Merced County Times Newspaper
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High school administrators, counselors gather at Merced College



Special to the Times

More than 100 local high school administrators and counselors gathered at Merced College recently for an annual breakfast event to find ways the college and feeder schools can work together to effectively serve local students.

Guest received a warm welcome from U.S. Congress Jim Costa who helped open the program which included a series of three interactive workshops.

In Workshop 1, they heard from the Director of Financial Aid on the college’s new Online Verification System, along with information about the California Promise, or MC4FREE as staff like to call it, which allows community colleges to waive enrollment fees for first-time, full-time students that don’t qualify for other aid.

In Workshop 2, they heard about the enrollment process for Merced College and what services the campus outreach team has to offer. In the same workshop, guests also heard about Merced College’s Career & College Access Pathways (CCAP) course offerings and future plans for CCAP, giving students the opportunity to take closed Merced College courses at their high schools for free.

Other topics discussed was Assembly Bill 705, which took effect on January 1, 2018. The bill requires community colleges to help more students complete transfer-level math and English courses within their first year of higher education.

In Workshop 3, they heard about two support programs on campus. The Extended Opportunity Programs & Services encourages the enrollment, retention and transfer of students challenged by language, social, economic and educational disadvantages, and to facilitate the successful completion of their goals and objectives in college. And the Disabled Students Programs & Services offers educational support services for students with disabilities.

Local high schools are instrumental to the success of Merced College as the vast majority of MC students are local graduates. Strong partnerships and communication between the college and high school partners are essential to student success.

“We have this at the beginning of each year and, for us, it’s a pretty big deal to meet with the high schools where we get most of our students,” said Mike McCandless, vice president of Student Services at Merced College.

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