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Dr. Ken Childers

#234 Dr. Ken Childers, Class of 1965, Transfer to Santa Ana College

Ken Childers was born in Berkeley, California but was raised at military bases around the globe. He attended thirteen different schools before completing high school with no clear plans or career path in mind. While spending the summer following graduation in the desert, Ken decided to kill some time by taking a class at College of the Desert (COD), the new community college that had just opened down the street from his grandparent’s house in Palm Desert. That summer session turned into full time enrollment in the very first freshman class at COD in the fall of 1963. While at the College, Ken served as student body Vice President, an activity he thoroughly enjoyed and which provided connection to important support from faculty mentors. He credits Dr. Whitaker, COD Chemistry professor, for awakening his love for science that has lasted a lifetime and helped set his career path in motion.

After completing two years at College of the Desert, Ken transferred to Santa Ana College and then University of California Irvine to complete his undergraduate degree. Following graduation from dental school at St. Louis University, he served in the Navy for two and half years, including a year in Vietnam with 1st Marine Air Wing " the same unit in which his father served. When his military service ended, Dr. Childers opened his dental practice in Piedmont, California and has been there ever since.

And it all started at College of the Desert. Dr. Childers underscores the importance of counseling and career resources at the College that help students learn about and select a career path for which they are well suited and will enjoy. Without that critical support, students may spend years drifting from job to job without ever knowing or realizing their true potential.

“After all these years, I still look back and know that College of the Desert changed my life,” Dr. Childers stresses. “It turned out to be the critical first step that shaped my future.”