As high school students look to the future, the question they ask is “What’s Next”? The answer is to “Think Big!”

It was that question and answer that prompted the creators of the Coachella Valley Regional College and Career Fair to name the two-day event, What’s Next? Think Big! That was in 2016! The fourth annual college and career fair is going to happen on Oct. 2 and 3, 2019 and it is bigger than ever!

The idea of a regional college and career fair was first set in motion by a coming together of the forces of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and One Future Coachella Valley. The two organizations met and invited the three valley school districts, California State University San Bernardino, Palm Desert Campus and College of the Desert, and local private secondary schools to join them in the creation of this one-source information presentation to our students.

Question: What's Next? Answer: Think BigThe two-day October event finds COD students participating in a university transfer fair, students from Palm Springs Unified School District and Desert Sands Unified School District at an informational event at the Agua Caliente Resort, and soon-to-be high school graduates from Coachella Valley Unified School District at the 33rd Annual College Voc-Tech Night at the Indio Fairgrounds. All schools in all districts are invited to attend either or both events.

This year’s Next? Think Big! College and Career Fair takes place on October 2 and 3. Over 100 post-secondary institutions have already signed up to attend and more reach out to us every day. . Universities, colleges, technical schools, military academies, and more will be present. Financial institutions and information on how to finance a college education will be available. A comprehensive resource guide with “everything you need to know about going to college but were afraid to ask” will be available to all students. The guide is available in both English and Spanish.

Desert Sands Unified School District will be participating in the Oct. 3 event. The Kick Off (last year called the Rally) is from 4:00-5:00 pm. Middle school students, particularly eighth graders, are specifically invited to the Kick Off. The colleges will have representatives at their tables from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. This What’s Next? Think Big! event will again be held at the Agua Caliente Resort in Rancho Mirage. The number of participating students has grown every year as our valley’s students plan for their future. DSUSD will be offering bus transportation to middle and high school students. More information on the event and the bussing can be obtained at the individual school. Again this year, KMIR’s Manny the Movie Guy will host the Kick Off, held in The Show at the Agua Caliente Resort. Tips on how to get the most out of a college fair will be presented along with performances by dance teams, musical groups, and more from our local high schools. For the first time, the event will also feature speakers including a keynote presentation by Maria Furtado, executive director, of Colleges That Change Lives (

Question: What's Next? Answer: Think BigFollowing the Kick Off, students and parents are invited to visit the college booths. Students from all valley schools are encouraged to attend. While the experience is invaluable to high school upperclassmen, last year’s event proved that students in elementary, middle, and early high school years also greatly benefitted from the information provided. Those planning to attend are encouraged to register online by clicking here. Preregistration will make it easier to bypass onsite sign in, taking students straight to the schools and their information tables.

Families are invited to the What’s Next? Think Big! college and career fairs. Parents can learn more about the offerings of various schools, hear about scholarships and grants, discover which lending institutions offer student aid, and just feel the excitement of the students as they plan their next big thing! If you are a proud alum from a university, college, or career prep institution and think your school would like to be represented, please let us know.

Schedule for the Oct.. 3 event (all events below take place in The Show):

  • 4:00-5:00 pm    Kick Off
  • 5:30-5:55 pm    Keynote by Maria Furtado
  • 6:00-6:25 pm    Financial Aid (English)
  • 6:30-6:55 pm    Maria Furtado Reprise
  • 7:00-7:25 pm    College of the Desert and CSUSB Palm Desert Campus Overviews
  • 7:30-7:55 pm    Financial Aid (Spanish)

For more information on the Coachella Valley Regional College & Career Fair click here.


Image Sources

  • Seeking Information: DSUSD
  • College Fair Schedule: DSUSD
  • Inquisitive Student: DSUSD