Center for Urban Schools and Partnerships
The Center for Urban Schools and Partnerships (CUSP) convenes community coalitions to support the academic achievement of underserved youth in Oakland's most challenged neighborhoods. CUSP supports a wide range of service learning, volunteer opportunities, and research projects for Mills students; hosts an annual speaker series for the campus and the San Francisco Bay Area; and coordinates programming that links the expertise, teaching, and projects of the School of Education faculty for strategic impact in Oakland schools and communities.
Educating for Democracy in a Digital Age
In collaboration with the Oakland Unified School District and the National Writing Project, Mills School of Education faculty are studying the impact of digital media on civic and political engagement on high school students in urban schools. The initiative's objective is to leverage new media to help prepare and motivate students to work for positive change in their communities.
Inquiry into Leadership for Early Childhood Professionals
The School of Education provides a learning community for Mills alumnae/i and early childhood professionals with a focus on social justice and equity. Through in-depth discussion and reflection in the context of a supportive and collegial environment, participants increase their understanding of workplace dilemmas, widen their perspectives for analyzing the complexities of their professional work, and increase the range of choices for enacting positive social change in the field.
Lesson Study Group
The Lesson Study Group at Mills College conducts research and practice on Japanese lesson study, a form of professional development in which teams of teachers work together to plan, observe, analyze, and refine classroom lessons through an inquiry process. Currently, the Lesson Study Group's work in Oakland focuses on mathematics.
Mills Teacher Scholars
Mills Teacher Scholars supports ongoing learning for teachers by facilitating teacher-led investigations of student learning. In 2015–2016, working with teacher scholar leaders at our partner sites, Mills Teacher Scholars will serve 300 K–12 urban public school teachers to engage in collaborative inquiry to improve their teaching. Teacher scholars meet monthly with their cross-grade colleagues to systematically study the data that they collect to answer their questions, including classroom video data, student work, student interview data, and observational data. This teacher-led approach to instructional improvement puts students at the center of teachers' professional collaboration and builds powerful teacher learning teams to drive school improvement.
Oakland Education Cabinet
The Oakland Education Cabinet (OEC) is tri-chaired by Kathy Schultz, the dean of the Mills College School of Education, the mayor of Oakland, and the superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District. The mission of the OEC is to actively support education in Oakland from birth through higher education through collaborative work with diverse stakeholders working across all sectors of the city. Dean Schultz also chairs OEC's Early Childhood: Prenatal to Eight Subcommittee. Among its many projects, the committee is about to launch a public education campaign on the importance of preschool for all children.
These are federally funded programs for outreach and support for low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities from middle school to post-baccalaureate. There are two precollege TRIO Programs at Mills located in the School of Education: Upward Bound and the Mills Educational Talent Search.