Individuals who meet any one of the following criteria are eligible to attend College of the Desert:
- Have graduated from high school
- Have passed the CA High School Proficiency Exam or
- Have passed the GED Examination or
- 18 years of age or older and can benefit from instruction
Certain programs have special admission requirements.
For those interested, the Adult Basic Education (ABE) program provides an alternative way to complete high school graduation requirements. For more information, contact 760.776.7318.
In accordance with the California Education Code 76000-76002, College of the Desert will consider students K-12th grades only for concurrent enrollment as Special Admit Students. The College authorizes the admission of special admit students, who are highly talented and/or highly gifted minor students without high school diplomas, who can benefit from advanced scholastic or career/technical work. The responsibility to make the determination of the student’s preparation belongs to the school district in which the student is enrolled. To be considered for admission as a special part-time or full-time student, the student must meet the eligibility standards established in Education Code, Sections 48800 and 76001. Special part- time and full-time students are given low enrollment priority in accordance with AB 967.
Courses in which high school and other young students are permitted to enroll will be open to the entire college population, and will be taught with the rigor appropriate to college-level courses in accordance with the approved course outline.
Authority to restrict the admission or enrollment of a special part-time or full-time student in any session based on age, grade-level completion, current school performance, or assessment and placement procedures in conformance with matriculation regulations remains the prerogative of the College. Admission or enrollment is based on demonstration that the student is capable of profiting from instruction. The Dean of Enrollment Services has the authority to make the final decision whether a student can benefit from instruction.
The school of attendance maintains the right to apply course credits earned by the student.
The parent or guardian of a pupil not enrolled in a public school retains the ability to petition directly to the Superintendent/President or designee for the pupil’s special admission on a part- time or full-time basis.
If a request for special part-time or full-time enrollment is denied for a pupil who has been identified as highly talented and/or highly gifted, the Board shall provide written findings and reasons for the denial within 60 days. A recommendation regarding the request for admission, and the denial shall be submitted to the Board at a regularly scheduled meeting that falls at least 30 days after the request for admission has been submitted.
High School Students
To be considered for admission as a special part-time or full-time student, the student must meet the eligibility standards established in Education Code, section 48800.05. Special part-time and full-time students are given low enrollment priority in accordance with AB 967. Full-time students are subject to full tuition and fees. Tuition as well as all fees, except parking, if applicable, are waived for part-time students. The application is available under the Admissions & Records webpage of the College website.
The Dean of Enrollment Services will review the materials and will determine if the student has the abilities and sufficient preparation to benefit from instruction at the college. The decision of the Dean of Enrollment Services shall be final. This determination may be done by one or more of the following options:
- a review of the materials submitted by the student;
- meeting with the student and his/her parent or guardian;
- consultation with appropriate college staff;
- consideration of the welfare and safety of the student and others; and/or
- consideration of local, state, and/or federal laws.
College of the Desert will admit high school students for enrollment to the College who are eligible to participate based on the criteria established below.
The student must be recommended by his/her high school principal or designee. As part of the approval process, the principal or designee must verify through consent and signature on the High School Concurrent Enrollment Application Form that the recommended student can benefit from college instruction. A pupil who is not enrolled in a public or private school does not need to provide written acknowledgment from his/her school principal.
A parent/guardian consent and signature on the High School Concurrent Enrollment Form, verifying parental/guardian approval of student’s participation, must be submitted in addition to the College application by the established deadlines. Parents/guardians must also acknowledge on the High School Concurrent Enrollment Form that the student will be expected to conform to all College policies.
Concurrent enrollment students are enrolled in a college course. As such, the instructor works directly with the student. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), instructors are not required to discuss student performance or other student-related issues with parents/guardians.
College of the Desert will admit high school students who meet the following conditions:
- Students wishing to enroll in courses must have a cumulative high school grade point average of 3.0 or better as reflected on their most recent official high school transcript.
- For all courses attempted, students must complete the appropriate College assessment process and meet the stated prerequisite(s) and/or co-requisite(s) for the desired course.
The following are not allowed:
- Physical Education classes
- Beginning music performance or art activity courses
- Recreation or hobbies
Students who wish to be considered for enrollment in a Career Tech program (ex: Automotive) who do not meet the grade point average (3.0) required for Concurrent Enrollment/Special Admit Students may be granted admission by exception; the student must submit a letter of recommendation by the COD instructor along with the required Concurrent Enrollment Application. An assessment test may not be required if the course selected by the student does not have a prerequisite.
Limitations on Enrollment
- A high school student may be permitted to enroll in up to 11 units (or up to 15 units if the student is enrolled in a College and Career Access Pathway). The Dean of Enrollment Services may make exceptions, subject to consideration and approval.
- Students may not enroll in physical education activity courses.
- Students who have previously enrolled and who have dropped their courses and/or have not made satisfactory progress will not be allowed to continue in the college program without approval from the Dean of Enrollment Services.
- Students will not receive priority enrollment status.
- Part-time students will have enrollment fees waived.
Summer Enrollment of K-12 Students
To be considered for admission as a special summer session student, the student must meet the eligibility standards as established in Education Code Sections 48800 and 76001.
Students will not be admitted unless they have availed themselves of all opportunities to enroll in equivalent courses at their schools of attendance.
In addition to the above, minor students wishing to attend summer session must submit:
- written and signed parental or guardian consent;
- written and signed approval of his/her principal that the student has availed himself/herself of all opportunities to enroll in an equivalent course at his/her school of attendance; and
- demonstration that the student has adequate preparation in the disciplines to be studied.
All required documents shall be submitted to the Office of Admissions & Records.
Dual Enrollment at Public High Schools
The College has partnered with Coachella Valley, Desert Sands, and Palm Springs Unified School Districts to offer Dual Enrollment as well as College and Career Access Pathways courses. In accordance with protocols established by the state, admission is restricted to students from the high school or school district as outlined by each agreement in place. If you have questions, please contact the counseling center at your local public high school.
High School Students Admittance into Career Technical Education Classes
CTE Transitions is defined in the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act (Perkins) as a national strategy designed to prepare high school students for improving their academic knowledge and technical skills. High school students who fulfill course specific requirements in Career and Technical Education completer programs can earn college credits for their secondary coursework through the completion of articulated courses. The CTE Transitions Model combines at least two years of secondary and two years of postsecondary education in rigorous academic standards and technical hands-on learning to form a balanced and practical program of study or career pathway development in high school and ROP CTE classes, and/or college classes. This effectively results in a well-rounded educational experience and the increased likelihood of high school graduation and college enrollment in pursuit of post-secondary degrees and/or certificates of completion. CTE Transitions prepares students to be college and career ready.
Admittance into Performing Arts Classes for Minor Students
All K-12 students who have auditioned and been accepted for a performing role in a theatre arts or music production must submit the online COD Application for Admission, the High School Concurrent Enrollment application, and written permission of the appropriate dean and faculty member.
Applicants whose scholastic achievement at another college represents less than a “C” average may be admitted for a restricted academic program. Satisfactory performance in this work may allow admission to subsequent semesters. Admission on probation is a privilege granted, not a right of the applicant.
The Nursing department has a screening process and supplemental application for their candidates due to department requirements and enrollment limitations for Nursing. Students accepted in the Nursing Program must follow the requirements as set forth by the State Board of Nursing. Policies and Procedures are in the Nursing Handbook. Information regarding this application is available on the School of Health Sciences & Education webpage.
College of the Desert welcomes applications from international students and offers a full-service International Student Program to support students throughout their studies. In order to be considered for admission, international students must complete the online International Student Application form. (International students should not apply through CCCApply.) In addition to the application, applicants must submit proof of adequate funding for studies at COD and verification of high school/secondary school graduation. Applicants must also submit a minimum TOEFL score of 400 (paper-based test) or 40 (internet-based test). For more information, visit the International Education webpage or send an email.
All international students must purchase the COD international health insurance plan. International students are also required to enroll for a minimum of 12 units each semester to maintain their F-1 visa status. Students in this status must pay foreign student tuition and capital outlay fees.
Students wishing to study at the Intensive English Academy (IEA) may also apply using the online International Student Application form. Students applying for the IEA do not need to submit a TOEFL score. Students can choose from 8-week and 16-week programs at the IEA. The IEA is offered on a full-time basis and offers various entry dates throughout the year. International students in the IEA will benefit from 30 hours per week of English instruction in both the classroom and language lab. Students in the IEA must purchase COD’s international student health insurance plan.