The first phase of the new Educational Master Plan is underway and set to continue through November.

Spearheaded by Vice President of Student Services Dr. Michael McCandless, the EMP will course the direction of Merced College’s instruction, student support services, and administrative functions over the next four to five years.

Teaming up with the Collaborative Brain Trust (CBT), the College will collect data on the community and surrounding area, searching for improvements and potential areas of growth that will be beneficial to the student base. CBT is a consultant firm that specializes in higher education.

“The EMP is very important because it’s the guiding plan for the direction that the College will head in,” McCandless said. “The Facilities Mater Plan is based on the EMP as is your Strategic Master Plan. We last updated it in 2015-2016 prior to the accreditation team visit, but now we need a really evolved EMP that says this is where we are and where we need to go.

“The EMP is kind of the crux of everything for the College. All our other planning stems from this plan. Without the EMP it’s harder to get traction on the shorter-term stuff you want to get done. And without the EMP, you don’t have a direction for where you want to go, and so you’re kind of stuck wallowing in the status quo.”    

The first phase of the project, which is set to be finished in March 2018, is data gathering and the piecing together a task force. McCandless said the task force will consist of 16 groups, composed of classified professionals, faculty and management.

While that’s happening, the CBT team will review existing data and documents at the College, complete internal and external scans of the Merced College environment and service area, and engage with people both on campus and in the community to discuss existing and future needs.

“I am pleased that Dr. Mike McCandless, Vice President of Student Services, is chairing this important task force for the District,” Superintendent/President Chris Vitelli said. “With his leadership and the team of constituents serving on the task force, we are certain to produce a meaningful and progressive plan serving as the guide for the future of Merced College.

“There are few plans, if any, more important than the Educational Master Plan for Merced College.  It is truly the cornerstone of all future planning for the College."

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