Mills remains committed to providing a distinctive and transformative education this academic year while following State and Alameda County public health orders. In consultation with faculty and academic leadership, our plan was to resume instruction this fall with a low-density hybrid model for our academic programs. Based on the surge in coronavirus cases and public health guidelines, we have had to move to a primarily online format for the fall semester. However, we are pleased to be able to offer selected academic experiences in person for some scientific research and artistic work.
All faculty will be required to complete a COVID-19 training whether you are teaching on campus or online. This training is meant to ensure that each faculty member has a shared understanding of their individual responsibility for mitigating the risks associated with the coronavirus. Mills staff are also required to complete this training. Please review our health and safety guidelines page for detailed prevention protocols designed to protect you and your students while on the Mills campus. Enroll in the training.
All faculty, staff, and students must complete a daily health check using the free MillsGo app before coming onto campus or leaving their campus residence. This health check is to determine if you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. If you do not have a smartphone or tablet, use the Daily Symptom Form for Mills Community Members (English) or the Chequeo diario de síntomas por miembros de la comunidad de Mills College (español).
If you answer "yes" to any of the wellness check questions, do not come to campus. Immediately call or email Employee Services at 510.430.3144 or firstname.lastname@example.org. After notifying Employee Services, inform your department head or dean that, in accordance with College guidelines, you will not be coming on to campus.
After reviewing the faculty survey results on the pedagogical rationales for course modalities and working with academic leadership on courses that would work well online, we have determined that classes will be offered in four teaching modalities:
The course schedule contains information about the course modality in the notes section for each course.
Mills has retained Dr. Elham Arabi as an instructional designer to provide faculty and departments with support in instructional design for courses or curricula that is grounded in sound learning theory and that promotes student learning.
Dr. Arabi is available to assist faculty with:
If you are interested in a departmental consultation with Dr. Arabi, please send an email to email@example.com. If you would like a one-on-one consultation, please complete the Assessment of Instructional Design Needs form to specify your needs.
With remote instruction, class sizes will remain the same. In-person academic experiences, sizes will be limited to allow faculty and students to maintain physical distancing.
For each classroom identified for on-campus instruction, the following equipment will be provided:
Audio-visual staff will provide one-on-one training for instructors on the physical set up of equipment in the classroom they are assigned to use. Additional assistance for integrating the provided hardware into instruction may be requested by contacting the ITS Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For home teaching situations, the Provost's Office sent a survey to the faculty with a deadline of July 24, 2020, requesting information on the faculty member's needs. Filling out the survey is not a guarantee of equipment. After the survey is completed, the Provost's Office will review the requests and deliver recommendations to ITS. ITS staff will determine what can be repurposed from existing Mills inventory and what is appropriate/affordable to purchase. Once final decisions are made, ITS will work directly with the individual faculty for implementation.
We recognize that students who don't have access to the technology needed for online learning have been disproportionately and negatively affected during COVID-19. In response, Mills has expanded our existing iPad initiative to increase technology access and affordability for our students.
In addition to our iPad Semester Loan Program, we've introduced the Mills College iPad Purchase Program. Students will be able to purchase a new 128GB iPad, an Apple Pencil, and two years of AppleCare technical support through Mills for half of the standard purchase price. We hope this makes learning more accessible to all of our students and your teaching more productive. Students who wish to participate in the iPad initiative should be directed to the Information for Students web page.
Reliable Internet access is another challenge that affects many students. To help students access affordable Internet options, we have compiled a list of low-cost Internet plans that are being offered by different companies and organizations.
Mills is committed to supporting the success of students with disabilities. To help you develop accessible courses and materials, Student Access and Support Services (SASS) has created a comprehensive reference guide available on the intranet for your use: Faculty COVID-19 Accessibility Guide.
The academic calendar will proceed as currently published, and classes will begin on schedule on August 26, 2020. However, after Thanksgiving break, all classes and final exams will be remote, and students who leave campus do not need to return until their classes begin again in January.
Academic policies have returned to normal and are listed in the catalog. For example, undergraduate students are limited to taking a total of 8 units of P/NP credit for courses that are offered for a grade. Courses taken for P/NP during the spring 2020 semester are exempted from the 8 credit limit. The petition process, initiated through the Mills Resource Portal, remains available to students who need to request an exemption from an academic policy.
Faculty are encouraged to consider if adjustments in their assessments of exams, essays, reports, presentations, etc. must be made for students who are remote or quarantined (either mandatory or self) or are in any other way prevented from participating in class interaction (e.g., poor Internet quality).
Grading practices have returned to normal as described in the catalog. The temporary changes to academic policies are no longer in effect. Final exams will take place remotely.
Students will meet remotely with their instructors and advisors for office hours and academic advising at times that are convenient for students and faculty. Faculty will notify students either in the syllabus and/or by email of those times.
For remote advising appointments, students’ privacy will be preserved in compliance with FERPA guidelines, and every effort will be made to limit those present at these appointments to the faculty advisor and the student.
Our librarians will provide online access to reference/research services and instruction via email, chat, video conferencing, and telephone and interlibrary loan of articles and book chapters. You'll also have 24/7 access to electronic resources including licensed content such as electronic journals, eBooks, and databases. The library subscribes to 50,000+ electronic journals and 168,000+ eBooks. View the F. W. Olin Library Covid-19 Access and Procedures for guidance on accessing these and additional resources.
Beginning August 31, 2020, Mills faculty, staff, and students who can come to campus in person safely can request library materials for "Front Door Pickup" at the library. You may request any circulating materials in the library through this service, with the exception of LP records (due to the potential for breakage). For detailed information about this service, review the Front Door Pickup Guide or watch the Front Door Pickup video.
Mills faculty, staff, and students who cannot come to campus can request to have library materials mailed to them via "Document Delivery." Any circulating materials in the library can be mailed to you through this service, with the exception of LP records. We can also email scans of up to 10% of individual books. For more information about this service, see our Document Delivery Guide or our Document Delivery video.
If the College reaches a reopening phase where the library building can be occupied, we may be able to circulate physical library materials (e.g., books, DVDs, etc.), offer limited computer use and scanning, provide some study spaces, and offer a variety of in-person services by appointment (reference, special collections use, etc.). Library staff would be available to assist you and facilitate the acquisition of needed materials. Safety precautions would include: