By Denise Ortuno

Want to go to college? Think it’s out of your reach? Well think again, and come to the College of the Deserts Family Night to find out how college is within your grasp.

Going to college is part of the American dream, as a college education can change the trajectory of a person’s life. But sometimes the cost can come between the dream and the reality of going to college. Fortunately for those living in the Coachella Valley, the dream is the reality, thanks to College of the Deserts progressive academic programs. On Thursday, December 11th, 2019, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, the community college will be having an open house event, inviting parents, families and individuals to learn about all of the academic programs that they offer, and how to even attend the college for free. A complimentary dinner will be provided for those who RSVP to the event (

One of the programs that College of the Desert offers, is for Coachella Valley high school seniors, class of 2020, allowing them to attend the college for free! The students can enroll in a variety of AA transferable degrees as well as certificate programs. This amazing opportunity has been offered since 2017 with incredible results. Dean of Enrollment Services, Dr. Oscar Espinoza-Parra, is excited about the event, “Families and students can access a variety of information at this resource fair”, said Dr. Espinoza-Parra.


Dr. Espinoza-Parra also shared how the college is enthusiastic about reaching out to non-traditional adult students, who may think that college has passed them by, or perhaps never obtained their high school diploma. At College of the Desert, it’s never too late to get an education. There are a multitude of certificate and AA programs available, as well as financial aid for those who qualify. The college has class locations in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indio, Mecca and Thermal. With varied locations and a flexible class schedule, attending the college is extremely student friendly. They even have child care.

College of the Desert is one of the leading community colleges in Southern California, and the nation, and has a smooth entrance process to enter the college. The quality of education that they provide, and its affordability, has been recognized highly in the community college realm. Their eagerness to encourage higher education within the community is outstanding, “We are here to serve the community”, says Dr. Espinoza-Parra. The Family Night event will have faculty, and counselors on hand to explain all that the college has to offer, and will help guide potential students on their educational journey. There will also be presentations on Financial Aid resources. All presentations will be in English and Spanish.  

As a graduate of College of the Desert myself, I can proudly say that it was an extraordinary experience. I feel so fortunate to have a community college that has made my higher education possible, and continues to encourage my progress with zeal.

Anyone who has the desire to go to college here in the Coachella Valley, has an open invitation to discover what College of the Desert has to offer by attending their Family Night. It can change your life.

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