UC Berkeley Extension, UC Merced Partner to Offer Continuing Education Courses in San Joaquin Valley

MERCED, CA— UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau and UC Merced Chancellor Steve Kang announced a unique educational partnership today to offer continuing education courses to adults in the San Joaquin Valley beginning this summer.

The chancellors signed a memorandum of understanding between UC Berkeley Extension and UC Merced to offer academic courses and professional workshops that address the continuing educational needs of the San Joaquin Valley. Summer offerings at UC Merced's Fresno Center will include professional courses, such as project management, counseling, computer systems and programming, solar energy and digital publishing. Additional courses will be added in the fall.

"The groundwork for California's future economic growth is being laid at UC campuses, where new innovations are being discovered and the next generation of scientists, engineers and business leaders is being trained," Birgeneau said. "Our extension program is an integral part of our mission to serve the continuing and professional education needs of thousands of people each year."

The partnership pairs the University of California's original campus with the system's newest research university to meet the educational needs of Valley residents, whether they are interested in advancing professionally, looking to start a new career or learning a new skill.

"I am honored to be here with Chancellor Birgeneau to announce a joint venture — the UC Berkeley/UC Merced Extension Collaboration," Kang said. "This partnership will link our two campuses for years to come and will help meet the continuing education needs of our rapidly growing region."

UC Berkeley Extension, the first extension program in the University of California system, has been delivering professional and continuing education to the broader community since 1891. UC Berkeley Extension increases access to the resources and scholarship of the UC Berkeley campus by offering quality education for thousands of Californians to improve their job skills and enhance the quality of their lives.

"We are delighted to partner with UC Merced," said Diana Wu, dean of UC Berkeley Extension. "Together, we will bring the high quality associated with the University of California to the Valley to meet the continuing education needs of area residents."

UC Merced opened Sept. 5, 2005, as the 10 thcampus in the University of California system and the first American research university of the 21st century. The campus significantly expands access to the UC system for students throughout the state, with a special mission to increase college-going rates among students in the San Joaquin Valley.

"Our campus is committed to making a research-based college education within reach of all California residents," said Kevin Browne, assistant vice chancellor of enrollment management at UC Merced. "But this partnership with UC Berkeley Extension goes further by opening up the UC experience to Valley residents who have a variety of professional and educational goals."

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UC Berkeley Extension

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Brandy Nikaido, UC Merced Center in Fresno and Pat Rose, UC Berkley Extension

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