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Education

Merced County Office of Education (MCOE)

Merced’s preschool through 12th grade educational system is making dramatic improvements using research-based strategies and proven teaching methods. By emphasizing closing the achievement gaps, updating career-technical education and a developing college-going culture, our schools are taking steps to make today’s students tomorrow’s productive employees and leaders.

Merced’s 20 school districts, 104 schools and more than 55,000 K-12 students have, for the past six years, dramatically increased scores on the state’s Academic Performance Index tests.

Besides the numerous private child care facilities and preschools in Merced, many public schools have a state-run preschool or Head Start facility. Students with disabilities account for about 15 percent of Head Start’s enrollment in Merced County. Those students are placed in classes with non-disabled students for a full-inclusion program that helps introduce the diversity of fellow students.

Career Technical Education is growing rapidly in the region, with ROP students from high schools throughout the county strengthening their skills in both emerging technologies and traditional vocational areas.

Merced schools are also on the forefront of technology with the Merced Educational Television Station, broadcasting and web-streaming local and syndicated educational programming 24/7.

Education leadership groups making a difference in Merced County are the P-16 Council and the Business-Education Alliance of Merced (BEAM). The Council promotes coordination between preschools, K-12 schools and both colleges and universities to increase school, and ultimately career, success. BEAM, chaired by UC Merced Chancellor Steve Kang and County Bank Executive Ed Rocha, brings together business leaders and education leaders to lobby for high-quality preschools for all youngsters.

There has also been tremendous cooperation between UC Merced, Merced College and the K-12 educational system.

University students taking part in the service learning team Get S.E.T. – which stands for Science, Engineering and Technology – visit elementary and high school sites in Merced to provide science demonstrations that engage students and increase their interest in science and math.

Merced College serves as an important ally to career-technical education (CTE) and early care and education. If a student takes and passes a CTE class in high school, they are eligible for college credit for that course if they successfully pass the college credit exam. Along the same lines, students taking an automotive services class can earn credits at Merced College by putting in extra hours after the school day has ended.

Merced County also recognizes that education isn’t just what happens in a classroom. Because Merced County is in the middle of one of the world’s most vital and thriving agricultural regions, it has excellent 4-H and FFA programs for students starting as early as first grade. Students have the hands-on experience of raising livestock and learn life skills through classroom instruction and supervised agricultural experience.

Merced County is proud to highlight the students and teachers who excel. The Merced County Academic Decathlon and Pentathlon are a way for students to scholastically compete with their peers in a challenging and rewarding contest. Top students receive scholarships donated by the Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union. The Merced County Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by the Educational Employees Credit Union, recognizes teachers from many districts and one teacher is selected to compete at the state level.

Educational opportunities for students in Merced County expand every year, increasing the chances for students to succeed in school and careers.

UC Merced

The 10th campus in the prestigious University of California system, UC Merced opened September 5, 2005 as the first new public American research university in the 21st century. On top of an ever-expanding list of majors, minors and graduate programs, are more than 80 reputable, full-time faculty members. The new campus also operates educational outreach centers in Bakersfield and Fresno.

The growing, diverse student body currently numbers around 6,200. Students have already formed more than 75 clubs and UC Merced’s graduate students are participating in some of the most cutting-edge research being conducted today.

Special research institutes have been established at the university and others are being planned. In addition, start-up funding has been received for the UC Merced Center for Computational Biology and other cooperative research laboratory facilities in genomics and imaging.

Merced College

A farmer plants a seed. He nurtures it and watches it grow, providing water and fertilizer for the soil. Merced College is not unlike that farmer who takes pride in raising a good crop. Through its extensive academic offerings, technology-based training programs, career and job skills workshops, community-based, lifelong learning classes and many opportunities for social and cultural enrichment, Merced College helps its local community grow.

Growth is the business of Merced College: personal growth, professional growth, business and workforce growth. The development of healthy individuals and society is the result of the College’s focus on student success. If Merced College is the farmer and the students are the seedlings, then the harvest is an abundant crop of successful people.

While its mission is to promote success at every stage of life, Merced College continues to expand its instructional facilities with both renovated and new classrooms and support services buildings.

Since November 2002, when local voters approved bond measures for both the Merced and Los Banos campuses, the college has introduced its students to a new Learning Resources Center; the new Bill and Dorothy Bizzini Interdisciplinary Academic Center; the new downtown Business Resource Center; a completely renovated Science, Math & Engineering building; the remodeled Lesher Student Services Center; Barker Administration Building; and the Student Union.

For more than 50 years, Merced College has grown into the hearts and minds of its students. It remains the most vital and important engine of professional and personal growth in the local region.

Grow. Succeed. You can do both at Merced College.

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