The Merced College CalWORKs program serves students and their families by providing educational and career opportunities, combined with an array of high-quality support services that enable students to complete their education goals, find meaningful employment, and a successfully transition into the workforce. Through collaboration and advocacy with our college and community partners, we prepare a segment of California’s workforce by promoting the economic self-sufficiency of CalWORKs students through the attainment of a higher education.

California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) is a state funded welfare-to-work program designed to help individuals on public assistance. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), is a cash aid program (welfare) for parents who meet income guidelines and have a child in the home under the age of 18.

Merced College CalWORKs program work collaboratively with Merced County Human Services Agency (H.S.A) to meet the needs of the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) students. The H.S.A. CalWORKs program provides temporary financial assistance to qualifying families and provides Medi-Cal Coverage for all recipients. There is a work requirement of 20/35/40 hours per week based on a one or two parent household.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must have a verified deprivation. Deprivations include unemployment, underemployment (less than 100 hours per month), disability or incapacity, and absent parent of a child/children under 18 years old. Household income and resources also go into the eligibility determination. (Household income and resources are also included when determining eligibility)


  1. You may make an appointment with a counselor by calling the CalWORKs office. To contact CalWORKs at Merced Campus or Los Banos Campus by phone at 209 384-6377.
  2. Phone Counseling: Counselors are also available for phone appointments. The full-service phone appointment allows students to connect with counselor by phone.
  3. zoom Counseling: Zoom Counseling is a web-based service utilizing webcam and audio. The full-service online appointment allows students to connect with a counselor through Zoom icon located on your Merced College Portal.

  1. CalWORKs Staff assist students with issues regarding school, CalWORKs, work, and offer supportive resources. The CalWORKs Student Support staff and peer mentors are available to work with you to problem solve, research a problem and act as a liaison. You can also receive assistance with understanding the rules and regulations of CalWORKs.
  2. If you have any questions regarding Student Advocacy, please contact our CalWORKs Student Support Coordinator LaDenta Smith at [email protected] or (209) 384-6234. Should you have any program concerns contact CalWORKs staff.

  1. Assists students with the completion of a CalWORKs approved education plan. The counselor will also assist students with registration, personal counseling, career exploration, and time management.

  1. Work under the direction of the CalWORKs Student Support Coordinator. The Peer Mentors are Merced College students trained in helping other students. When you enter Peer Mentors help students complete their paperwork and adjust to college life.

  1. The Merced College Child Development Center (CDC) provides childcare services and is based on availability. The students must meet CDC eligibility guidelines. To receive services, students must be currently enrolled at Merced College.

  1. Human Services Agency’s provide students with a stipend based on the number of units students are enrolled.

  1. Are to help students track their hours in class and are needed to verify mileage payments. These are self-reporting forms that are submitted and serve as enrollment verification. They are also used to verify that required 20/30/35 per week hours are being met. The hours needed are based on the family household size.


Los Banos Campus

Building A, Student Services

Monday & Tuesday 9-2:30
Wednesday 10-3:30
Thursday 10-2

Merced Main Campus

Lesher Student Service Building, 3rd Floor, Office 304
3600 M Street
Merced, CA 95348

Merced CalWORKs Staff

Los Banos CalWORKs Staff