Course Catalog

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Course #
Course Title
Course Level
Units
MERR 1
Academic Literacy and Ethos: Reading Ourselves, Reading the World
Lower Division
5 units
Teaches foundational concepts for intellectual exploration and personal development within an academic community: analysis, critical thinking, metacognition, engagement with others across difference, and self-efficacy. Engages students in Merrill's intellectual tradition of investigating social change and social justice. Enrollment is restricted to first-year college members. Enrollment limited to 30.
MERR 1A
Introduction to University Life and Learning
Lower Division
1 units
Orientation to and exploration of the nature of the liberal arts, and of learning at research universities. Topics include: academic planning for upper-division coursework; enrollment processes; and understanding pathways to degree completion; UCSC resources that support health and well-being strategies for academic success; the cultivation of just communities; the prevention of sexual harassment and violence; campus conduct policies; awareness of risks associated with drug and/or alcohol use; and an introduction to traditions of community-engaged learning, ground-breaking research, and interdisciplinary thinking that define a UC Santa Cruz degree. This course can be taken for Pass/No Pass grading only. . Enrollment is restricted to entering first-year Merrill College students.
MERR 5
WORD: Writing Originating from Reading and Discussion.
Lower Division
2 units
Designed to provide students with practice using critical reading strategies with a variety of academic texts and genres and is graded Pass/No Pass only. Enrollment is restricted to frosh students and by permission of the instructor. .
MERR 31F
Agency, Dialogue, Action: Fostering Critical Engagement
Lower Division
2 units
What exactly does it mean to have agency, what do we do with agency? Course examines theories of agency, in education and elsewhere, and engages students in opportunities to enact and examine effective approaches. Understanding that spaces of social collaboration are also learning environments, students investigate how different models of student engagement promote agency ultimately leading to investigating how we can utilize our agency to effect change and how dialogue plays an integral role in this process. Also explores effective practices for fostering and implementing agency and communication, and the theories from which these practices emerge. Enrollment is by permission and is restricted to students who are a member of a SOMeCA organization. (Formerly MERR 31.) . (General Education Code(s): PR-E.)
MERR 32F
Mindful Collaboration: Cultivating Radical Exchange
Lower Division
2 units
Collaboration can be challenging, particularly in a society in which there is an emphasis on individualism and competitiveness. Compromise, for example, can be experienced or interpreted as personal sacrifice rather than fertile ground for possibility. Solving many of the world's most significant issues (climate change, economic instability, pandemic, etc.) will require collective effort and this will challenge us to create new ways of being and thinking. Through classroom discussions, journal reflections, and experiential exercises, students investigate models of collaboration, how social inequities can challenge collaborative work, the importance of common purpose, practices that support respectful and inclusive deliberation, and student organizations as sites of collaboration. Enrollment is by permission and is restricted to students who are a member of a SOMeCA organization. (General Education Code(s): PR-E.)
MERR 33F
Transformative Leadership and Social Change
Lower Division
2 units
Examines current state of constant division and dissent to look for solutions to society's largest problems and examples of leadership that exhibit the compassion, openness, and skills needed to reach inclusive and genuine consensus that students can learn from in becoming effective and transformative leaders. Students challenge their own assumptions regarding leadership and explore and assess different means through which they can be leaders who facilitate change with more than just their own ideas in mind. Through both class discussions and interactive practices, students explore ways of strengthening interpersonal relationships, developing shared frameworks, and creating a collective consensus that supports sustainable and inclusive change. Enrollment is by permission and is restricted to students who are a member of a SOMeCA organization. (General Education Code(s): PR-E.)
MERR 34F
Careers in STEM
Lower Division
2 units
Provides students with information, tools, and strategies to embark on STEM career exploration and preparation, including strategies for addressing challenges and opportunities related to diversity within STEM career fields. Students explore their career values, network with guest speakers in STEM fields (alumni, faculty, postdocs, graduate students, career coaches, and hiring managers), and prepare and create career-related documents (resumes, cover letters, networking plans). Enrollment is restricted to sophomore and junior STEM majors and proposed STEM majors, and by instructor permission. Students in the EOP program are given priority. . Enrollment limited to 25.
MERR 35A
Pathways to Graduate School Phase 1
Lower Division
2 units
Guides students in utilizing relevant and timely information, tools, and strategies to embark on the path to graduate school exploration and preparation, including strategies for addressing challenges and opportunities related to diversity within graduate education. Students explore their values and motivations for pursuing graduate school, network with guest speakers (current graduate students, faculty members, graduate school admissions professionals); and prepare to continue their development as scholars and researchers in order to deliver outstanding graduate school application materials (personal statements, CV/resumes, letters of recommendation requests). Through these course activities, students cultivate their scholarly identity and sense of self-efficacy as future graduate students. Enrollment is restricted to sophomores and juniors in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences divisions and by instructor permission. Students in the EOP program are given priority. Enrollment limited to 20.
MERR 40
Deafness & Sign Language
Lower Division
5 units
Explores what we can learn about the human mind and brain by studying sensory loss and language in a different sensory modality. Topics include visual and spatial thinking, brain organization, compensating for sensory loss, and the nature of human language. . (General Education Code(s): SI.)
MERR 41
Pandemic Case Studies: Principles in Public Health
Lower Division
5 units
Examines the coronavirus pandemic using public health principles to gain better understanding of its causes, pathways, and social dynamics. Students compare and contrast the current pandemic with historical pandemic events using case study analysis and the application of public health concepts, in order to understand the coronavirus pandemic within a broader perspective of health, society, and human behavior. Enrollment limited to 30. (General Education Code(s): PE-H.)
MERR 50F
Merrill Alumni Careers in Public Service
Lower Division
2 units
Course focuses on careers in public service--why choose one, how to prepare for one. (Formerly MERR 50.) . Enrollment is restricted to college members. Enrollment limited to 30.
MERR 60
Fake News: Its History and Why We Need Critical Media Literacy
Lower Division
5 units
Teaches students how to take skillful possession of their power as citizens by participating in community focused news literacy service learning projects. Recently, debates about fake news in entertainment, politics, and news media have centered on the threat American citizens' waning news literacy skills pose to the democratic process. Course develops those skills, focusing on critical thinking, the history of fake news and journalism, differences between journalism and fake news, news and propaganda, news and opinion, bias and fairness, assertion and verification, and evidence and inference. Integrates coursework into collaborative community engagement projects that seek to advance the community's news literacy skills. . Enrollment limited to 30. (General Education Code(s): TA.)
MERR 85B
Merrill Classroom Connection Field Study
Lower Division
3 units
Supervised hands-on experience assisting in local K-12 school classrooms. Students attend UCSC class meetings, complete relevant readings in educational theory, and present a final assignment. This course requires more hours than MERR 85C and involves travel to Pescadero twice per week. Priority enrollment restricted to Merrill College members. May be repeated for credit. (General Education Code(s): PR-S.)
MERR 85C
Merrill Classroom Connection Field Study
Lower Division
2 units
Supervised hands-on experience assisting in local K-12 school classrooms. Students also attend UCSC course meetings, complete relevant readings in educational theory, and present a final assignment. Please see http://merrill.ucsc.edu/academics/programs-and-courses/classroom-connection/index.html for conditions that must be met prior to placement at local schools. Priority enrollment is restricted to Merrill College members. May be repeated for credit. (General Education Code(s): PR-S.)
MERR 90
Theory and Practice of Field Study
Lower Division
5 units
Course provides an opportunity for lower-division students to learn about Santa Cruz, Calif., its contemporary history, culture, and politics through classroom theoretical learning integrated with individual field studies. Course also examines social change, qualitative research, and community organizing. Enrollment is restricted to College Scholar Students. Enrollment limited to 25. (General Education Code(s): PR-S.)
MERR 90F
Merrill Field Study Practicum
Lower Division
2 units
Offers Merrill students an opportunity for practical field study experience with preparation and support for practical skill development and critical reflection on service-learning experience. Enrollment is restricted to sophomore, junior, and senior college members. Enrollment limited to 30. (General Education Code(s): PR-S.)
MERR 90S
Theory and Practice of Field Study
Lower Division
2 units
Students spend 10 hours a week on an internship they choose, with the support of the instructor, working with a local organization. Includes class lectures and discussions of readings. (General Education Code(s): PR-S.)
MERR 99
Tutorial
Lower Division
5 units
Various topics to be arranged between student and instructor. Students submit petition to sponsoring agency. May be repeated for credit.
MERR 99F
Tutorial
Lower Division
2 units
Various topics to be arranged between student and instructor. Students submit petition to sponsoring agency. May be repeated for credit.
MERR 120
Personal Empowerment
Upper Division
5 units
Intensive course on individual goal-oriented behavior, commonly called problem solving. Focus on purpose, goals, meaning, emotions, languages, model-building, reality, thinking, logic, creativity, the steps of problem solving, common blocks, and techniques of unblocking. Meet with instructor prior to advance enrollment; priority given to upper-level students. Enrollment limited to 20.
MERR 180
Research Skills for College and Beyond
Upper Division
2 units
Focuses on exploration/development of skills for planning, study habits, research, networking, and communication skills for college, graduate and professional school, and beyond. Primary focus is on writing, public speaking, and academic and professional research. Enrollment is restricted to junior and senior college members. Enrollment limited to 15.
MERR 183F
Focus on Africa
Upper Division
2 units
Equips students with the skills and background necessary to be informed observers and chroniclers of current affairs on the African continent. Enrollment limited to 20. May be repeated for credit.
MERR 194
Group Tutorial
Upper Division
5 units
A program of independent study arranged between a group of students and a faculty member.
MERR 195
Senior Research Project
Upper Division
5 units
Students submit petition to sponsoring agency. May be repeated for credit.
MERR 198
Independent Field Study
Upper Division
5 units
Provides for college-sponsored individual study programs off campus, for which faculty supervision is not in person (e.g., supervision is by correspondence). Up to three such courses may be taken for credit in any one quarter. This may be a multiple-term course extending over two or three quarters; in this case the grade and evaluation submitted for the final quarter apply to all previous quarters. Petitions may be obtained at the Merrill College Office. Approval of student's adviser, certification of adequate preparation, and approval by the Merrill Provost required. May be repeated for credit.
MERR 199
Tutorial
Upper Division
5 units
Various topics to be arranged between student and instructor. Students submit petition to sponsoring agency. May be repeated for credit.