Stanislaus State and Merced College signed a historical agreement on Friday, Feb. 21, at the Merced College amphitheater. The agreement — which will ease the transfer process for Merced College students who plan to attend California State University, Stanislaus — symbolizes a renewed support of educational success between the two institutions.
The “Warriors on the Way” celebration began as Chris Vitelli, president of Merced College, took the stage to welcome students, faculty, and community members in attendance.
“This is a very exciting opportunity and event for both of our institutions,” he began. “This will provide the streamline support and wrap around services for our students that want to transfer to our largest receiving institution, Stanislaus.”
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Vitelli and Ellen Junn, president of CSU Stanislaus, permanently acknowledging the agreement. The partnership will allow Merced College students guaranteed priority admission to Stan State when they complete their Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) at Merced College and meet all application deadlines.
“This is an agreement that can be seen as a renewal of our commitment to work together and further cements the relationship that began when Merced College was established 58 years ago,” Junn said.
As Merced College provides Stanislaus State with the greatest student admission, it is only seen fit for the two institutions of higher education to work together to provide better resources for their students.
The program will not only make the transfer process run smoother, but will also provide the Central Valley with more educated residents as the years roll out. As the population grows in both Merced and Stanislaus Counties, a greater transfer and graduation population can be predicted for both schools.
“We recognize the tremendous partnership between two institutions that believe in the future of many of the students that are here, and the hundreds of thousands in this community that will benefit from the relationship that we have been forging over the last several years,” Vitelli continued.
The MOU calls for a counselor at each campus, guaranteed up to 32 hours per week, that will be available to the disposal of its transfer students. This role will be beneficial as students are made aware of the different opportunities that are available to them at the Stan State campus.
Briana Sanchez, a Merced College student graduating in the fall, stood at the podium as she emphasized how important the Warriors on the Way program currently is for her.
“I am a first generation college graduate,” Sanchez began. “I had to learn my own steps. Learning everything on my own wasn’t easy. Many people told me I shouldn’t apply to transfer out of Merced College because it wasn’t going to happen for me.”
Thanks to determination and the Warriors on the Way program, Sanchez says she is now able to see her dreams within reach. Sanchez will be graduating with her ADT in communications, social and behavioral psychology, and administrative and office professional.
“Thanks to Merced College and Stanislaus, I am now a Warrior on the Way,” Sanchez concluded.