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Message from the Dean

Message from the Dean

The Institute for Distance Education Advancement and Excellence (IDEAE) at Merritt College is the place where faculty, students and staff collaborate to enhance online teaching and learning experiences. We are about to embark upon an intrepid journey in the coming months. We will support our faculty and students to reach new heights in distance education (DE) curriculum and pedagogy. Our goal is to achieve and surpass California’s Online Education Initiative (OEI) standards for distance learning and teaching. We are aiming to reach the highest rates of success, retention and persistence in the nation for Merritt’s students, with special attention paid to equity and social justice for disproportionately impacted groups in our learning communities. We plan to reach these goals through an amalgam of methods including:

o Professional development for our faculty and staff;
o Structured student training on how to succeed in online courses;
o Enhanced Critical Academic Support Services (CASS) designed for online courses;
o Strengthened integration of instructional and student support services for DE;
o Deployment of preemptive interventions through predictive analysis of trends in online learning;
o Insuring highly responsive technical support for online faculty and students;
o Investing in the right software and equipment;
o Insisting on excellence from ourselves and our students while providing the necessary resources and support; and
o Frequently investigating other benchmark practices in academe and industry and emulating them at Merritt.

I also want to take this opportunity to welcome and introduce our new Distance Education Coordinator, Professor Monica Ambalal. Ms. Ambalal was selected to lead Merritt’s DE efforts and will begin working on campus in Fall 2018. She brings an amazing depth and breadth in knowledge and know-how to Merritt’s online education, from instructional design to online pedagogy, and everything in between. With her energetic leadership and the Merritt team’s dedication to our faculty and students, we are heading toward unprecedented success for our community. Please find our contact information listed to your right. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need help or would just like to talk about an idea or concern you may have. I hope you enjoy, learn, and feel supported as you participate in Merritt’s online courses and services.

Dr. Syed Khaled Hussain
Dean, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences