Provost Chinyere Oparah Discusses New Signature Program at Mills College

Oakland, CA–March 12, 2018Chinyere Oparah

In an article titled, “Can a Signature Program Save Your College?” The Chronicle of Higher Education looks at new programs modeled after one originated by Agnes Scott College three years ago.

Mills College plans to roll out its new signature program, MPOWER in the fall. According to Provost and Dean of the Faculty Chinyere Oparah, a curriculum overhaul was already underway and Mills “didn’t have to do a lot of the basic foundational work that Agnes Scott had to do." Still, says Oparah, “the college is on a really short timeline and has benefited significantly from conversations with faculty members at other colleges in the informal signature-programs group.”

As part of MPOWER, every student at Mills will participate in some type of community-engaged learning, and take a course centered on race, gender, and power. There will also be an undergraduate-research component and a career-focused component involving a digital portfolio.

“What was trailblazing about Agnes Scott was they got us to think about what would happen if you got faculty, student-support staff, and marketers in the same room," Oparah notes.

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