Mills College Celebrates 8 Big Moments in 2018: Year in Review & Look Ahead

Oakland, CA—December 20, 2018

Big Moment #1:  Mills College launches MPOWER and promises every new student personalized 1:1 guidance.

MPower logo

As part of the new MPOWER initiative that launched in fall 2018, each incoming undergraduate student is assigned a personal advising team with their faculty advisor and an academic navigator who supports the student with one-on-one academic planning and coaching. To take things a step further, students participate in community-engaged learning projects that are in alignment with their area of study to take their learning beyond the classroom and into the community. When a student is ready to gain real-world experience in the workforce, she will work with a dedicated career counselor to secure internships and connect with an alumnae mentor through our new app MillsConnect. Mills graduates have a stellar track-record of landing both impactful internships during school as well as employment after graduation in places like Amazon, Apple, GE Aviation, Google, Kiva, Microsoft, National Public Radio (NPR), Pandora, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Jose Sharks, SpaceX, Twitter, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, to name just a few. Learn more about MPOWER here.

Big Moment #2: Mills College removes admissions barriers and takes access and affordability to new heights.

Hispanic Serving Institution

Mills College streamlined the college admissions process by removing barriers to ensure student success. We’ve not only reduced the cost of our high-impact, top-ranked private education but opened our doors to make it more inclusive and accessible than ever:

  • Tuition Reset and Test Optional: Mills reduced undergraduate tuition by 36% to increase access to a college education and no longer requires students to submit Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Testing (ACT) scores as part of our admissions process.
  • Hispanic-Serving Institution: Mills is proud to have achieved status as a Hispanic-serving Institution with 25%+ undergraduate students identifying as Hispanic.
  • LGBTQ: Mills College is leading the way by being the first in the U.S. to launch a transgender admission policy at a women’s college. Fifty-one percent of our 2018 incoming undergraduate students identify as LGBTQ.

Learn how to afford Mills here.

Big Moment #3: New partnership with Oakland Promise is opening doors of opportunity for high school students at Mills College. 

Oakland Promise Scholarship Award

Mills College joined forces with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Office of Equity, the City of Oakland, and the East Bay College Fund to remove barriers to a top-ranked college education for girls. As part of the Mills-Oakland Promise Program, we're making a transformative college education accessible and affordable. Mills is providing a minimum financial aid scholarship of $7,000 to every OUSD high school student admitted with a minimum high school GPA of 3.2. And Mills is offering 10 new Mills-Oakland Promise Scholarships, including the African American Female Excellence Scholarship and the Latina Excellence Scholarship. Learn more about the Mills-Oakland Promise here.

Big Moment #4: Mills College launches first online MA in Educational Leadership.

Online Learning

Mills College proudly launched its first online Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. According to recent studies, students are turning to digital educational opportunities to enhance their learning and advance their careers. Firmly cemented as a leader in the training of educators in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mills will welcome its first online cohort in January 2019. Learn more here.

Big Moment #5: Mills expands partnership with UC Berkeley to benefit both students and institutions.

UCB Mills Partnership

This is a unique agreement between the University of California, Berkeley, and Mills College that builds on the institutions’ long-standing relationship, which in part has enabled students to cross-register for classes. Leaders from a collaborative, joint task force determined that the distinct challenges faced by their separate institutions could be mitigated by broadening students’ access to each other’s services and facilities. The result: UC Berkeley and Mills students will have access to a myriad of opportunities that do not exist at their own institution, from housing opportunities to dual degrees. For example, a new BA+BS Engineering Program enables students to earn two bachelor’s degrees, a BA in environmental science at Mills and a BS in engineering from UC Berkeley, within five years, an initiative that aims to break down gender barriers to engineering. Learn more about the collaboration here.

Big Moment #6: Mills partners with Peralta Colleges to help underserved students succeed.

Mills Peralta Promise

Mills teamed up with local community college districts to create a clear pathway of success for underserved students in the San Francisco Bay Area. This enhanced academic partnership, the Peralta-Mills Promise, enables dual admissions for students who desire to pursue both an associate’s degree and baccalaureate degree with Peralta Colleges and at Mills College. As part of the Peralta-Mills Promise, students at Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, and Merritt College will receive targeted educational and mentoring services needed to transfer to Mills College and obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree. Learn more here.

Big Moment #7: Mills College to pilot Google’s new Applied Machine Learning Intensive to prepare students for future workforce.

Mills students

Mills College announced that it is the first of five colleges in the nation to offer a new future-focused pilot program in machine learning in partnership with Google. In this free, 10-week immersion experience, students will learn the fundamentals of machine learning and how it intersects with the computer and data sciences. Mills is the perfect partner to launch this intensive course as we already offer cutting-edge computer and data science education. Now in collaboration with Google, we are taking data science to the next level to better prepare women for our future workforce. See announcement here.

Big Moment #8: Mills College celebrates the success of the ‘Raise the Curtain’ Campaign to renovate Lisser Hall.

Lisser Hall Renovation

Lisser Hall was built in 1901 and was named for Louis Lisser, head of the music department at Mills from 1879 to 1910. The renovation and reopening of Lisser Hall was made possible by the generosity of 371 donors who contributed to a successful capital campaign for Mills. The newly renovated Lisser Hall is the heart of Performing Arts on campus. It not only revitalizes the performing arts curriculum from within, but performances will reach beyond Mills for all to enjoy including our Oakland community and the general public.

It’s not too late to help us boost our momentum and efforts in the new year. We appreciate each and every gift. Please join us and learn how you can support Mills here. Thank you!

Look Ahead: Mills College embraces new opportunities for campus optimization.

Campus Optimization

Mills is making exciting progress in articulating a comprehensive strategy for campus optimization. Our work so far has centered on analyzing the use and potential of our land and facilities, learning about community needs and opportunities, and identifying potential strategic partners. Our goal is to ensure that Mills is economically and environmentally sustainable, with a vibrant campus that supports our students and makes Mills a hub for equity and opportunity in Oakland. We will share more information in the new year.