Building the Next Strategic Plan

Setting the Stage for Exceptional College Planning

Successful College of the Desert planning is derived from a solid foundation, clear and transparent approaches, and input from leadership, faculty, staff, stakeholders and students. The District Strategic Master Plan (SMP) for the upcoming five-year timeframe will directly influence strategy and decision-making for allotting the necessary resources – capital and people – to fulfill our identified goals.

The 2022-2027 SMP will outline the goals, strategies, objectives, and tactics that will guide the future of College of the Desert.

The District has created this page as one of several means to gather input and communicate SMP progress. College of the Desert leadership is committed to ensuring that the planning process is anchored by transparency and inclusivity.

Benchmark Timeline

Following a timeline is key to creating, refining, adopting and launching the SMP, which will be conducted over an eight-month period. Critical SMP time points are noted below.

Phase 1: Pre-plan
April-August 2022

This first phase includes coordination and meetings of Workgroups; project kick-off; draft of mission, vision, values and SWOTC Survey.

Phase 2: Investigate
May-September 2022

Phase 2 focuses on finalizing data sets; completing internal/external environmental data scans, identifying key trends; reviewing work done in Phase 1 and identifying key themes; designing focus group sessions with internal and external stakeholders.

Phase 3: Formulate
September -October 2022

In Phase 3, focus group sessions are conducted; information from Phase 1, 2 and 3 is synthesized to develop strategic initiatives.

Phase 4: Complete
October-December 2022

The SMP is developed in Phase 4; the SMP is designed and shared through the appropriate participatory governance groups; submit SMP for board approval; adopt and publish the SMP.

Participate in Our Plan

The 2022-2027 College SMP demands a thorough process that stresses the importance of input from newly created Work Groups. These Workgroups will help lead the Plan development effort with their input and provide the ability for individuals to submit feedback about our planning process. Anyone interested in submitting ideas can do so anonymously; individuals can also share their email addresses so that the College’s point of contact on this effort can provide information on the SMP progress and milestones.

Work Group

Maria Elena Diaz
Associate Professor

Kim Dozier
Professor, English

Gwendolyn Earle
Instructor, Business

Jessica Enders
Director, Education Centers

Carl Farmer
Director, MESA

Mike Gladych
Adjunct Faculty, Radio/TV

Donna Greene
Distance Education & Instructional Design Coordinator

Scott Atkins
Director, Education Centers

ASCOD Officer of Academic Affairs

ASCOD Officer of External Affairs

Douglas Benoit
Dean, School of Applied Sciences and Business

Sara Butler
Interim Vice President of Instruction

Oceana Collins
Assistant Professor, History

Linda Costagliola
Executive Administrative Assistant

Christina Tafoya
Interim Executive Vice President

Evelyn Trejo
Adjunct Counselor Veterans

Steven Holman
Dean, School of Math & Science

Catherine Levitt
Adjunct Faculty, Economics

Jim Lilly
Computer Support Specialist

Dean Papas
Dean, School of Communication & Humanities

Miguel Pena III
Media Support & Training Specialist

Kurt Spurgin
Assistant Professor, Health Science

Planning Documents

This section contains various foundational and supplemental materials for the SMP and process; it will be updated with any new information, feedback and documents throughout the SMP development process.

Survey Analysis

Current Strategic Master Plan

“Crosswalk” document linking the goals and objectives of the SMP with those of the Educational Master Plan



College of the Desert (COD) is an inclusive, student-centered community college that provides high-quality, accessible, and affordable degrees and certificate programs and transfer opportunities with support services that enrich the campus culture, create a sense of belonging and are relevant and responsive to the diverse student needs. COD empowers students to identify and achieve their goals; in doing so, COD fulfills its commitment to positively impact the quality of life of the region, enhance the local economy, close persistent equity gaps, and prepare future community workforce professionals and leaders.
College of the Desert provides excellent educational programs in basic skills, career and technical education, certificate, transfer preparation, associate degrees, noncredit and distance education, which are continuously evaluated and improved. Our programs and services contribute to the success, learning and achievement of our diverse students and the vitality of the Desert Community College District, surrounding areas and beyond.
College of the Desert (COD) will be a catalyst for transforming students’ lives by providing access to relevant educational programs and services while fostering a culture that actively celebrates, embraces, and promotes a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and continuous improvement.
College of the Desert will be a center of collaborations and innovations for educational enrichment, economic development and quality of life in the Coachella Valley and surrounding communities.

Our Values

Faculty and staff fulfill our vision and mission by creating and sustaining a community where all are welcomed and valued for their individual dignity and worth.  We recognize the importance of diversity and acknowledge the rich and unique contributions each person makes to achieve the Vision and advance the Mission of the College. To this end, the following values guide our actions:

College of the Desert is a learning-centered institution that values:

Student Success: Student learning and growth are central to all we do.

Diversity and Inclusion: We embrace the diversity of our community and uphold the dignity and worth of the individual.

Integrity: We are open, honest and reliable.

Respect: We value the thoughts, words, and actions of our students, colleagues, and community.

Dedication: Our faculty, staff and administrators are responsible leaders who effectively implement programs in support of student learning and efficient college operations.

Professionalism: We are current in our areas of expertise and embody high standards of conduct.

Communication: We communicate with authenticity in pursuit of broad understanding, effective dialog, and inclusive decision-making.

Lifelong Learning: Learning is essential to living, for our students, faculty and staff.



We commit to ensuring access to educational opportunities for our students, employees, and the community to fulfill our mission and vision.


We value the thoughts, words, and actions of our students, colleagues, and community. We encourage open dialogue, healthy dissent, and varying opinions so that we may come together to serve our students, employees, and the community.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA)

We embrace the diversity of our community and uphold the dignity and worth of the individual. We strive to create equitable and accessible safe spaces so individuals can learn, grow, and complete their educational goals.


We create safe spaces for empowerment, creativity, courage, and exploration to provide a unique student-learning-centered culture that fosters innovation.


We communicate openly, honestly, and with authenticity. We pursue broad understanding, effective dialog, and inclusive decision-making.

Lifelong Learning

Learning is essential to living for our students, faculty, and staff.

Social Justice

We commit to a communal effort dedicated to creating and sustaining a fair and equal society in which all people and groups are valued and affirmed. We embrace efforts to end systemic violence and racism and all systems that devalue the dignity and humanity of any person. We recognize the legacy of past injustices and promote efforts to empower individual and communal action in support of restorative justice and the full implementation of human and civil rights. Source: John Lewis Institute for Social Justice:


As good stewards of the public trust, we take thoughtful, intentional, and responsible action in allocating resources and fulfilling our mission and vision. We plan for and respond to dynamic fiscal conditions through ongoing evaluation, reallocating existing resources, and developing new funds.

Student Success

We commit to student learning, goal completion, and personal fulfillment in alignment with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Vision for Success.

Point of Contact

Dr. Jessica Enders, Director of Education Centers


Please contact us for additional information by filling out the form below.