Making Education Relevant and Interactive through Technology (MERIT)

For more than a decade, the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College (KCI) has hosted one of the premier educational technology-focused professional development programs in the United States. MERIT is a research-based, educator development program designed to help teachers bolster their curriculum with student-centered, technology-enhanced learning activities to motivate, challenge and inspire the diverse learners and leaders of the future.

The MERIT Program seeks to show through qualitative and quantitative measures that 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. In helping to make learning and teaching more dynamic, MERIT is working to bring education out of the past and into the future that unfolds before us constantly.

Who should apply?

Participants in MERIT range in age, years of teaching and experience with technology, but all accepted applicants have the potential to help their colleagues develop their understanding of and techniques with a variety of powerful technologies. The MERIT program is open to California teachers and educators (librarians, administrators) of a variety of disciplines, grade levels, and school types. International applicants are encouraged to apply, too! The program includes a special focus on math and science, where there is a significant need to help students develop confidence in and excitement for their future possibilities with these subjects. 

Important dates for MERIT 2015

MERIT 2015 Summer
Application for
MERIT 2015 opens:
Applications Due:   
Acceptance Notification
July 6 – 17, 2015
Apply NOW January 19, 2015, 11:59pm by March 1, 2015

Information Sessions for Applicants
Interested teachers and educators are invited to attend one of the following online information sessions to learn more about the MERIT program. Follow the instructions to login to the webinar.

Archived webinar of Information Presentation (60 min.)
Click “View Archives” under Teach & Confer image
Then fill in the search fields as shown, then click “Find Archives”

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 2.48.17 PM.png


Live information sessions, when offered, are held at the Krause Center for Innovation, Room 4006, Foothill College, 12345 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022.

Here is a page with driving directionsPark in Lot 4, bring some change with you, the parking fee is $3 cash (quarters or dollars). Look for the yellow vending machines. The KCI is the larger domed building to your right as you ascend the driveway into Lot 4. If you cannot attend one of the info sessions, feel free to contact the program at the address below. The volume of questions increases shortly before the deadline, and we cannot guarantee that all questions will be answered in time for an applicant to meet the deadline. We encourage all applicants to ask questions as early as possible.

What is MERIT?

 MERIT is a unique experience

MERIT Program

 Take a glimpse of a typical MERIT program

MERIT Summer Institute 2010

MERIT Program Mission Statement

To promote innovation with technology, pedagogy, and content that will have measurable positive impact on education in the Silicon Valley and beyond.

MERIT Program Goals

The MERIT Program will:

  1. Model a 21st Century classroom environment that demonstrates a) critical thinking and problem solving, b) communication, c) collaboration, and d) creativity and innovation that teacher-participants can replicate in their classrooms.
  2. Integrate innovative technology tools and practices into the program learning environment that enhances teacher-participant engagement and learning.
  3. Guide development of MERIT Teachers’ technology-enriched, student‐centered learning projects designed to improve students’ learning outcomes.
  4. Present and model assessment strategies for educational technology projects, teaching practices, and learning outcomes.
  5. Develop MERIT Teachers’ leadership in peer coaching, mentoring, and training skills in school and district venues as well as conference presentations at the local, state, and national levels.

MERIT Teacher Learning Outcomes

MERIT Teachers will be able to:

  1. Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
  2. Design and develop digital-age learning experiences and assessments
  3. Model innovative, digital-age work and learning in a global and digital society
  4. Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility
  5. Engage in professional growth and leadership with confidence

MERIT Teacher Incentives*

10 total continuing education quarter units (CEUs) from Foothill College (5 units from the Summer Institute are paid by the KCI, the other 5 units paid by participant)

$750 stipend upon completion of all summer institute requirements (for California teachers only)**

1 cool technology tool to enhance teacher participants’ project work

$750 stipend upon completion of academic year requirements (for California teachers only)**

 Note: All incentives are designed to support the ongoing innovation of technology into the curriculum. 

[*Incentives subject to change]
[**Program funding specifies that stipends are offered only to California teachers]

MERIT Teacher Rewards

Participants who complete all the requirements of the two-week Summer Institute receive 5 Foothill College continuing education units, a $750 stipend and a technology tool to enhance their projects.  All incentives are designed to support the ongoing integration of technology into the curriculum, and by following through with fall and winter academic classes, training, activities, and project implementation, participants will receive an additional $750 stipend in March of the year following the Summer Institute.  These activities include helping other teachers learn to integrate technology meaningfully and therefore allowing the benefits of the MERIT Program to spread well beyond the classrooms of the participants.

To see a graphic overview of the MERIT Program, view or download the MERIT 2015 Program Summary document in the attachments section below. Also, check out these pages in this site:

Requirements and Application

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. International applicants are encouraged to apply. Non-local participants must provide their own housing and travel.

Applications are due Monday, January 19, 2015, at 11:59pm (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

Contact Us

If you have questions not answered in this site, you can email your questions to: meritapplications@gmail.com

Best wishes,

Steven McGriff, Ph.D., Professor in Residence, Krause Center for Innovation [650-949-7681]

For future reference or bookmarking...use this shortcut for this page: http://tinyurl.com/KCI-MERIT

Krause Center for Innovation, Foothill College • 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022 • krauseinnovationcenter.org/ • 650-949-7680