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Student Affairs

Alumni Bridge the Gap Through City Year Service

The concept of taking a “gap year” is gaining steam in the U.S. Typically done between high school and college, these sabbaticals can also occur in the space between graduating college and entering the workforce or beginning graduate school. For many, the transition between phases of life is a mental and physical break filled with travel and life experiences.

Rebekah Contreras found herself entering one of those phases as she concluded her studies at UC Merced this past spring, but she wanted more than an extended vacation.

New Students Gain Tutoring, Support From Peers

College can be intimidating — new classes, new people, new responsibilities, and that’s before you even get to the coursework itself. For some, the transition can be difficult.

UC Merced’s Peer Assisted Learning Support (PALS) makes it a little easier for students who might feel intimidated approaching professors about their struggles in a given course. The learning sessions match trained student tutors with other students, and they cover many subjects. 

New Grant Aids Underrepresented Students With Undeclared Majors

A new grant from the U.S. Department of Education will help the University of California, Merced, establish important support services for first-generation and low-income students who have yet to declare a major.

The grant, totaling $1.09 million over five years, will launch the Strengthening Talents and Exploring Pathways (STEP) program. STEP will be part of the Calvin E. Bright Success Center’s existing Fiat Lux program, which serves underrepresented students at UC Merced.


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