Martha Garcia. Photo credit:

The current superintendent and president for Imperial Valley College has been offered the same job at College of the Desert in the Coachella Valley, it was announced this week.

The Desert Community College District Board of Trustees voted 3-2 to offer Martha Garcia the college’s top post following a nationwide search.

“We were pleased to meet three very strong finalists. I want to commend my fellow board members, for this was a difficult decision,” board Chair Aurora Wilson said. “Now, we will move forward and work together for the future success of the college.”

Garcia, who is expected to start her new job on Aug. 20, bested two other female candidates.

Garcia earned a doctorate in education from San Diego State University. She also holds a master’s in educational counseling from National University and a bachelor’s in criminal justice administration from San Diego State University.

She started her education at the community college level, earning an associate degree from Imperial Valley College in Imperial County.

She has worked in California community colleges since 1999 and held several positions in student and academic services in that time.

In her time at Imperial Valley College, Garcia has “developed many categorically funded programs that focus on serving underrepresented students,” according to a COD statement.

She also has experience in grant writing, and has secured “more than $20 million to support the creation of innovative programs and services” using that skill, the college said.

Former Superintendent and President Joel Kinnamon retired March 31. He cited his desire to focus on family concerns related to his parents.

COD has expanded its Coachella Valley footprint since Kinnamon’s tenure began more eight years ago, with the opening and expansion of satellite campuses in Indio, Mecca and Desert Hot Springs.

A new campus is set to open in Palm Springs, and the Indio campus is set to be expanded, officials said.

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