The extraordinary accomplishments of College of the Desert’s Class of 2021 will be celebrated with a virtual commencement ceremony that will be available for viewing starting on Friday, May 28  at 10 a.m. on the College’s website.

More than 1,600 associate degrees and almost 300 certificates will be presented, recognizing students’ achievements and their commitment to education while persevering through a global pandemic. Despite obstacles, the graduates continued to succeed while adjusting their work and personal schedules and embracing new ways of learning.

“Many of us have endured hardships since the pandemic started, and we are especially proud of the Class of 2021 for facing  the challenges of the past year, and overcoming  barriers to meet their academic goals,” said Interim Superintendent/President Jeff Baker. “We are now navigating a new world and these graduates will be paving the way forward.”

Among the graduating class are those receiving certificates of completion in a specialized area of study through the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, in which students gain skills that make them immediately marketable in the workforce. The CTE program integrates rigorous academic work and courses taught by professionals who are experts in their fields.


This year also marks the third year of graduates of the plEDGE program, which provides two years of free tuition to local high school graduates of the Coachella Valley. More than 4,000 students have been helped by the donor-supported plEDGE program since it began in 2017.

The program is coupled with EDGE, an innovative college student support program that includes a two-week review of math and English and wraparound services designed to support student success.

“The College is always looking for ways to expand access to higher education and specialized training regardless of financial constraints or socioeconomic backgrounds. As we forge a path forward during these tumultuous times, we will provide  innovative programs to keep students enrolled and thriving for a brighter tomorrow,” added Baker. “For this graduating class we applaud their exceptional commitment and are proud of their dedication and achievements.”

The virtual commencement event will feature speeches from College leaders and students, and seeks to inspire graduates as they move to their next steps in life. The event will be accessible from the college’s website beginning at 10:00 a.m. on May 28th at: virtual ceremony will be available for viewing throughout the Summer and Fall  and includes personalized pictures and messages that were submitted by graduates. The virtual ceremony also provides tributes to veteran graduates, student leaders and includes accolades of 28 countries our graduates represent their places of origins.