Merced College expands online options for students

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Merced College is taking action to expand its online learning resources.

For Merced College student Scott Lawrence, it was online learning that gave him a second chance at getting a degree.

"I came back during the pandemic," explained Lawrence. "I was working full-time prior to that. Having that accessibility made it a lot easier to spend time with my family."

Even after the North Valley college opened its doors to students, many chose to continue to take classes online.

"We found not as many students were coming back as we thought and that meant we needed to do more online education," said Faculty Support Coach Jennifer Hobbs.

The college is switching gears, expanding its online offerings to accommodate the growing demand.

"We have to design the content to really think about the student experience and how that student is going to access their content," said Instructional Designer Garrick Grace.

The college has added a new innovation center. It's home to a remote worker lounge and two recording studios that professors utilize for online lectures. Each studio houses a variety of different learning tools.

"They don't have to write with their back to the board and then turn around and explain it," said Grace. "They're able to look, write at the board and do their writing."

They're also teaching the teachers.

A team of instructors is offering guidance to other faculty members as they navigate the online teaching process.

"Help them build up their courses, feel more confident about teaching online," added Hobbs.

It's all in an effort to meet students where they're at.

"I can do my day-to-day with my son, spend time with my wife and do my classwork when I want," added Lawrence.

The college is already accepting applications and has a variety of online degrees options for students. For details visit their website.
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.