Mills Honored for Measuring and Improving Student Learning

Oakland, CA—August 22, 2016

Mills College was named one of just ten members of the inaugural class of Excellence in Assessment designees, a new national program aimed at recognizing universities conducting a comprehensive assessment of student learning outcomes as a means to drive internal improvement and advance student success.

The award program is sponsored by the Voluntary System of Accountability, a public college and university transparency initiative led by the Association of Public and Land-Grant  Universities and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.

Twenty-five colleges and universities sought the designation, but only the 10 scored high enough on all requirements to earn it. Mills College was recognized by the consortium of higher education organizations for developing a sophisticated data system to measure and improve student learning.

The schools recognized in the first national designation of its kind are making evidence of student accomplishment accessible, useful and meaningful to audiences both on and off campus. The Excellence in Assessment program noted that Mills uses sophisticated computer software to centralize all assessment data to help it decide if academic program goals are in line with the academic mission of the college as a whole. The software includes infrastructure to publish findings of learning assessment, with full utilization projected in the next academic year.

“We are proud to receive this award,” said Mills College President Elizabeth Hillman. “The designation shows Mills is committed to constantly assessing how our academic programs measure up to our mission of preparing students for lifelong intellectual, personal and professional growth.”

Criteria used in awarding the designations to regionally accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities include expertise in student learning outcome statements, assessment plans, assessment resources, current assessment activities, evidence of student learning, use of student learning outcome results and growth and improvement plans.

About Mills College
Located in Oakland, California, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mills College is a nationally renowned independent liberal arts college for women with graduate programs for women and men. Ranked one of the top-tier regional universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report, Mills is also recognized as one of The Best 380 Colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. Since 1852, we’ve been empowering students to become creative, independent thinkers who take and inspire action. For more information, visit