Who Can Be Admitted
Any person who meets at least one of the following requirements is eligible to attend Merced College:
- Has graduated from an accredited high school with either a diploma or a high school certificate of completion.
- Has passed the California High School Proficiency exam.
- Possesses a GED.
- Is a non-high school graduate, 18 years of age or older, who is no longer attending high school and is able to benefit from instruction.
Persons who are under the age of 18 and/or currently attending high school may be admitted as a special part- or full-time student with the permission of one’s school principal, with parental consent, and with the approval of a college administrator. (See administrative Procedure 5011).
Semester System and Units
Merced College classes follow the semester system, and the majority of classes cover a period of 18 weeks. Students earn the number of units specified in the catalog upon successful completion of the course.
At Merced College, as in universities, a “unit” represents one hour per week for one semester of the student’s time in a lecture class, or three hours in laboratory or other exercise class not requiring homework for preparation. A normal schedule of 15 college units presupposes that the average student will devote approximately 45 hours per week to college classes and to preparation.
Because varsity sports require no academic homework assignments, they require 10 hours per week of activity for three units of credit. There are also certain courses that are regulated by outside agencies (primarily for skill certification in vocational areas) in which additional mandated hours are required but for which additional student units are not awarded.
All courses offered at Merced College are considered to be lower division. No upper division credit is granted. Course numbers are assigned as follows:
Courses numbered 1-49 are certified as transferable to the California State University system. Other four-year institutions may accept courses numbered 1-49 as transferable, but students transferring to colleges outside the CSU system should consult the catalog of that college and confer with a counselor.
Courses numbered 50-79 and independent letters such as A, B, and C designate courses that apply only to A.A./A.S. Degrees and to certificate programs and are not normally transferable to four-year institutions.
Courses numbered 80-89 designate intermediate non degree-applicable basic skills courses OR certain occupational and activity credit courses. These courses do not apply to the Associate Degree or transfer programs.
Courses numbered 90-99 designate courses that are primarily non degree-applicable basic skills courses that do not apply to the Associate Degree or transfer programs.
California State University breadth areas and Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) areas are noted in parentheses ( ).
Courses are listed alphabetically at the end of the discipline information. Each course is listed by number with the course title, the number of units, and the number of hours of lecture and laboratory instruction. Preceding each description are the prerequisites and/or corequisites of the course.
All credit courses listed in this catalog are graded courses and meet the definition of “college credit courses” as stated by Section 55002, of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
It is District policy that unless specifically exempted by statute, every course, course section or class, the average daily attendance of which is to be reported for state aid, whenever offered and maintained by the District, shall be fully open to enrollment in and participation by any person who has been admitted to the College and who meets the prerequisites as may be established pursuant to Chapter 11, Division 2, Part VI, Title 5 of the California Administrative code, commencing with Section 58108.
New or former students applying to Merced College must complete an application in order to enroll in classes. Former students are those who have had a lapse of at least one semester between enrollment periods. Applications may be submitted online through Open CCC at http://www.opencccapply.net/uPortal. New students should bring a copy of prior transcripts, whether from high school or from another college attended. Students who are in grades K-12 must re-apply each semester they attend.
Student Success and Support Program (Matriculation)
The Student Success and Support Program (SSSP) refers to the services Merced College provides you from your point of entry through the completion of your program of study. The State of California mandated SSSP services are the orientation, assessment, counseling and advisement (including the abbreviated student education plan and comprehensive student education plan), and follow up and referral. The intent of these services is to increase your opportunity for success in your academic pursuits. You are required to become a matriculated student unless you meet the exemption criteria.
Merced College Responsibilities
Within the Student Success and Support Program Merced College provides an orientation to college programs, services, and procedures; an assessment of basic educational skills and career goals; pre-enrollment counseling/advising and course selection; a suitable curriculum or program of courses; quality instruction; and continuous follow up on student progress with referral to support services when needed.
As part of the Student Success and Support Program, students agree to express a broad educational intent at the time of admission; declare a specific educational objective within a reasonable period of enrollment; complete the placement test or other assessments; confer with counselors for registration approval and discussion of educational and vocational choices; attend classes (including orientation) and complete assigned course work; seek out support services as needed; and complete courses and maintain progress toward an educational goal.
You are a matriculated student if you have completed the orientation, assessment process, and have met with a counselor to complete an abbreviated or comprehensive student education plan.
You are an exempted student if you have an AA/AS or higher degree (and can provide documentation); are enrolling at the college for a reason other than career development or advancement, transfer, attainment of a degree or certificate of achievement, or completion of a basic skills or English as a Second Language course sequence; are enrolling at the college solely to take a course that is legally mandated for employment or necessary in response to a significant change in industry or licensure standards; has enrolled at the college as a special admit student (K-12).
As an exempted student, you are not required to participate in any SSSP service. However, you may participate in any or all of these services if you choose to do so.
To become a matriculated student, you must complete the following SSSP services. To begin the matriculation process visit our website at www.mccd.edu and click on Academics - Apply Today. The steps are listed as follows:
- Apply - complete our online application
- Orient - complete our online orientation
- Assess - complete the assessment requirements
- Plan - sign up for a new student planning session.
Note: Please identify any special needs accommodations required when you make any of the above appointments.
- Complete the English and Math assessments. Your student ID card is required. Retaking assessment tests is not allowed until your subsequent semester of enrollment, except in rare circumstances when approved by a counselor. Once you have begun a math or English course, you cannot retake the assessment tests. The Assessment Center is located on the first floor of the Lesher Student Services Center.
- Bring your assessment information and high school and/or other college transcripts to your new student planning session.
- Register for classes based on your priority group date on the Merced College website or at the registration counter in the Lesher Student Services Center.
- Pay fees, according to the fee payment schedule in place at the time you register, at the Student Fees counter in the Lesher Student Services Center.
Registering for Courses
All students without a hold on their registration may register for classes within their assigned priority registration group online either through WebAdvisor, or student planning, both of which can be accessed through the Merced College Portal at https://mc4me.mccd.edu. Students may also register in the Open Enrollment period directly following Priority Registration. Students may register in person at either the Merced or Los Banos campus Admissions and Records office.
Priority in registration is given per Board Policy BP5055 and Administrative Procedure AP5055. New and returning students must complete an admissions application before processing their registration forms,
The current Schedule of Classes provides information on dates and times for registration, counseling, and other services. The class schedule may be accessed online through the Merced College Portal/WebAdvisor Registration or Academic Planning or from the Merced College Website www.mccd.edu/getstarted/search-classes
Counseling & Course Advisement
Students wishing to register in college course work with a prerequisite not completed at Merced College may be required to meet with a counselor or advisor for approval. The counselor can help determine one’s preparedness for courses, determine whether one has met prerequisites, and, when appropriate, assist with the preparation of a “prerequisite challenge” (see below).
These sessions can also provide information regarding helpful College resources and support services and allow counselors to make recommendations regarding the number of units one should consider taking given work/life obligations. Counselors can also advise students on other personal, social, educational, and career-related issues which may interfere with their course of study.
Prerequisites and Corequisites
Merced College provides you with a wide variety of academic assistance and personal support, but it is up to you to know when you need help and to seek it out. It is your responsibility to keep informed and to obey campus rules, regulations and policies that affect your academic standing as a Merced College student. Meeting deadlines, completing prerequisites and satisfying the degree and certificate requirements, as found in this catalog, are all part of your responsibility as a student.
In both the college Catalog and the Schedule of Classes, skills are listed in the form of prerequisites, two types of corequisites, limitations on enrollment, and advisories. These skills are normally given in the form of a course, the successful completion of which will provide students with the necessary skill(s). A definition of each of these terms is listed below:
This represents a set of skills or a body of knowledge that one must possess prior to enrolling in a course. Without these skills a student will unlikely receive a satisfactory grade in the course or succeed in the program. Students will not be permitted to enroll in these courses and programs without the prerequisite.
This represents a course whose content is dependent on a main course; however, the contents of the main course can stand alone. These courses do not necessarily need to be taken during the same semester.
These are paired courses that are part of the same sequence and must be taken during the same semester.
Limitation on Enrollment
This is an audition or try-out requirement associated with public performance or intercollegiate competition, honors courses, safety issues, or blocks of courses intended for a cohort or group of students (such as a nursing program).
This is a course, skill, or status which is strongly recommended but not required. Students with the advised skill will probably have a better understanding of the course material.
The most common way of satisfying a required or advised skill is by completing the prerequisite course with a grade of “C” or better. Those wishing to enroll in a course with a prerequisite and who have not completed the prerequisite course with a grade of “C” or better should refer to the challenge process below
Challenging a Prerequisite or a Corequisite
Students who believe they have met the requirements (or if one of the conditions below exists) may challenge a prerequisite. A challenge petition can be obtained from the Counseling Office. The form will explain what must be done. Students may challenge the criteria for a course if they:
- Believe they have the knowledge or ability to succeed in the course but have not completed the pre- or corequisite;
- Believe they will be subject to undue delay in reaching the goal of their educational plan because the pre- or corequisite course has not been made reasonably available, or the course has been limited to a special group of students and there are no other courses which would fulfill the requirement. (Students must attach a copy of their “Student Educational Plan” to be eligible to file a challenge based on this condition.);
- Believe it is unlawfully discriminatory or is being applied in an unlawfully discriminatory manner.
Supporting documentation MUST be attached to all challenges submitted. Challenges may be filed any time during the registration period. Upon completion of the challenge procedure, the challenge will be reviewed and a determination will be made within five working days. The student will be advised of the determination. For more detailed information on the challenge process, call the Counseling Office at (209) 381-6478.
Request for Review of an Upper Division Course to Meet a Lower Division requirement
Students wishing to receive course credit for previously completed upper division work must apply to Merced College for approval. One may request credit for a major, a competency, or a general education breadth. Students must submit to the evaluator, located in Lesher Student Services Center, the following items:
- An official transcript from the college
- A catalog description of the course
Applications are due during the application for graduation window the semester prior to anticipated graduation or needed certification.
For Major: Course substitution: Paperwork must be submitted to the area dean. Approval requires the signature of two faculty members in the discipline and the area dean.
For Competency: General Petition: Paperwork will be submitted to the Academic Exceptions Committee (AEC) for approval. Approval requires the signature of a discipline faculty member for the competency requested and the chair of the AEC committee as well as the Dean of Student Services.
General Education Breadth: General Petition: Paperwork will be submitted to the Academic Exceptions Committee (AEC) for review. Approval requires the signature of the chair of the AEC committee as well as the Dean of Student Services.
The decision of the faculty is final; no appeal is available.
English and Math Requirements
Those pursuing an associate degree will have English and math requirements and should begin to fulfill these requirements as early in their college career as possible.
Some Courses Have Laboratory Requirements
Some courses, such as anatomy, biology, chemistry, and child development, require lab sections in addition to lecture sessions. Students must register in both the lecture and the lab section for these courses at the time of registration.
Some Programs Are Restricted
(Limitations on Enrollment)
The following programs require additional criteria: Certified Nursing Assistant, Home Health Care Aide, Licensed Vocational Nursing, Radiologic Technology, and Registered Nursing.
For more information, speak with an Allied Health counselor in the Guidance Center (209-384-6478) or contact the Allied Health Division Office (209-384-6371).
Safety in Allied Health Programs
Programs offered by the Allied Health Division that result in certification or licensure in health occupations include required courses of clinical training conducted at clinics, hospitals, and other patient care treatment centers. Students enrolled in clinical training settings are expected to maintain standards of practice that ensure the safety of clients and personnel in the clinical agencies. Safety is defined as meeting the objectives of a course by the times designated for each objective and to the degree of mastery designated.
A student will be dismissed from clinical training courses for unsafe behavior related to the objectives for the course in which currently enrolled, or to the objectives of previously completed clinical laboratory courses
Requirements for Athletics Courses
Merced College is a member of the Central Valley Conference (CVC) as authorized by the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA). Other Conference schools: Cerro Coso Community College; College of the Sequoias; Columbia College; Fresno City College; Reedley College; Porterville College; Taft College; West Hills College; and West Hills, Lemoore. The CCCAA establishes rules of student-athlete eligibility and assigns “host” conferences when necessary. Eligibility to compete must be confirmed prior to student-athlete participation.
Merced College offers competition in the following sports: men’s football, water polo, basketball, baseball, swimming, and track & field; women’s volleyball, water polo, basketball, softball, swimming, and track & field
To participate in varsity competition, a student-athlete must adhere to CCCAA rules for athletic eligibility. These include:
- Regular attendance, beginning no later than four weeks after the beginning of the semester.
- Active enrollment in at least 12 units during the season of sport, nine of which counts toward remediation, degree, or certificate.
- Completion of at least 24 units with a minimum 2.0 GPA from the beginning of the first semester of competition to the beginning of the second.
Regulations are subject to change by the CCCAA legislative process.
Minimum and Maximum Unit Load
Students should plan to enroll in 15 units of course work each semester to earn a degree or certificate in a timely manner.
Those wishing to enroll for more than 19 units in a regular semester or 8 units in a summer session must have completed a college term of at least 15 units with a minimum 3.5 GPA. A request for excess units must be approved by the dean of Student Services.
To qualify for one of the categories listed below, students must carry a minimum course load in a fall or spring semester as follows:
- Full-time Student: 12 units per semester.
- International Student: 12 units per semester.
- Work-Study Student: 12 units per semester.
- Social Security, California State Disability, and P.L. 674 Students: 12 units per semester.
- Military Benefits: Full-time (12 units per semester); three-quarter time (9 units) half-time (6 units).
- Student Body Officer: 12 units per semester.
- Varsity Athlete: 12 units, and P.E. if required.
- Cooperative Education: Total of 7 units per semester.
There is a Limit on Nondegree-Applicable Basic Skills Courses
Students are limited to a total of 30 units in non degree-applicable basic skills courses (i.e., courses that are not college-level). Students who have completed a total of 26 units of non degree-applicable basic skills course work, excluding ESL courses, must apply for a waiver of the 30-unit limitation to continue in remedial course work. Petitions and procedures are available at the Admissions and Records office.
Student Progress Monitoring
Merced College monitors the academic progress of its students and communicates this information to enrolled students. Each term students fail to make satisfactory progress (2.0 GPA) they are placed on probation, as are students who have withdrawn from more than 50 percent of the courses in which they have enrolled. Students on probation may have additional restrictions placed on them.
Auditing a Course
Students can audit a course only if there is space available in the class and with the instructor’s permission. Any prerequisites established for the course must be met.
Students can register to audit a fall or spring full-term course after the first week of instruction, or for a short-term or summer session course after the second class meeting. The per-unit fee for auditing is charged unless a student is enrolled in at least 10 units at the time of applying to audit a class. Students who are already enrolled in at least 10 units may audit up to three units free of charge. The audit fee is non-refundable. Board Policy 4070/AP4070.
Once enrolled as an auditor of a course, a student may not enroll in that course for credit during the same semester, and may audit a course only once. An audited course will not be posted on one’s permanent academic record; however, as an auditor, students will be expected to attend regularly and may participate in class activities, take examinations, and write papers with the instructor’s consent.
If a student is enrolled only as an audit student will have restricted use of some College facilities and services. Although use of the library is permitted, audit students may not check out library materials, have access to the library’s periodicals or any instructor materials placed on reserve. There will be restricted use of Student Health Services and there will be no access to the College’s Employment Referral Service.
Changing Your Schedule
Adding a Fall or Spring Class
Students who have completed their steps to registration and have no holds may add any class that they have met the pre-requisite requirement for through WebAdvisor or Student Planning up until the first class meeting of that course. To add a class in person, obtain a Schedule Request form in the Admissions and Records Office. Fill in the Course Registration/Adds section. Students are required to obtain a counselor’s signature if they are on probation or if they are trying to register in a course which has a prerequisite and the student is not currently enrolled in the prerequisite or if he/she has not successfully completed the prerequisite at Merced College.
From the first day of the semester through the end of the third week of the semester, students may add into a class by obtaining the instructor’s signature on a schedule request add form. Many Merced College classes have waitlists for classes that have full enrollment. Instructors will add from the list of waitlisted students first. Because late registering students may be unable to succeed due to missing instruction time, beginning with the fourth week of instruction, students must also obtain the approval of a dean of Instruction.
Dropping a Fall or Spring Class
It is the student’s responsibility to drop any class that they do not intend to complete. Classes may be dropped at any time a student is eligible for registering. Students with no holds can drop classes through WebAdvisor, Student planning or in person in Admissions and Records.
If a class is dropped within the first three weeks of an 18-week course, it will not appear on the student’s permanent record. A grade of “W” will be placed on the student’s permanent record for classes dropped after the third week and before the end of the fourteenth week of a regular semester. (See “withdrawal” in the section on grading.) After the fourteenth week drops are not allowed and students must be given the letter grade they have earned for the course.
Instructors may, but are not required to, initiate class drops if a student has not attended class or if attendance has dropped below standard (see Attendance Policy). If dropped by the instructor, students will receive a permanent record entry based on the above time periods.
Adding and Dropping Summer Classes
Adding a Class: Students who have completed their steps to registration and have no holds may add any class that they have met the pre-requisite requirement for through WebAdvisor or Student Planning up until the first class meeting of that course. From the first day of the semester through the end of the first week of the semester students may add into a class by obtaining the instructor’s signature on a schedule request add form. Many Merced College classes have waitlists for classes that have full enrollment. Instructors will add from the list of waitlisted students first. From the beginning of the second until the end of the third week, students can add a class with the approval of the instructor and the dean of Instructional Services. Classes will not be added after the third week.
Dropping a Class: Students with no holds can drop classes through WebAdvisor, Student Planning or in person in Admissions and Records. Classes dropped during the first week of classes will not be shown on permanent records. For the second through the fifth week, a “W” - withdrawal -will be recorded on the student’s permanent record. After the fifth week, drops are not allowed and students must be given the letter grade they have earned for the course.
If You Withdraw from the College
Total withdrawal from the College is a student responsibility and can be accomplished by completing the Course Drops section of the Schedule Request form in Admissions and Records office for all of your classes or by completing the drop process for all classes through WebAdvisor or Student Planning which can be accessed through the Student Portal. All outstanding debts owed to the College must be paid and all books or other materials on loan from the College must be returned.
Tuition, Fees, and Refunds
A California State enrollment fee is charged per unit for all students. This enrollment fee is subject to change by the State Legislature. Enrollment fees are due at the time of registration.
For non-resident students, this enrollment fee must be paid in addition to the non-resident tuition fee. (See Residency and Tuition below.)
The cost of textbooks and supplies needed for courses is dependent upon the selected courses and may vary widely. Textbook lists all information and prices are posted at the Bookstore web site at www.mercedcollegebookstore.com prior to any registration period.
IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO REQUEST A REFUND. REFUND APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE STUDENT FEES OFFICE.
Listed below are the various student fees, charges, and the refund policy for each. Fees may be charged or changed without notice.
- California State Enrollment Fee:
$46 per unit
- Non-resident Tuition:
$208 per unit ($208 for summer), plus enrollment fee. Tuition charges are subject to change beginning with the summer session each year.
- International Student Insurance:
Approximately $600 per year is required; other insurance plans may be acceptable. Refund Policy: Refunds are in accordance with the insurance company’s policies.
- Health Fee*:
$17 per semester ($14 for summer) which includes campus accident and injury insurance coverage; community resource information, basic health and wellness services and information; short term personal counseling services.
- Student Rep Fee**:
$1 per semester (no fee for summer). Fee is used to support student advocacy at the local, state and national levels.
- Student Body Fee***:
$5 per semester (no fee for summer). Fee is used to support campus clubs, events, activities, and campus based programs that will benefit the student population. Examples of supported programs are scholarships, multi-cultural campus events, and community resource outreach.
*Ed Code Section 76355 allows exemption from the Health Fee solely to those students meeting the following criteria:
- Indentured apprentice enrolled in apprenticeship classes only
- Those who depend exclusively on prayer for healing (appropriate documentation must be filed)
Health Fee Waiver forms available at the Student Fees Office. This form must be submitted by the end of the second week of the semester. Please contact the Student Fees Office for more information.
**Ed. Code Section 76060.5 allows the Students to request a waiver of this fee for religious, political, moral, or financial reasons.
- Fee is used to support student advocacy at the local, state and national levels.
No fee for summer session.
Student Representation Fee Waiver forms are available at the Student Fees Office or ASMC. This form must be submitted by the end of the first week of the semester.
***Per California Community College Student Fee Handbook section 4.3 states that this fee is optional to students:
- Fee is used to support campus clubs, events, activities, and campus based programs that will benefit the student population. Examples of supported programs are scholarships, multi-cultural campus events, and community resource outreach.
Student Body Fee Waiver forms are available at the Student Fees Office or ASMC. This form must be submitted by the end of the first week of the semester.
- Transcript Fee:
The first two transcripts are free; additional copies are $5 each. Please allow 10 working days from the receipt of your request. Next business day service may be available for pick-up or mailing for an additional charge of $10, but certain restrictions apply. Call (209) 384- 6193 for more information. Refund Policy: No refund available.
- Parking Fee:
$20 per auto ($10 for summer) per semester or $1 per day.
- Child Care:
As arranged per child by semester contract.
Refund Policy: If services are cancelled with a two-week notice, a refund may be obtained for the remainder of the contract.
- Auditing Fee:
The per-unit fee for auditing is charged unless students are enrolled in at least 10 units at the time they apply to audit a class. Students already enrolled in at least 10 units may audit up to three units free of charge. The audit fee is non-refundable.
- Return Check/Stop Payment Fee:
$30 per returned item.
Refund Policy: No refund available.
- Subpoena Fee:
$15 per request.
Refund Policy: No refund available.
- Duplicate Diploma Fee:
$10 per request.
Refund Policy: No refund available.
- Credit by Exam:
The fee is equal to the enrollment fee required if registering for the course.
The general refund policy covers the following fees: enrollment fees, state health fees, parking fees, student body fees, student representation fees, and non-resident tuition.
Students may apply for a refund if withdrawing from courses within the first two weeks of a full semester (18-week) course or, in the case of non 18-week courses, before 10 percent of the class meetings have passed.
After the second week of a full-semester course, or after 10 percent of the class meetings have passed on a non 18-week course, no refunds are available. Any additional classes added after the respective refund period will incur a financial responsibility.
Outstanding Debts Owed to the College
Students owing an outstanding debt to the College will have a hold placed on their academic records at the Admissions and Records office. Ordering transcripts and the issuance of a diploma will be withheld until the student clears the hold by paying the outstanding debt in full. A student’s ability to register for classes will be restored after having paid the debt in full or setting up a payment plan with the College. To pay the debt in full or arrange a payment plan, contact the Student Fees Office at (209) 384- 6219 (Merced) or (209) 826-3431 (Los Banos). Credit card payments can be made online at www.mccd.edu/makeapayment.
Residency & Tuition
Establishing California Residency
To avoid paying non-resident tuition, you must have resided in California for at least one year and one day prior to the opening date of the semester or summer session in which you are enrolling. You must also have satisfied at least three acts of intent prior to the one year and one day waiting period. Documentation must be valid, legible, and cover the one year and one day before the first day of the enrolling semester time period. These acts may include, but are not limited to, obtaining a California driver’s license, registering a motor vehicle in California, registering to vote in California, owning California property, or having one’s belongings in California. You must also show evidence that California income taxes have been or are being paid (unless you are on public support). A complete explanation of California residency laws and regulations may be obtained in the Office of Admissions and Records.
If you do not qualify for California residency, you must pay non-resident tuition.
To Be Reclassified as a Resident:
Upon completion of the one year and one day requirement and being previously classified as a non-resident, students may obtain the forms from the Office of Admissions and Records for reclassification as a California resident. Reclassification has the additional requirement of financial independence from parents if they are non-California residents.
Military Waiver of Non-resident Tuition
Members of the U.S. armed forces on active duty in the State of California (and have not been assigned to California for educational purposes) are exempt from non-resident tuition. There is no requirement to establish California residency; however, one must be on active duty at the time they are admitted to the College to qualify for this waiver. Upon separating from the military, the student will be required to provide evidence of intent to establish residency in California at least one year prior to the admittance date.
Non-resident Veterans (AB13 2014)
Eligibility for nonresident tuition exemption contact Admissions and Records. Dependents of non-resident military personnel are entitled to an exemption from non-resident tuition until they have established residency as stated in “Establishing California Residency” above.
Residency Status for Refugees and Undocumented Aliens
New arrivals from countries approved for refugee status must reside in California one year and must hold an I-181 or an “Alien Registration Card” (green card) before applying for residency status.
Refugees not meeting the above requirements will be considered a nonresident and must pay nonresident tuition. Eligible California high school graduates may qualify to pay resident tuition under the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption law (AB 540).
The California Community College Chancellor’s Office has ruled that undocumented aliens are to be classified as non-residents.
It is the philosophy of Merced College to encourage the attendance of international students to enrich and broaden the educational experiences of all students. With this philosophy as a basis, the Merced College International Student Policies encompass the following guidelines:
- A maximum number of international students equal to 5 percent of the previous year’s full-time equivalent enrollment may be admitted to Merced College.
- Discretion is used in selecting applicants to ensure that there is a balance of international students from various countries of the world.
- International student eligibility is based on meeting the application requirements and English language proficiency (TOEFL 450) by the semester deadline.
- Upon acceptance to the International Student Program, a student is issued an I-20 immigration form that enables the student to apply for his/her student visa
To apply for admission under the International Student Program, write to the Program Assistant requesting an application (there is an application fee). Once admitted to Merced College as an international student, nonresident tuition plus state enrollment fees must be paid. Financial aid is NOT available to international students. By the census date of each class fees are due in full or a payment plan must be set up. Fees must be paid in U.S. currency.
Attendance & Grading
Regular attendance and consistent study are the two factors which contribute most to success in college work. College students are expected to attend all sessions of the classes in which they are enrolled. Failure to attend class can result in a lower grade or in being dismissed from a class.
Priority in a class is established at the time of class registration. Registering for and failing to attend the first class meeting will forfeit any priority in that class and students may be dropped from the roll in order to accommodate other students wishing to register in the class.
If, in the opinion of the instructor, a student’s absences in a specific class would prevent the successful completion of the course requirements, the student may be dropped from the class. In the event of extenuating circumstances such as a verified illness, accident or conditions beyond your control, the instructor may allow the student to continue under special arrangement.
In a course of instruction for which grades are awarded, the instructor of the course will determine the grade assigned using the following grade scale:
||Passing, less than satisfactory
||Failing, stopped attending
||Pass - performance equivalent to a grade of “C” or better
||No Pass - performance equivalent to a grade of “D” or “F”
||Incomplete academic work for justifiable reasons at the end of a term
||Withdrawal from the class and/or College
||In Progress - a class was extended beyond the normal end of the academic term and assignment of a substantive grade must await completion of the class
||Report Delayed - a temporary notation recorded when there is a delay in reporting a grade
The non-evaluative grading symbols above (marked as “N/A” - not applicable) are not used in the calculation of GPA (grade point average).
Assigning and Removing a Grade of Incomplete
A written record containing the conditions for removal of the “I” is to be completed by the instructor at the time that grades are submitted to the Admissions and Records office. If the conditions for removal are not completed after one semester, the grade to be assigned must be part of this record. A copy of the written record will be given to the student and one will be filed with Admissions and Records.
The required work will be evaluated and a final grade will be assigned if the student meets the conditions within the one semester allowed. Students may petition for a time extension due to unusual circumstances.
Taking Courses on a Pass/No-Pass Basis
Students are allowed to earn a maximum of 12 units attempted on a pass/no-pass basis. There are certain courses in which all students are evaluated on a pass/no pass basis only. These courses are specified in the course description in this catalog. All courses other than those included in the category above are available for the pass/no-pass option; however, courses specifically required for one’s degree or certificate should not be taken with this option.
Units earned on a “P/NP” basis are not used in the calculation of the GPA; however, when receiving an “NP,” the units for that course will be counted as units attempted and considered in probation and dismissal procedures. One may repeat a course in which an “NP” was received. (The repeated course will not be counted as units attempted.)
Students selecting the pass/no-pass option and later wishing to receive the letter grade which was filed with the Registrar must submit the grade request form no later than one regular semester following the semester in which received the “P” was received. Course units converted from pass/ no-pass to a letter grade will not be counted in the 12 allowable pass/no-pass units, but will be used in the calculation of the GPA.
The instructor of the course shall determine the grade to be awarded to each student. The determination of the student’s grade by the instructor is final in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence. The removal of an incorrect grade from a student’s record shall only be done upon authorization by the instructor of the course, with the following two exceptions: 1) If the instructor is no longer employed by the District and compelling evidence is available that there was a simple error in the grade submitted, the vice president of Student Personnel OR vice president of Instruction may change the grade; 2) If mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence are present, the final determination concerning removal or change of grade will be made by the Board of Trustees based on the recommendation of the Superintendent/President. Board Policy 4231/ AP4231.
Repeating a Course Course
Repetition for Grade Improvement
In an effort to alleviate substandard academic work, a student may repeat courses in which they have received sub-standard grades of “D”, “F”, “FW”, “NP” or “NC” by re-enrolling in the course(s). Students may repeat courses in this way for a total of three attempts. A withdrawal that results in a “W” on the transcript counts as one attempt to improve a grade. One additional attempt may be allowed if the College finds there are documented extenuating circumstances which justify another repetition. A petition must be submitted along with documentation supporting the circumstances relating specifically to the dates of the last attempt. Extenuating circumstances are verified cases of accidents, illness or other issues beyond the control of the student.
Course Repetition When the Student Has Earned a Passing Grade
Students may take a course once and then repeat it as many times as is stated in the course description in the catalog. After receiving a grade for a course, subsequent enrollments in that course that result in a withdrawal with a “W” count as a repetition attempt.
For courses that are not repeatable in which a student has received a satisfactory grade, i.e., “A”, “B”, “C”, “CR”, or “P” may not be repeated unless the Academic Exceptions Committee approves a Petition which:
- Demonstrates a significant length of time has elapsed since the course was taken (five or more years), or for other substantial reasons.
- Demonstrates that repetition is necessary for a student to meet a legally mandated training requirement as a condition of continued paid or volunteer employment.
After repeating a course the following changes will appear:
- If the grade received in the original course was sub-standard, an “R” will appear in the notes column to the right of the original course. The original grade will not be used in computing the GPA. The grade received in the approved repeated course will be posted to the transcript and used for GPA purposes.
- If the grade received in the original course was satisfactory, both the grade received in the approved repeated course and the original grade will be used for purposes of GPA calculation. (State regulations do not allow “W” grades to be removed or lined out.)
Withdrawal from a course or courses shall be authorized through the last day of the 14th week of instruction (or 75 percent of a term, whichever is less). The academic record of a student who remains in a course beyond the time allowed by district policy must reflect a symbol as authorized other than a “W.” No notation (“W” or other) shall be made on the academic record of the student who withdraws during the first four weeks or 30 percent of a term, whichever is less.
Students may attempt a course a maximum of 3 times including withdrawals where a “W” symbol is recorded.
Students have the right to file a petition if they believe they either should or should not receive a “W” or wish to enroll in a course where they have exceeded the maximum number of “W”s due to extenuating circumstances.
If a student receives a sub-standard grade (“D” or “F”) the student can petition to disregard this course for purposes of calculating GPA. (Title 5 Sections 55044 and 55046)
Students may petition to have their academic record reviewed for academic renewal of substandard academic performance under the following conditions:
- Students must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 since the term in which the substandard grade(s) to be removed was/were earned. The courses used in this GPA calculation must be from an accredited institution and total at least 12 units; and
- At least one regular semester must have elapsed from the time the course work to be removed was completed.
Up to 24 units of course work may be eliminated from consideration in the cumulative grade point average.
When academic renewal procedures permit previously recorded substandard coursework to be disregarded in the computation of a student’s grade point average, the student’s permanent academic record should contain an accurate record of all coursework to ensure a complete academic history.
Academic renewal procedures may not conflict with the District’s obligation to retain and destroy records or with the instructor’s ability to determine a student’s final grade.
The Dean of Student Services or Academic Exceptions Committee designee must approve the Academic Renewal Petition.
Reversal of Academic Renewal actions may occur if the College finds there are documented extenuating circumstances. A petition must be submitted along with documentation supporting the extenuating circumstances to the Dean of Student Services for a final decision.
Acceptance of Credit from Other Institutions at Merced College
A maximum of 30 credits may be earned from the combined use of Military Experience, Advanced Placement, C.L.E.P., Credit by Examination, and International Baccalaureate.
Students Transferring from another College
Official transcripts must be submitted in an official, sealed envelope from the other institution to the Admissions and Records office for evaluation of equivalent coursework. These may be submitted via mail or in person. Only lower division credit will be accepted provided the institution offering the courses accepts them towards its own degree. Institutions must be listed as being fully accredited by one of the regional institutional accrediting organizations that are recognized by the United States Department of Education. Transcripts submitted to Merced College become the property of Merced College and cannot be returned or forwarded to another institution.
Merced College does not evaluate international transcripts until they are evaluated by a recognized transcript evaluation service recommended by the Merced College Records Office (Educational Records Evaluation Service). The Evaluations Office will only consider lower division courses recommended by the service. The request forms for these companies can be picked up in the Evaluations Office. The cost of the evaluation is the responsibility of the student.
Other Means of Obtaining Credit at Merced College
A maximum of 30 credits may be earned at Merced College from the combined use of Military Experience, Advanced Placement, C.L.E.P., Credit by Examination, and International Baccalaureate. While many colleges accept, with certain limitations, appropriate credits obtained by examination, there is no guarantee by Merced College that other institutions will do so.
Merced College recognizes and fully participates in awarding student credit for the examinations listed below. However, credits earned from Advanced Placement, C.L.E.P., and I.B. external examinations may not count toward a Merced College degree major. Students are encouraged to consult their counselors in these matters. Advanced Placement, C.L.E.P., I.B., and Military Credit may be counted towards the satisfaction of prerequisite courses with the advice and consent of counselors.
Merced College participates in the Advanced Placement (AP) Program offered by the College Board. A score of 3, 4, or 5, is required, depending upon the specific exam. Not all AP examinations are identified for credit. Information about the awarding of credit by the specific AP exam and the application for Merced College Associate Degree Breadth, CSU General Education Breadth, and IGETC is provided in the section entitled AP EXAMINATIONS.
Merced College will award credit under the College Level Examination Program (C.L.E.P.) in accordance with the standards adopted by the California State University System. Credit for Subject Matter exams is based on the scores recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE). The number of units of credit granted varies. See a college counselor for additional information.
Credit by Examination at Merced College
- Credit by Examination (occasionally referred to as Challenging a Course) is available to students during the first six weeks of each regular semester and the first four weeks of a summer term.
- Students must be registered in at least one course at Merced College during the semester they want to attempt Credit by Examination and they must be in “Good” academic standing.
- Students may be asked to supply a high school and/or other college transcript when applying for a Credit by Examination.
- Students will pay a Credit by Examination fee equal to the enrollment fee required if registering for the course; the fee must be paid prior to completing the examination.
- All grades obtained through Credit by Examination will be displayed on the transcript with a notation of “C” (Credit by Exam).
- Credits acquired by examination shall not be counted in determining the twelve (12) semester hours of credit in residence required for a Merced College Associate Degree.
- Credits acquired by examination are not applicable to meeting the unit load requirements of Selective Service deferment, Veteran’s benefits, or Social Security.
- Credit by Examination is not allowed for courses previously taken in an institution of higher education and for which any grade other than a “W” was received.
- Credit by Examination is not allowed for courses that are considered pre-collegiate.
- Although the University of California and the California State University systems accept, with certain limitations, appropriate credits obtained by examination. There is no guarantee by Merced College that other institutions will do so.
The number and type of courses available for Credit by Examination at Merced College may be limited and are identified annually by the faculty. Information about which courses may be attempted using Credit by Examination may be obtained in the Counseling Area.
Merced College participates in the International Baccalaureate (IB) offered by the American Council on Education (ACE). Students may only receive credit towards the Merced College associate’s degree general education requirements. IB general education subject area applicability exists system-wide for students completing CSU GE Breadth or IGETC Breadth patterns. Specific information is provided in the section entitled INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (IB). Please see a counselor for more information.
After earning 12 units of credit in residence at Merced College, military veterans will be awarded up to 12 units of credit for military training and experience. These units will be recorded on the student’s Merced College transcript. This award will be based upon the American Council of Education’s (ACE) recommendations found on the individual’s ACE Registry Transcript. The basis for awarding credit for military training and/ or experience is as follows:
Basic Training: The student will receive two units of credit in Physical Education/Kinesiology.
Other Military Training/Experience: Merced College will grant a maximum of 10 units of general elective credit.
Community College of the Air Force transcripts will be evaluated in the same manner as described in Students Transferring from Another College and will not be subject to the above unit limitations and residency requirements.
Students seeking credit for specific Merced College courses based upon military training and/or experience must apply for credit by examination. See Credit by Examination for additional information.
Students seeking to use military training and/or experience in lieu of stated prerequisites must challenge the prerequisite using the standard college process. See Challenging a Prerequisite for additional information.
Probation & Dismissal
Students will be notified of having been placed on academic probation if they have attempted at least 12 units and earned a grade point average below 2.0 based on all units recorded on their permanent record. A student’s probation status is not affected by a break in attendance.
Students will be removed from academic probation when their cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher.
Students on academic probation will be subject to dismissal from the College if they’ve earned a cumulative grade point average of less than 1.75 in all units attempted in each of three consecutive semesters.
Students who are on academic probation for three consecutive terms with a cumulative GPA below 1.75 will be subject to dismissal.
Although units accumulated during a summer session are used in the GPA calculation, the probation status changes only at the end of a regular semester when grades are recorded.
Please note, academic probation can impact registration priority and financial aid. Please see a counselor for additional information.
For specific information regarding the impact of academic probation see Administrative Procedures AP 4250 and AP 4255.
Students will be placed on progress probation if they’ve enrolled in at least 12 units and the entries on their permanent record of “W,” “I,” and/or “NP” reach 50 percent of the cumulative units or more. The probation status is not affected by a break in attendance.
Students will be removed from progress probation when the percentage of units graded as “W,” “I,” and “NP” drops below 50 percent in this category.
Students placed on progress probation will be subject to dismissal from the College if the entries on their permanent record of “W,” “I,” and/or “NP” reach 50 percent of the cumulative units or more for three consecutive semesters.
Although units accumulated during a summer session are used in the GPA calculation, the probation status changes only at the end of a regular semester when grades are recorded.
For specific information regarding the impact of progress probation see Administrative Procedures AP 4250 and AP 4255.
Students who have been dismissed from the college will be notified by e-mail.
Probation and Dismissal Appeal
A student may appeal probation or dismissal provided that unusual and verifiable circumstances occurred that were strongly instrumental in leading to the probationary or dismissal status. Reasons for appeal might include: 1) one’s health; 2) an emergency in one’s family; or 3) an extreme change in financial situation which did not allow the student to continue your education. Other reasons not listed above may also be considered.
Board Policy 5530 also provides information about how to contact other organizations, such as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, if a student wishes to file a complaint.
Merced College supports students’ right to grieve or appeal any official action or incident which, in their judgment, is unfair or prevents them from obtaining equal educational opportunities. Board Policy and administrative procedure AP 5530 provides information about conditions under which students may grieve and the process to be followed.
In cases of action, such as dismissal from a class, program, or the College, students can initiate an appeal according to a specific appeal channel. If a student wishes to exercise the right to appeal an action taken against them by a College official, the student should contact the Dean of Students regarding the proper procedure to be followed.
In cases of incidents such as alleged discrimination or harassment, students can initiate a grievance. To exercise the right to grieve such an incident, students should contact the College’s Equal Employment Officer regarding the proper procedure to be followed.
All complaints should attempt to be resolved at the local level. Agencies overseeing Merced College include the agencies listed below. The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has complaint procedures listed on their homepage, which can be located at cccco.edu. The address is 1102 Q St., Suite 4554, Sacramento, CA 95811.
Students who believe that Merced College is in violation of any of the accreditation standards may contact the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, located at 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The telephone number is 415-506-0234.
For issues related to sex, race, disability, or age discrimination contact maybe made with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 50 Beale Street, Suite 7200, San Francisco, CA 94015. Telephone numbers are: 1-415-486-5555 (voice) or 1-415-227-8124 (TTY).
Student Right to Appeal
When a student’s petition is denied by the Academic Exceptions Committee, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of Student Services. An appointment is required by calling (209) 384-6314.