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Update on COVID-19

25 March 2020

Merritt college is working to provide remote delivery of instruction and student services. To learn more about remote services visit the resource page for COVID-19. If you are a faculty or staff member and would like more information on how to continue to provide instruction remotely, please refer to the resource page.

Peralta Community College District COVID Information Page:

Peralta Faculty Resources page:

Peralta Student Resources page:

Alameda County Public Health Department:

CDC Guidelines:

UPDATE 3/20/2020

Following Alameda County’s “Shelter-in-Place” order, Governor Newsom has now issued the same directive statewide.  The PCCD Emergency Management Team has been convening via Zoom every day to respond to the emergency and facilitate institutional and academic continuity.

I would like to thank those of you who have stepped up in support of the effort.  Your flexibility in these uncertain times has been invaluable as we navigate these paths. Your commitment and perseverance in service to students and the community is inspirational.

Please be reminded, all classes are canceled March 23-April 5, 2020. Remote instruction is scheduled to resume on April 6, 2020.

Over the next two weeks, faculty will continue the excellent work of converting face-to-face classes into remote instructional formats. Non-instructional faculty and staff will continue to provide important student services using remote formats.

Thank you to the many faculty and staff who have been working with us to transition on this unprecedented scale.  We will continue to disseminate information related to the many details that are being worked out in order to maintain institutional and academic continuity.

The health and safety of members of the Peralta community remains our top priority. We will continue to make sure our decisions are informed by the latest information from local, state, and national health authorities as well as the state chancellor’s office.

Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley has projected, based on data from the California Department of Public Health, that the need for social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will continue well into June and perhaps beyond.   Vice Chancellor Siri Brown and her team, the college Vice Presidents of Instruction, the District and College Academic Senate leaders, Distance Education coordinators and leads are exploring options for laboratory, career education, and activity classes.  Thank you to the more than 35 science discipline faculty who participated in the Labster demonstration as they consider remote laboratory instruction.

We will continue to update you as the situation evolves. The latest updates from Peralta regarding COVID-19 are available at

Peralta serves a diverse community of learners and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming environment of belonging. Please treat each other with respect and kindness in these challenging times. You are all important members of our community.

Thank you for the incredible job you are doing as we respond to the emerging information.

Take good care,

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Chancellor


UPDATE 3/18/2020

  • Spring Break is March 16-21, 2020
  • All Classes canceled March 23-April 5, 2020
  • Classes available via remote instruction will resume Monday April 6, 2020
  • College campuses and district office closed March 14-April 6, 2020
  • Staff and administrators are working remotely during Spring Break and to April 6, 2020
  • Travel on behalf of the District is suspended



UPDATE 3/16/2020

In light of the “shelter in place” directive issued earlier today by Alameda County, all classes at Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, and Merritt College are canceled from March 23, 2020 to April 6, 2020.

All four college campuses as well as the District office, currently closed for Spring Break, will continue to be closed to April 6, 2020.

All employees will continue to work remotely while the college campuses and district offices are closed. Employees (including student workers) will maintain their respective schedule and continue to be paid during this time.

Additionally, travel on behalf of the district is now suspended, including previously approved travel plans.

Services for students will be available following Spring Break, beginning on March 23 through the April 6 campus closure period, but are offered online and not via in-person contact.

The latest updates from Peralta regarding COVID-19 are always available at Peralta serves a diverse community of learners and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming environment of belonging. Please treat each other with respect and kindness in these challenging times. You are all important members of our community.

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Something to Celebrate!!

19 March 2020

Please join us in welcoming the newest members of our tenured faculty!  

Mary Rosa Ciddio, Counselor/Student Accessibility Services

Stefani de Vito, LCSW, Counselor/Veterans Services

Brock Drazen, Athletic Director

A. Evan Nichols, English Faculty

Maria S. Rodriguez, Ph.D., Biology Faculty

Derrick Ross, Counselor

Jose Salceda, Counselor (Puente)

Nghiem Thai, Librarian

Filed under: news

The Art of Healing

22 November 2019

During a Merritt College art class earlier this year, several students responded to a particular project by creating self-portraits related to personal healing. As the student artists discussed their work with each other, Sheila Metcalf-Tobin, the instructor, noted “very powerful moments of sharing.”  She was so moved by the experience, she asked the students if they’d like to share their deeply personal art in a show featuring their work. Thus began “The Art of Healing” exhibit, now showing from November 20 to December 13, 2019 at Merritt College, Barbara Lee Science Building, Room S352.  

The exhibition features artwork from over twenty students, faculty, and Merritt community members, and also artists from the other Peralta Colleges.  “This is the first time we had an open call for entries and we had a great response,” said Metcalf-Tobin, Art Department Chair at Merritt.  

Art of Healing exhibition

Artist Talks are scheduled for December 4th (5-7pm) and December 5th (noon to 2pm).  Many of the artworks are for sale, with money going directly to the student artists. 

Stephanie Thames, a Merritt College student and life-long learner, is one of the artists featured in The Art of Healing.  Her beautiful and provocative ceramic sculpture is called “The Unconscious Mind.” She explained that thanks to the process of working with the clay and letting meaningful shapes emerge, “I started having a healthy place for the toxic thoughts…the self-reflective thoughts became building blocks to my healing.”

Stephanie Thames and her sculpture

While many of the artworks were created as a response to pain, from mild depression to extreme loss and death, the exhibition really is uplifting, as if one can feel the healing power the art had on their creators. 


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Renew DACA Before the End of the Year

15 November 2019

Earlier this week the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments from both sides about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). The court will review whether the Trump Administration can end DACA. While there is no exact date for the Supreme Court decision, legal experts expect the decision to come in spring 2020, and no later than the end of June.

Merritt College and the Peralta Community College District remain steadfast in our support for undocumented citizens in our community.  We are here to support you.

If you already have DACA status but it expires anytime in 2020, you are highly encouraged to renew your DACA ASAP by the end of 2019. 

  • You can renew your DACA if you had it in the past and it expired or was terminated
  • You should talk with a trusted legal service provider before you renew if you had contact with law enforcement since your last renewal or if your DACA was terminated
  • Unfortunately, those who have never had DACA still cannot apply to the program.
  • Read NILC SCOTUS Scenarios for possible outcomes.

For more information, please visit:

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Roadtrip Nation Launches “Roadmap to Careers” at Merritt

21 October 2019

What do you get when you cross reality television with career guidance counseling?  Why, Roadtrip Nation of course!  The big, green RV and the Roadtrip Nation team of John, Carla, Alli and Joel visited us at Merritt College on October 17, 2019, a beautiful sunny autumn day.  The team spent the day meeting students and introducing them to the new “Roadmap to Careers” program that is free to all Merritt College students.  Simply login to to get started. You’ll need to create an account and use the special Merritt College code in order to access all the cool features. Visit here for more info about creating your account. (If you need the code, please visit Merritt College Student Services in Building R-113 or email Mark Johnson for it). Once you’re in, simply answer a few questions to find potential careers that match your interests. 

Photo of the Roadtrip Nation team at Merritt College Steve Pantell and Maria Spencer welcome the Roadtrip Nation Team (John, Alli, Joel, and Carla) to Merritt College

Merritt College Counselor and Articulation Officer Dr. Steve Pantell has been a fan of Roadtrip Nation for years and uses their resources frequently when discussing potential career paths with students.  Steve’s enthusiasm for Roadtrip Nation resources knows no bounds. In fact, Steve helped introduce Roadtrip Nation tools to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. That introduction in turn led to talks, which led to negotiations, which led to a CCC-system wide licensing agreement with Roadtrip Nation. That agreement gives all California community college students FREE access to the Roadtrip Nation “Roadtrip to Careers” site!

Photo of Merritt College students and the Roadtrip Nation RV An enthusiast crowd of Merritt
College students gather to learn about “Roadmap to Careers” from the Roadtrip Nation team

You may have seen the big green RV of Roadtrip Nation on their PBS television series which started in 2004 and is still going strong. Roadtrip Nation combines reality television with career planning under the basic premise of “find what you love.”  We hope you will take advantage of the FREE “Roadmap to Careers” online tools to help you find what you love. 





Filed under: Careers, news, What’s Trending Now at Merritt College. Tagged: ,

Honorable Rosie Rios, 43rd Treasurer of the United States, visits Merritt College

30 September 2019

Hola Merritt! Our campus has been vibrant throughout September as we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month 2019. One of many highlights this month was certainly the “Let’s Unite” event which had the campus buzzing on Thursday September 26th. Presented by the Inter-Club Council and ASMC, “Let’s Unite” featured The Honorable Rosie Rios, 43rd Treasurer of the United States as the keynote speaker.  Appointed by President Barak Obama, Rios served as US Treasurer from 2009 to 2016.

Ms. Rios is a local success story.  She was raised in Hayward right here in East Bay.  She went to college at Harvard, in Massachusetts where she said, “no one looked liked me.” She also noticed a lack of student clubs with only a handful available in the mid 1980s. So in 1986 she founded Cultural Rhythms, an annual cultural festival that showcases diversity and celebrates student performance, which helped inspire the launch of many new student organizations by offering them an annual showcase event. Cultural Rhythms continues to this day as a popular annual program, prompting Harvard to honor Ms. Rios as the first Latina in its 380-year history to have a portrait commissioned in her honor.

Honorable Rosie Rios speaking at Merritt College The Honorable Rosie Rios speaking at Merritt College during National Hispanic Heritage Month

She served as the City of Oakland’s redevelopment director for several years before leaving to serve at US Treasurer.  Her long and successful service as Treasurer resulted in her receipt of the Hamilton Award, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Department of the Treasury.

At one point during her talk she said, “I believe in Oakland” and mentioned that she loved the ending of the movie Black Panther and asked, “How can we make Wakanda a reality here in Oakland?” The answer is “Let’s Unite.”

Her keynote message to students was filled with personal experiences about otherness and countering exclusion through educational activism. “You are all here because you value education. Continue to invest in yourself.”  Excellent advice from someone who knows a thing or two about financial investments! A video of the talk is available on the Merritt College Facebook page here.

The event was coordinated by Aziza Crowder, Merritt College student and president of the Merritt Inter-Club Council.  Ms. Crowder reflected that the event “embodied the true meaning of unity as many clubs helped to set up and prepare early Thursday morning.”  She continued,  “The honorable Ms. Rios was an inspiration to all in the room as she shared her experiences on diversity and the strength in numbers students have when determining important outcomes within their own communities.”

Peralta Board of Trustees President Julina Bonilla and Vice President Karen Weinstein were in the audience.  Said President Bonilla, “Big shout out to Merritt student government for coordinating a wonderful event!”

Rosie Rios with trustees and Merritt College students The Honorable Rosie Rios with Peralta Trustees and Merritt College Students during National Hispanic Heritage Month


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The Barbara Lee Science and Allied Heath Center is Now Open

8 September 2019

Merritt Community,
We are happy to confirm that the Barbara Lee Science and Allied Health Center also known as the S building will be open for business on Monday, September 9, 2019. Everyone will be able to meet in their regular classrooms. Thanks for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience last week.

Filed under: Facility updates, news

Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center Presents Author Ari Berman

5 September 2019

The Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center in Oakland continues its popular Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series with author, journalist, political pundit and expert in voter registration and suppression Ari Berman Saturday, September 28, at 7 pm at the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom in downtown Oakland. Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley will join Berman for introduction and comments. The long-running lecture series presents civic leaders from across the country in lively and relevant presentations centered on Dr. King’s catalytic question: “Where do we go from here: chaos or community?” The Lecture Series is co-presented by the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center and Peralta Community College District and the September 28 lecture is sponsored by Gilead Science, East Bay Community Foundation, East Bay Regional Park District and IBEW Local 595. The lecture is free of charge and RSVPs may be made by calling the Freedom Center at 510-434-3988. For more information, visit

About Ari Berman

Ari Berman is a senior reporter at Mother Jones, covering voting rights, and a Reporting Fellow at Type Media Center. His stories have also appeared in The New York TimesRolling Stone, The AtlanticPolitico and The Guardian. He is a frequent guest and political commentator on MSNBC, NPR, PBS and C-Span. Berman’s work has earned him an Izzy Award for outstanding achievement in independent media and a place on the FD200 – 200 awardees whose work embodies Frederick Douglass’s enduring legacy of social change.

Berman is the author of Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction) and Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democractic Party and Reshape American Politics. Give Us The Ballot was named a best book of 2015 by the New York Times,Washington Post, NPR, the Boston Globe and Kirkus Reviews, and was nominated for the American Library Association’s Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence.

His frequent speaking topics include voting rights and racialized voter suppression; American politics; the state and future of democracy; civil rights; the intersection of money and politics; the 2020 census.

About the Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series and the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center

The Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series, co-produced by the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center and Peralta Community College District, promotes an ample exchange of ideas to help inspire and move forward new leadership and servantship.

Broad East Bay audiences of all ages are exposed to some of our nation’s most courageous and exemplary civil and human rights figures, engaging in creative solutions and challenges to some of the most perplexing issues facing our communities today: economic inequity, voter disenfranchisement, systemic racism, violence in schools and neighborhoods, police brutality, and the contradictions and ramifications of extreme poverty.

Lectures are organized by the youth and staff at the Freedom Center, with a focus on promoting ideas and actions rooted in principles of nonviolence, and lessons from some of our nation’s most significant civil rights struggles.

Civic engagement at the Martin Luther King Jr Freedom Center brings together individuals and organizations of diverse ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds, working side-by-side for a healthy democracy.

The Freedom Center brings best practices from the nation’s Civil Rights Movement to the forefront in community education, training, and practice, building strong community partnerships with proven results.

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Stephen Curry Coaches High School Basketball Game at Merritt College

8 August 2019

Trifecta!  NBA royalty, high school hoop talent, and the Merritt College community combine to provide basketball fun for all attending!  On August 7, 2019, Golden State Warriors MVP Stephen Curry and his father, former NBA star Dell Curry, visited Merritt College to coach talented high school basketball players as part of Stephen Curry’s SC30 Select Camp.  The event, sponsored by Under Armour and Chase Bank, featured some of the top male and female high school players in the country.

Stephen Curry’s SC30 Select Camp launched in 2014 as a basketball showcase comprised of elite players from across the country with different backgrounds and skill sets. By year three of the camp, Stephen was looking for ways to further shine a spotlight on the players and get the local basketball community more involved in his signature event. In 2017, the SC30 Select Showcase Game made its debut. 

The highly-talented high school players entertained guests with high-flying dunks and deep three pointers. Some highlights from the event include a cross-over move and 3 point jump shot that impressed even Steph Curry, and a stunning windmill dunk that brought the whole crowd to their feet.

This year’s Showcase Game was an invitation-only affair, with Stephen providing complimentary tickets to community groups and organizations – including Merritt College and the Peralta Community College District – that he has built relationships with throughout his time with the Warriors in Oakland. 

Brock Drazen, Merritt College faculty member and Athletic Director helped coordinate the event at Merritt.  “What a great team effort! From Facilities to Public Safety to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and of course our own Athletics Department, this coordinated effort with each other and with our visiting organizations was a testament to the commitment, hard work and heart of our people,” said Drazen.  “Thanks to all those who came out and enjoyed the action.”

Stephen Curry coaching SC30 basketball game at Merritt College Stephen Curry coaching SC30 Select Camp basketball game at Merritt College. Photo by Mark Johnson / PCCD

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Open English Classes Including Toni Morrison Seminar Are Available Online at Merritt College

7 August 2019

Note: All of us at Merritt College are deeply saddened by the passing of author Toni Morrison earlier this week.  Our condolences go out to her family and friends. 

Open English Classes at Merritt College – Please check the schedule for days/times

English 1A Composition and Reading Online:

  • English 1A Online Code 43364
  • English 1A Online Code 48001

English 1A Composition and Reading courses with support:

  • English 1A 43383 with 508ABC support
  • English 1A 48335 with 508ABC support
  • English 1A 43171 with 508ABC support
  • English 1A 43296 with 508ABC support
  • English 1A 43315 with 508ABC support

[Note: if you do not need the additional support, you may opt out of the additional 508 non-credit sections]

English 5 Critical Thinking in Reading and Writing:

  • English 5 43185
  • English 5 47897
  • English 5 43382

Late Start courses English Courses Online:

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