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Instructional Support

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Instructional Support Resources


The Office of Instructional Services is committed to supporting the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service by providing optimal customer service to SSHA instructors. The Office strives to support pedagogy through instructional and curricular services tailored to instructor and student needs.


  1. Ensure the integrity of the confidential course-evaluation process through the creation, distribution, collection and return of course evaluation results.
  2. Clearly communicate the process by which textbook and desk copy requests are submitted and ensure that instructors receive requested desk copies in advance of each term.
  3. Manage School course offerings, in collaboration with faculty, SSHA Advising, and SSHA Administration, based on historical enrollments and actual student need to meet student demand.
  4. Facilitate the implementation of curricular changes for courses and academic programs.
  5. Facilitate clear communication in the areas of curriculum and instruction through collaboration with the SSHA Curriculum Committee, Office of the Registrar, Campus Book Store, instructors and UC Merced staff.


  1. Manage the course-evaluation process including distribution, collection and storage.
  2. Distribute textbook and desk copy-order process, maintain online desk copy request form, and provide desk copies based on instructor requests.
  3. Process course scheduling requests for new and existing courses in collaboration with faculty, the Office of the Registrar, the SSHA Advising Office, the SSHA Academic Personnel Office and SSHA administration.
  4. Track mid-term and final grade submissions, and facilitate student grade changes as needed.
  5. Support the SSHA Curriculum Committee through the scheduling of meetings, drafting of agendas and memos, recording of minutes, facilitation of full SSHA faculty votes, and dissemination of information from the Senate Office, etc. Manage annual update of SSHA sections of the UC Merced General Catalog. Routinely facilitate the process by which new and revised course requests (CRFs) are created, reviewed, assessed and implemented.
  6. Process the following student forms: Course Over-Enrollment and Independent Study.
  7. Provide instructors with training, maintenance and troubleshooting assistance for Scantron machines.

New Instructor Orientation Resources

Our office provides a new instructor orientation once a year to give new SSHA Faculty and lecturers an overview of how SSHA functions, and where they can find necessary support in the future. Instructors are also provided with reference material, such as the SSHA New Instructor Handbook, to help them navigate challenges they may encounter as an instructor for SSHA.

Below are additional resources for faculty:

Academic Scheduling Guidelines

The process of course scheduling is a collaborative effort between The Office of the Registrar, SSHA Scheduling Faculty from each discipline, and SSHA’s Course Scheduling Coordinator. An overview of the guidelines are as follows and a more detailed guideline can be found under resources:

  • Class meeting times requested must match hours approved in the Course Request Forms (CRFs)
  • Disciplines are expected to distribute their offerings between MWF (before 6:00pm), MW (after 4:30pm), and TR patterns using standard time blocks with:
    • No more than 60% of Class sections using Prime Time (between 9:00am and 3:00pm)
    • No more than 40% of Class sections using the TR pattern
    • Classrooms are assigned to closely match room capacity with projected Class enrollment. Actual enrollment may be adjusted based on historical and projected enrollments from Platinum Analytics
  • Any requests that reflect an unbalanced distribution of course offerings will be returned to the Scheduling Faculty in that discipline for adjustment and resubmission.

SSHA will submit requests for disciplines in the order in which a complete list of course requests within a discipline are received. The Office of the Registrar determines priority in scheduling:

  • Primary Class sections (lectures/seminars) are scheduled before Secondary Class Sections (discussions/labs);
  • Required Secondary Class Sections are scheduled before optional Secondary Class Sections;
  • Large Classes are scheduled first.

Classes that meet using standard time patterns are given priority over those using non-standard patterns. Classes with specialized pedagogical design are given appropriate consideration.

Below are additional resources for faculty:

Final Exams

The final exam schedule is available on the course schedule at the Office of the Registrar’s website. When viewing this site, please be sure to select the current term and “All Classes” as the website defaults to the following term and “Open Classes Only”.

If you do NOT plan to utilize your final exam period(s), please email at your earliest convenience.

Text and Desk Copy Ordering

Desk copies are copies of assigned texts provided to instructors to utilize for the instruction of their courses. SSHA Instructional Services Staff is responsible for ordering instructor and TA desk copies for courses based on the following four criteria: (1) instructor submitted a desk copy request via the SSHA desk copy request webform, (2) course has assigned discussion sections/labs, (3) course is lecturer-taught and has an enrollment of 80 or more, and (4) course is faculty-taught and has an enrollment of 45 or more.

Campus Bookstore Website

To submit your textbook order online through the UC Merced Campus Store website, please use the following link: textbook online order homepage. If you are experiencing issues with signing in or with your password, please email the Bookstore’s Manager, Nathan Garcia at

If you require an Instructor’s copy of any Required/Recommended/Optional title, please email requesting an instructor desk copy for your specified courses.

Undergraduate Independent Study Form

Students have the opportunity to receive credit for assisting faculty with their research. They receive course credit by completing an Independent Study Enrollment Form, which requires review and processing from SSHA, before they can enroll. Effective Spring 2017, SSHA Lecturers are no longer able to lead Independent Studies. Requests for Independent Study Enrollment will not be accepted until the first day of continuing student registration.

Over Enrollment Form Process

UC Merced does not offer a wait list for closed courses; however, a course may be at maximum enrollment without reaching the maximum fire and safety capacity of the classroom in which the course is being taught. While requests for over enrollment are never encouraged, in extenuating circumstances, this form can be made available (either by the instructor or by SSHA Instructional Services Staff) for students to request over enrollment.

Scantron Machine Support

SSHA has two Scantron machines, located in COB2 215 – only SSHA instructors and teaching assistants have access to this room. Below are brief descriptions of each machine, but detailed instructions can be found here: Scantron Machine Instructions.

Green Scantron Machine (882-E)

  1. Mark the answer key
    • Mark the key using the same form marked by students
    • Find the key marking row directly above question 1
    • Mark the scoring option you prefer
    • Mark the correct answer to each question
  2. Score the test
    • Turn the Scantron machine on using the power switch located on the back right side of the machine
    • Press Start
    • Feed the answer key
    • Feed the tests one at a time
    • Turn the machine off

Instructions can also be found posted on the wall above the machine.

Red Scantron Machine

The Red Scantron Machine is used with Par Score Software that utilizes the Par Score Student Enrollment Sheet (F-288-PAR-L), as well as, Par Score Test Form (F-289-PAR-L). Instructions can also be found beside the computer connected to the scanner.


The Office of Instructional Services is responsible for working with the Office of the Registrar to ensure that all SSHA instructors successfully submit their grades by the deadline. Mid-semester grades are required for all courses numbered 0-099 (including all independent study courses numbered 092, 095, 098, and 099). Final grades are required for ALL courses.

Deadlines -

Grade Changes -

Incomplete Grades -

Grade Policies/Appeals -

Course Evaluations

The course evaluation period occurs the last two weeks before finals week. Prior to this period, instructors receive an email overviewing the course evaluation process and recommending ways to aim for a high response rate. Students will receive an email with links to each course’s instructor and TA evaluations to fill out. Instructors will receive two automated notifications if their response rates are below 50% to help you better understand the response rate throughout the survey period. Once the survey period ends, students can no longer submit evaluations. Each instructor will receive their course evaluation report after the period is over and once all final grades are submitted.

Past Course Evaluations Request

To request a past course evaluation from different semesters, please complete the web form online. Our estimated response time is 3-5 business days.


Instructional Services Staff:


Megan Topete

Manager of Instructional Services

P: 209-228-4594


Angela Dixon

Course and Curriculum Coordinator


Ana Padilla

Course Scheduler


Kimberly Martinez

Instructional Support Assistant


Last Updated: April 2018

Instructional Support Questions: Please email