MERIT Program

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MERIT Program

CA State Certificate of Achievement as an Educational Technology Specialist PLUS 12 Quarter Units from Foothill College

Program Cost

CA Residents: No tuition (plus a $75 Registration fee required upon acceptance)

Out-of-State and International Residents: $2500

Program Location

Southern California Cohort will be hosted by Covina-Valley Unified School District
519 E. Badillo St.
Covina, CA 91723

Northern California Cohort will meet at KCI
12345 El Monte Rd.
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Program Details

Start Date: 06/04/2022

End Date: 03/01/2023

Weekly Time Commitment

Competency-based with an average task time of 1 hour per week in addition to scheduled synchronous meetings

Application Requirements


The MERIT (Making Education Relevant through Innovative Teaching) program has been KCI’s premier professional learning program since 2002. MERIT is a research-based, professional learning program designed to help educators bolster their curriculum with new teaching methodologies and technology-enhanced learning activities to motivate, challenge, and inspire the diverse learners and leaders of the future.

MERIT scholars are perpetually curious, driven, and have a hearty growth-mindset.

They take risks and dial into innovative trends, tools, and experiences that empower their local community. They embrace personal and professional agency and design inclusive and responsive learning environments as models for other educators.

Program Advantages:

  • Grant-funded professional learning – We keep educator’s budgets in mind.
  • Cohort-based Learning Model – Connect with an intimate group of educators impacting change right alongside each other.
  • Job-Embedded – Develop materials and projects you can use with your learners right now.
  • Community – Join a supportive, mentor-based community of like-minded individuals.

Is this program right for you?

  • Are you a curious classroom educator ready to uncover the innovative power or educational technology for you and your learners?
  • Are you an innovative school leader impacting extensive change and adoption in the area of educational technology?
  • Are you part of a site or district team looking to effect large-scale organizational growth for other instructors and educators?

Meeting Dates and Times:


  • June 4th, 2022, 9:30am – 12:30pm pST – In-Person

Summer Institute (9:30am – 3:30pm each day)

  • July 11-13, 2022 (In-Person)
  • July 14-15, 2022 (Virtual)
  • July 18-19, 2022 (Virtual)
  • July 20-22, 2022 (In-Person)

Follow-Up Days (10am – 2pm PST each day)

  • October 8th, 2022 – In-Person
  • November 5th, 2022 – Virtual
  • February 4th, 2023 – In-Person
  • March 4th, 2023 – In-Person

*A professional endorsement is required before the application is considered complete.

Professional Endorsement Form


Our Instructors

Why I <3 KCI

  • It was an honor to participate in MERIT as an out-of-state participate with the intention to expand resources, make connections with outstanding educators, and return with a plethora of new ideas. MERIT was one of the best professional development opportunities in my career and I became a better teacher for my students, as well as shared my learning with colleagues. P.S. We all learn better when we have fun!

    — Cobey Doi, MERIT Alumnus

  • I am a MERIT 2011 fellow. MERIT was one of the best professional development experiences I’ve ever had. After MERIT, I went on to present at edtech conferences all over the state, including CUE, ISTE and California League of Schools. I still keep in touch with the professional networking community that came from my time at MERIT. While it was over ten years ago, I am still using the tools and skill set I took from MERIT. I highly recommend this amazing program. It will change your life!

    — Kristen Berg, MERIT Alumnus

  • As an educator, I was looking for a way to further engage my students in ways that we could grow together while learning. MERIT provided me the experience to teach my students as digital natives to comfortably access new technologies as they came along and to feel confident about creatively implementing tech in innovative ways.

    — Christina Aronen, MERIT Alumnus

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