Copper Mountain Community College
Cmc .png
AffiliationCollege of the Desert
Academic affiliation
PresidentDaren Otten
Location, ,
United States

Coordinates: 34°08′29″N 116°12′49″W / 34.14139°N 116.21361°W / 34.14139; -116.21361[1]
Colors    Teal and Copper
NicknameFighting Cacti
Sporting affiliations
Inland Empire Athletic Conference
MascotSpike, the Fighting Cacti

Copper Mountain College (CMC) is a public community college in Joshua Tree, California. It was accredited in 2001 as the 108th such institution in the state. CMC offers a total of 24 different certificates and degrees.[2]


CMC was originally an offshoot of the College of the Desert.[3] Founded in 1966 for the purpose of providing education opportunities for the surrounding desert communities and families stationed at the 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, the college held its first courses in classrooms at the 29 Palms High School campus during the fall, 1967 semester. Fundraising for the construction of a stand-alone campus began in 1981, with its first phase completed in 1984. At that time State Senator James Brulte learned of Copper Mountain wanting to achieve community college status he introduced the Copper Mountain Community College District legislation. The Morongo Basin residents endorsed their new college in a 90 percent vote in November 1999. In June 2001, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges granted CMC full accreditation status.


The athletics program launched in 2017 with only basketball. Copper Mountain College competes in Men's and Women's basketball and Women's volleyball in the Orange Empire Conference. The team nickname is the Fighting Cacti. In 2019 Copper Mountain College joined the newly formed Inland Empire Athletic Conference.

Women's basketball

In the 2017-2018 inaugural season, led by coach Hosie Ward[4] they finished 0-23 overall.[5] The current head coach for women's basketball is Ken Simonds,[6] assisted by Johnette Brown.[7] In the 2018–2019 season, led by coach Ken Simonds they finished 11-14 overall, with 6–8 in conference.

Men's basketball

In the 2017-2018 inaugural season, they finished 22-1 overall. In the 2018–2019 season, led by Britain Kelley and Walter Parham, they finished 15-13 overall.[8]

Student Government

The students of Copper Mountain College have established a student body association named Associated Students of Copper Mountain College (ASCMC).[9] The association is required by law to "encourage students to participate in the governance of the college".[10]

ASCMC is a voting member of a statewide community college student organization named Student Senate for California Community Colleges. The statewide Student Senate is authorized by law "to advocate before the Legislature and other state and local governmental entities".[11]

Bud and Betty's Place for Veterans

In November 2015, CMC opened Bud and Betty's Place for Veterans as a center for Students that have served in the armed forces. The center was opened as an extension to the Christine Proudfoot activity center that opened that same year. The center has been named after Retired Col. Bud Garrett and his wife Betty. Col Garrett donated a large sum of money to the center in his wife's honor.[12]

Copper Mountain College sign with campus in background in June 2017
Copper Mountain College sign with campus in background in June 2017

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Copper Mountain College
  2. ^ "The Story of Copper Mountain College". Retrieved Nov 4, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Story of Copper Mountain College". Copper Mountain College. Retrieved Nov 4, 2017.
  4. ^ "Assistant Coach". Pasadena City College. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  5. ^ "2017-18 CCCAA Women's Basketball Schedule". CCCAA. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  6. ^ "Copper Mountain College Women's Basketball Scholarships Guide". Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  7. ^ Star, Jené Estrada Hi-Desert. "CMC women's basketball gets a new coach". Hi-Desert Star. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  8. ^ "There's a hoops hotbed blossoming in the high desert, get to know Copper Mountain College". Desert Sun. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  9. ^ Associated Students of Copper Mountain College. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  10. ^ Section 76060 of the California Education Code. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  11. ^ Section 76060.5 of the California Education Code. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  12. ^ Trail, Daniel Strasberger The Desert. "Bud and Betty's Place For Veterans opens". Hi-Desert Star. Retrieved 2019-10-05.