Mills College Awarded Generous Grant by the Fletcher Jones Foundation

Oakland, CA—January 24, 2020

Mills College has been awarded a five-year, $500,000 grant by the Fletcher Jones Foundation to support MPOWERed for Transfer, a summer program designed to enroll, support, and prepare transfer students with success strategies that build on the assets and talents they bring to Mills.

This generous grant will support building a summer bridge program for up to 50 transfer students prior to their matriculation at Mills. MPOWERed for Transfer aims to instill best practices in five critical areas shown to improve transfer success:

  1. College-level skills in critical thinking, digital literacy, and inquiry-based writing approaches;
  2. A comprehensive student success plan;
  3. Peer-mentoring support throughout their college career;
  4. Informational literacy skills through a critical engagement with digital research studies and methods; and
  5. Competence and confidence in financial literacy through a series of focus groups, reflective exercises, and financial planning scenarios.

Students will earn academic credit in a five-day study intensive, supplemented by cocurricular workshops such as leadership development and career planning.

Building upon the strengths of Mills’ existing summer bridge programs and the College’s signature MPOWER undergraduate experience, MPOWERed for Transfer will begin summer 2020 with students selected from the entering fall transfer cohort. The MPOWERed for Transfer cohort will also meet twice per semester for workshops on academic planning, undergraduate research, graduate school and career preparation, and faculty speakers.

Mills is exceptionally positioned to be a leader among independent colleges in serving community college transfer students. An early signatory in the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) Initiative with the California Community Colleges, Mills is also UC Berkeley’s first and only partner in the Pathways to Four-Year Universities Program that is designed to increase successful transfer student applications to UC Berkeley and Mills. In addition, Mills maintains transfer articulation partnerships with several community college districts, including Peralta, San Mateo, Contra Costa, College of Marin, and East Los Angeles College. Transfer students represent almost one-third of Mills undergraduates.

“We are so grateful for the Fletcher Jones Foundation’s generous grant for this initiative that builds on an already supportive environment and pathways to transfer enrollment and success,” says Margaret Hunter, associate provost, recruitment and student success, and Fletcher Jones professor of sociology. Hunter, along with Chicora Martin, vice president for student life and dean of students, will lead the MPOWERed for Transfer Program.

About Mills College:
Located in Oakland, California, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mills is a nationally renowned independent liberal arts college for women and gender non-binary students, with graduate programs for all genders. 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 385 Colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. Since 1852, we’ve been empowering students to become creative, independent thinkers and leaders who take and inspire action. Take a virtual tour.

About the Fletcher Jones Foundation:
The Fletcher Jones Foundation, based in Pasadena, California, was endowed from the estate of Fletcher R. Jones, co-founder of Computer Sciences Corporation. The primary mission of the foundation is the support of private, independent, nonprofit colleges and universities in California.

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