Merced College innovating to meet student, community needs
FALL 2022 SEMESTER
The Merced College campuses in Merced and Los Banos are bustling this week as students and faculty return for the Fall 2022 semester, and it’s not too late to enroll and take the next step in your life and career.
While the grounds have been mostly quiet for the past few months, employees have been busy behind the scenes creating a welcoming environment, a family-like support system and more flexible academic options than ever for students.
“Serving students and guiding them to success is the very core of what we do at Merced College,” President Chris Vitelli said. “Our students are faced with many barriers and challenges, so it’s imperative that we do whatever we can as an institution to care for our students, meet them where they are, and make things as comfortable as possible for them when they’re here.”
For Fall 2022, about half of Merced College’s classes are in-person, and the rest are either online or hybrid. Some classes offer synchronous learning while others are asynchronous, providing students with a variety of options to match their learning styles.
Students will also benefit from more holistic support through the creation of Student Success Teams, with academic advising, personal counseling, and career and transfer services provided through teams within specific subject matter areas.
“Student support has always been one of our highest priorities, and we take a lot of pride in helping students achieve their goals,” said Mike McCandless, Vice President of Student Services. “This new model will make those support services even easier to find and more effective for our students. We want them to know we’re here for them every step of the way.”
As the labor market continues to evolve, more and more adults are looking to return to college to further their education and advance their careers. To meet that need, Merced College has created the Relaunch program, a selection of fully online degrees designed with working professionals in mind. In just 17 months, Relaunch students can obtain an associate degree in Business Administration, Early Childhood Education, Administration of Justice, or Computer Technology and Information Systems.
Merced College continues to offer dozens of fast-track certificate programs, as well as accelerated course offerings that start at various times throughout the semester, allowing students to begin or resume their academic journeys when it’s most convenient for them.
“Every student learns differently, and every student who comes to Merced College is on their own path, with unique needs and challenges,” said Karissa Morehouse, Vice President of Instruction. “At Merced College, we take pride in constantly innovating and refining our academic offerings and pathways to meet those needs.”
Also new this year will be the Raj Kahlon Agriculture and Industrial Technology Complex, a 29,000-square-foot facility that will revolutionize the way students learn about agriculture. A ribbon cutting event for the new building will be held at noon on Thursday, Sept. 15.
The new semester kicked off for employees with the annual Convocation event on Friday, Aug. 12. President Vitelli laid out his vision for the upcoming year, teams and departments met to discuss their plans, and the campus community gathered in the evening for a welcome back barbeque for employees and their families.
In an annual tradition, several awards were presented during the Convocation program:
Manager of the Year: Greg Soto
Classified Professional of the Year: John Exum
Faculty of the Year (Full Time): Elizabeth Harvey
Faculty of the Year (Part Time): Kathleen Diaz
President’s Blue & Gold Award: Maintenance, Operations and Facilities
Enrollment for the Fall 2022 semester is still open. Go online to: mccd.edu