Merced Community College District announced today the decision to offer most of its fall 2020 classes online. 

Currently scheduled lab classes which are difficult to offer completely online will be held face-to-face with social distancing guidelines, required face masks, and/or other mitigation strategies in place.  A limited number of general education courses may be offered face-to-face where social distancing is possible.

This decision was determined to be the most responsible in light of what the District knows about the COVID-19 and upon guidance from the Merced County Department of Public Health, in consultation with the Board President and Vice President, senior administration, and in concert with Merced College’s Academic Senate Leadership and partner institutions.

Superintendent/President Dr. Chris Vitelli said the District has been monitoring the pandemic with the hopes of accommodating both a face-to-face and online class schedule for the fall 2020 term.

“This is a novel virus and we are literally learning new information hour-by-hour,” said Vitelli. “Through it all, we have worked tirelessly to implement the most responsible solutions and path forward. The Board of Trustees and I are proud of how the students, faculty, and staff have responded in this unprecedented time. Their efforts have been extraordinary and it’s what makes Merced College a stand-out institution of higher learning.”

Most employees will continue to work-from-home and academic and student support services will be offered to students remotely through the fall 2020 term.  Essential staff and other employees will work on-site as needed.

The District converted over 90% of its spring 2020 courses online when the campus closed on March 12, 2020 due to a statewide stay-at-home order. Hundreds of students have been provided with mini-desktops and other equipment so that they could continue their studies. In addition, hundreds of thousands of dollars in emergency grants have been disbursed to students to mitigate financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enrollment for the fall term is ongoing and open now at  The District has been expanding its offering of online certificate and degree programs, and there are many transfer courses available for students taking a gap year, looking to add essential job skills to their resumes, or considering new career options. 

In the coming weeks, the District will be communicating additional information specific to students, staff and the community as it relates to the transition to a mostly online fall term.

For more information, contact the Office of External Relations at or (209) 381-6176.

For updates on the COVID-19 situation, visit: