements organization to arrange homestays for our students. We also offer information regarding off-campus apartments. In addition to serving international students, the International Education Program facilitates study abroad participation for any interested COD students.

Obtain the International Student Application online, or contact the office at:  

    International Student Office
    43500 Monterey Avenue
    Palm Desert, CA 92260    
    by email
    by telephone: 001-760-776-7205
    or by fax: 001-760-862-1361

Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Program (MESA)

MESA is an academic enrichment program that serves students who are seeking degrees in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields who are educationally and financially disadvantaged students. MESA emphasizes participation by students from groups with traditionally low rates of eligibility to four-year institutions.

MESA offers curricular and extracurricular services to increase the numbers of students who transfer and ultimately graduate with degrees in math-based and science-based fields. These areas include, but are not limited to, physical sciences, life sciences, computer science, engineering, pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-pharmacy. The MESA Program provides support through the following:

  • Academic Excellence Workshops
  • Tutoring
  • MESA Student Study Center (MSTC, Room 146)
  • Textbook Loans
  • Career Advising
  • Internship and Job Information
  • Transfer Assistance to Four-year Institutions
  • Scholarship and Financial Aid Assistance
  • Online Orientation Course for Math and Science Majors
  • Field Trips to Universities, Industry Sites, and Special Events
  • Part-time Student Employment

Through participation in the MESA Program, students will:

  • Develop a command of collaborative work skills in their chosen field of study and exhibit the appropriate study skills to master the material.
  • Identify long-term support systems including faculty, on-campus resources, professional organizations, and potential employers.
  • Produce an educational plan that outlines the requirements needed for transfer to and completion of a degree at a four-year institution.
  • Develop a resume in order to obtain internships to professionally develop themselves for tomorrow’s workforce.
  • Demonstrate the confidence required to successfully navigate the academic process at their transfer institution.

The MESA Program is administered by the School of Mathematics and Sciences and is located in the Math Science Technology Center, Room 146. For additional information, call (760) 776-7455 or email Carl Farmer, Director. You can also scan below to fill out an application today:

Program QR Code

McCarthy Family Child Development & Training Center

The McCarthy Family Child Development & Training Center (MFCDTC) is nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). MFCDTC serves as the model lab/demonstration program for the Early Childhood Education Department and related disciplines at College of the Desert. College students perform observations and participate in on-the-job training as well as conduct student teaching in the Center. The Center welcomes and supports children ages 12 months to 5 years from diverse backgrounds with differing abilities in a safe and welcoming setting. Responsive and professional teachers and caregivers build trusting relationships with the children and families. Children learn by doing in an environment that offers challenge and support. We proudly serve College of the Desert students, faculty, staff, and local community members. The children of COD students receive priority enrollment into the Center; however, all are welcome to apply. The Center’s fees are determined on a sliding fee schedule based on family income. For more information, please call the Center at (760) 862-1308.

New Horizons Book Loan Program

The New Horizons Book Loan program provides low-income students with books for eligible courses. The book loan program is funded through the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act of 1998 (VTEA), a state funded grant to improve the vocational and technical education programs in California. To be eligible to participate in the book loan program, students must be recipients of the Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGW) and meet other specified criteria. To learn more or to request an application, please call (760) 773-2571.

Transfer Center

Located next to the Counseling Center in the Cravens Student Services Center, the Transfer Center is available to assist students with completing the transfer process to a four-year institution. A resource library of select college catalogs and reference materials are also available. Services include counseling, workshops, and assistance in completing transfer applications to CSU, UC, independent, or out-of-state colleges and universities. Counselors and university representatives are available by appointment to work with prospective transfer students.

Each spring and fall the Transfer Center hosts a College and University Day, during which representatives from various public and private four-year institutions are available to meet with students who are planning to transfer. In the spring, students are awarded with Transfer Certificates and medallions at the annual Transfer Recognition Ceremony. For more information about available transfer services, please call (760) 862-1351.  


The TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) programs, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, seeks to assist low-income, first generation college students to complete their degrees and transfer to four-year institutions. Currently, COD supports three TRiO SSS programs: SSS-ACES, SSS-DSPS and the SSS-Veterans programs. The programs provide free one-on-one counseling, graduation and transfer assistance, tutorial services, college tours, and priority enrollment for eligible participants. 

All SSS programs are open to any COD student who meets low-income criteria and who would be the first in their family to attain a college degree. SSS-ACES serves the general student population while SSS-DSPS has a similar eligibility criteria; however, it has a special focus on assisting students who have verified disabilities. The SSS-Veterans program aims to help veteran students succeed academically. The eligibility requirements are the same as the other two SSS programs; however, participants have to be military veterans or reservists.

Students interested in participating in the programs should visit the following TRiO offices in South Annex rooms 10 & 12 or call the following numbers:

    SSS-ACES: (760) 776-7347
    SSS-DSPS: (760) 636-7940
    SSS-Veterans: (760) 674-7805

TRiO-Upward Bound

Upward Bound (UB) is a TRIO program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The UB program provides academic and counseling support to local low-income high school students who would be first-generation college students. The UB program requires students to attend two Saturday Academies per month and a six-week summer program. Some benefits of the program include academic and cultural field trips, SAT and ACT preparation, and financial support. For more information, please visit the TRIO Programs office located South Annex room 10, or call (760) 773-2541 to request an application.

Veterans Resource Center (VRC)

Veteran Services

The Mission of the BIGHORN Golf Club Charities Veterans Resource Center (VRC) provides critical service and support for our veterans; active-duty, National Guard and Reserve military personnel; their spouses and dependents; and faculty and staff. We assist our veterans' transition back into civilian life as they learn to navigate the California Community College system and support the success, retention, and educational need of our students.

The VRC provides the following services: Veterans Academic Counselor; VA School Certifying Official who processes certification of VA education benefits for all chapters; study space with access to computers, internet, and printer; opportunities to meet and socialize with other student veterans at the college; and home for the College of the Desert's Student Veterans Organization (COD SVO).

For additional information or assistance, stop by the VRC located in the Cravens Student Services Center Room 125, visit their webpage, call (760) 773-2536, or email Veterans.