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Merritt College President's Report – February 14, 2024

Merritt BoT Report 2.13_2

Merritt Hosts Landscape Horticulture Tour

On Wednesday, January 31, Merritt's Landscape Horticulture Coordinator Molly Sealund led a tour of 50 seventh graders from Ascend Middle School. As part of an ongoing effort to make meaningful connections with the community we serve, Permaculture lab instructor Genesis Hernandez (who also teaches at Ascend School in the Fruitvale) organized the event to inspire these young people to seek out a quality college education. Despite the stormy weather, the students embraced being in the elements, as they started the 30-minute tour of the hillside. They also had the opportunity to see the future site of the state-of-the-art, $40 million Landscape Horticulture building that is slated to open within the next two years. Thanks to Molly, Genesis, and the other Ascend faculty and parents who encouraged these students to embrace the educational possibilities in their own backyard.


Merritt BoT Report 2.13_3

Merritt Reinforces Support for Zero-Textbook-Cost

Merritt College is doing a full-court press this semester with regard to its Zero-Textbook-Cost (ZTC) and Open Educational Resources (OER) efforts. Ranjeeta Lal joined us late last year as the new OER/ZTC Coordinator, and her passion and approach to this work are informed by her experience as a biology instructor for the past decade. She witnessed firsthand the financial challenges that students had to surmount in order to obtain textbooks, lab manuals, and online class materials. As educators, we should all understand the obligation we have to support students in their academic pursuits, and implementing ZTC is something that we can do that is both immediate and impactful.

Currently, there are three collaboration cohorts in the Math, Communication Studies, and Sociology departments that will be participating in the development and implementation of ZTC into our courses. Merritt is confident that the work developed from the initial three collaboration cohorts will be the foundation of more instructors adopting ZTC into their courses. Finally, I would encourage those of you who are committed to our students to participate in the work by reviewing current updates shared on OERI ASCCC sites, helping to plan activities such as campus information sessions and formal FLEX day presentations, and contributing any ideas and recommendations you may have to support this effort and supporting ZTC Grant pathways in process currently. Let’s lean in!


Merritt BoT Report 2.13_4

Merritt to Host Outreach Event with UC Davis

On Thursday, February 15, Merritt College is hosting an event that we are co-sponsoring with our Peralta sister colleges and UC San Diego. Essentially, the goal is for UCSD to meet with their partners at Bay Area community colleges and high schools to learn about our challenges and aspirations. They want to see how they can be of help and share the latest on what they are doing in regard to programming, funding, and admissions. UCSD’s contingent will include Admissions, Financial Aid, a Provost from one of our eight colleges, Deans, and Department Chairs from one or more of the academic units. Peralta Counseling Faculty and administrative leadership will be there to engage, pose/answer questions, and promote the transfer of our students to UCSD. We are proud to continue this partnership with UCSD, as this is the second consecutive year that UCSD has visited Merritt College. Last spring, we hosted an event for Bay Area students and their families who had been accepted to the school (several Peralta students were included in that number).


This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. David M. Johnson, Merritt College President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2024. To view it as a PDF, click here.

Tags: Merritt College, President's Report


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