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Mari Harris, Director of Education Program, University Extension

Mari Harris, Ed.D.

Director of Education Programs, University Extension 

Dr. Harris oversees the Teacher Preparation Program (TPP) preparing single subject and multiple subject candidates for a preliminary teaching credential.  In addition, Dr. Harris is an instructor for several TPP courses; Foundations of Teaching and Project Based Learning (PBL).  Dr. Harris received her BA and clear multiple subject teaching credential from California State University, Sacramento. Furthermore, Dr. Harris is a graduate of Mills College in Oakland, California where she received her Masters in Staff Development, Clear Administrative Credential and Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

She has more than 25 years in K-12 education as principal, vice-principal, site instructional coordinator and teacher. Dr. Harris taught master’s courses and doctorate courses at Shanghai Normal University in Shanghai, China. She is a lifelong learner and an advocate for 21st Century Culturally Relevant Teaching (CRT). Dr. Harris is passionate about preparing teachers to meet the diverse student population in the Central Valley, and the state of California.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
-Nelson Mandela



Clarence McFerren II,Assistant Director Teacher Preparation Program

Clarence McFerren II, Ed.D.

Assistant Director Teacher Preparation Program, University Extension

Dr. McFerren, a Memphis native with nearly two decades of education experience, is the Assistant Director of the Teacher Preparation Program. Committed to fostering inclusivity, he empowers aspiring educators for lifelong learning and leadership, emphasizing hands-on experiences and cutting-edge methods to navigate the dynamic educational landscape. Recognizing educators’ impact, Dr. McFerren guides the program to cultivate culturally responsive teachers focused on social-emotional learning and wellness.

Starting as a preschool teacher in the District of Columbia, he taught at every grade level, predominantly as a public and charter Title I urban classroom teacher in Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Dr. McFerren, a former district-level administrator, unapologetically advocates for equitable access to creative arts and early childhood education. His research focuses on qualitative methods, explicitly addressing Black male teachers’ retention and belonging and the professional relationships between educational leaders and marginalized populations. Specializing in arts education, Dr. McFerren champions interdisciplinary, inquiry, and project-based learning and is known for his TEDx Talk, “Mental Liberation through Dance,” addressing mental health stigma.



Mayra Franco, Credential Analyst and Program Coordinator

Mayra Franco, B.A.

Credential Analyst and Program Coordinator

Mayra Franco was born and raised in Los Angeles and graduated from CSU, Northridge with a double Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies and Central American Studies in Spring 2019. Mayra started working as a student assistant in the Teaching Credential office and remained for the past 17 years in the world of Teaching Credentialing.  When not at work, she likes to spend time with her family and friends. She also enjoys camping and loves nature outings. 



Diana Saucedo-Nunez, Bilingual Added Authorization & CALTPA Coordinator

Diana Saucedo-Nunez, M.Ed

Bilingual Added Authorization & CALTPA Coordinator

Diana Saucedo-Nunez obtained her bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She has a Multiple Subject Bilingual, Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development (BLCAD) Credential. Diana has worked for Merced City School District as a primary and upper grade classroom teacher for 9 years. 



Cristal Arcelia Gutierrez, Clinical Practice Placements Coordinator

Cristal Arcelia Gutierrez

Clinical Practice Placements Coordinator

Cristal Arcelia Gutierrez has been working in education since 2013, beginning as a substitute teacher for school districts in Fresno and Sanger, Ca. Since earning her Multiple Subject: Early Childhood Education Credential at Fresno State in 2015, she has taught grades K-1 in a general education classroom in Hanford, Ca. Mrs. Gutierrez is passionate about bringing best practices into early education classrooms and guiding new teachers throughout this rewarding career. 






Professional Licensure and Certification Disclosure

University of California programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student for California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the University of California and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

The University of California has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether, if they complete a University of California program, they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C).

Additional information is available by visiting the University of California | Office of the President and the California Department of Education.


The Teacher Preparation Program is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

On August 6, 2021, The Commission on Teacher Credentialing granted full institutional approval to the University of California, Merced.