This year, MERIT is focused on improving distance learning experiences.
Your support is crucial. 

The application deadline for Summer 2020 has passed.

For more information about any of the KCI programs, please contact


Paving A New Path for Educators

The MERIT (Making Education Relevant through Innovative Teaching) program is the KCI’s premier professional learning program. MERIT is a research-based, educator development program designed to help teachers 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 is a year-long program that starts each spring, includes a two-week intensive summer institute, and continues with follow-up classes in the fall and winter quarters.

Research Centered

The MERIT Program seeks to show through qualitative and quantitative measures that new teaching approaches and engaging technology in the hands of a well-trained teacher can improve student learning. Participants have the opportunity to learn to use and contribute to a variety of resources for collaboration, and are required to design projects not simply to provide dynamic learning experiences for their students, but also create open educational resources that will be of value to other teachers and students near and far.


This has been the most empowering development program of my professional career – on so many levels! I am ready, and I will, transform learning in and beyond my classroom to change lives for the better.


I am amazed that I feel as connected to the people in this room after just 9 days. What you are doing is amazing. I hope to convince more of the teachers I work with to apply!


I really appreciated having time to collaborate with the cohort and the instructors to apply what we learned throughout the two weeks. Everyone was open and supportive to helping, and the culture of the program was very friendly. We definitely helped each other to problem solve and push ourselves to beyond our comfort zones.


This has been the best professional development experience. I feel like I have a ton of ideas brewing and I am looking forward to tapping into the resources that I gathered from these two weeks.


I am very pleased with how the week has gone and wish to tell you how much I appreciate the effort that all the instructors put into their lessons. They are all rock stars in my mind. They have high energy, a “can do” attitude, and lots of positive energy.


MERIT was a super FABULOUS experience. Learned so much in an inspiring, joyful, and hands-on way. I’m going to recommend that MERIT instructors come for PD at my school to my principal.


Northern California public school educators are highly encouraged to apply for a place in MERIT. The MERIT program also accepts private and charter school applicants, as well as applicants from all over California. (California teachers should be California residents for at least 12 months prior to the May orientation to receive units and stipend.) International applicants are encouraged to apply. All participants must provide their own housing and travel.


MERIT 2010 teachers collaborating on a laptop
MERIT 2018 Cohort

Frequently Asked Questions