Press Releases

Mills College Announces Joint MBA/MA Degree in Educational Leadership in Response to California’s Public Education Crisis

Oakland, CA–May 03, 2011 In response to escalating challenges facing California and the nation’s public schools, Mills College is pleased to announce a new joint degree in educational leadership that will debut this fall. The Mills College School of Education and the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business have joined together to offer an innovative MBA/MA degree designed specifically to prepare future educational leaders and managers for success in the rapidly changing educational landscape.

In the face of record budget cuts, mounting accountability to improve the quality of education, and the emergence of private charter schools, educational leaders are increasingly confronted by complex challenges that require not only educational expertise but fundamental business skills as well. 

The joint MBA/MA in educational leadership degree is designed to prepare future leaders, managers, entrepreneurs, and educational consultants with expertise and leadership in both the instructional and managerial aspects of high-performing educational organizations.

“In the future, effective leadership in education will demand more than the basic knowledge of managing budgets and people, areas typically offered by educational leadership programs,” said Katherine Schultz, dean of the Mills College School of Education. “It will require enhanced leadership and management skills that address the ethical and moral dimensions of school leadership.”

Mills offers the only program of its kind with a focus on urban education and socially responsible business practices that addresses the needs of underserved schools that have been deeply impacted by budget cuts and inadequate resources.

“The ideal skill set for an educational leader is one that combines knowledge, experience, and skills in education and business,” said Deborah Merrill-Sands, dean of the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business. “Our goal is to prepare leaders with the kind of multifaceted experience and knowledge that will lead to creative and successful solutions to the challenges facing public schools today.”

The MBA/MA in educational leadership curriculum reflects an even balance of both business management and educational leadership courses. Students who pursue the joint degree will study business principles through courses in finance, organizational management, operations, marketing, and information technology. They will learn critical educational leadership skills through courses in learning and human development, instructional design, ethics, and public policy. 

The program is appropriate for graduate students who are preparing to serve as educational administrators in early childhood, K–12 institutions, higher education and out-of-school time programs; leaders and business officers in independent and charter schools; directors of educational nonprofits; educational consultants; and business consultants working in the education sector.

For more information about the MBA/MA degree in educational leadership, please visit:

Mills College School of Education   Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity to over 950 undergraduate women and more than 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 373 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and second among colleges and universities in the West in its “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. For more information, visit

Jeanne Herrera
Media Relations Director

Last Updated: 8/30/11