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Carly's avatar

Have you had any positive or negative experiences with Mills College?

Asked by Carly (4550points) October 4th, 2010

I’ve been looking into transferring to Mills College in Oakland, CA.

Have you had good or bad experiences with the college? I’m trying to get a feel for it before I pursue more research. So far it fits with me academically… I think.

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9 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

My niece goes there and likes it.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I hope to go to Mills once I go to community college and get my grades back up. I grew up in the Bay Area, so I knew some girls who went there, and they loved it. It seems to have a good, academic atmosphere and small classes, which I find appealing. The only downside I can think of for you might be that there is quite a bit of girl-on-girl stuff that goes on there.

Carly's avatar

girl-on-girl stuff as in lesbian stuff, or gossip/drama, or ??
I’m fine with the former, not so much the latter; however, I would be a commuting student, so I wouldn’t be living on campus

MissAnthrope's avatar

Lesbian stuff. That’s not to say all the students engage in those activities, but from what I hear, it’s fairly common. The girls I knew who went there were really cool, very smart, fun, different (in a good way).

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sarahsugs's avatar

Love it love it love it! Though I was a graduate student there, first for my teaching credential and then my master’s in education, not an undergrad. But as far as I could tell the undergrads were happy for the most part, and I certainly was as a grad. It’s a beautiful little community with lots of caring professors, interesting events and resources, and diverse students. I’m not going there regularly anymore as I’m done with my degree and I miss it!

Carly's avatar

@sarahsugs

I’m considering getting my teaching credential too if I do the English BA with MA in Ed and the credential. :D

How do you think there teaching program is compared to other colleges? Did you feel well-prepared as a teacher when you graduated?

sarahsugs's avatar

@Carly

Yes, I know about that 5 year program – actually I hosted a student-teacher in my classroom last year who was part of the same program, and my colleague is right now hosting another gal in her classroom who is doing that program as well. It seems to be a great option for people who want to fast-track the BA plus MA/credential and get right to teaching – but intense too! Lots of work in those final two years when the credential/MA classes kick in.

I felt very well prepared as a teacher when I graduated – that is to say, as much as anyone could be prepared for their first year of teaching, because there’s really no way to know entirely what’s coming until you begin to do it. The great thing about Mills compared to other credential programs is the program is built around a stance of personal inquiry and social justice. While other programs in the area say they are focused on urban education, Mills is the only one in my opinion that truly puts social justice ideals into action. You will learn as much about yourself as you will about teaching and learning. The professors really practice the “ethic of care” model that they teach, and the level of individual attention you will receive is very high. The professors together developed seven (I think) central tenets of what they believe to comprise “principled” teaching practice, and they try to model those principles in their own work as teacher educators.

Another unique element of the program is that the research for your thesis will be entirely based on the students and the classroom in which you are student-teaching, which if you can believe it is actually rather unusual (other programs often have their students do their research in a more distanced, library-based way). The student-teaching placements are long – one full semester each, and then in your 5th year you’d have a placement for the full year – which means you really become an integral part of the classroom culture and instruction, and you have a chance to build a research project around a topic that matters to you and that will impact student learning in your classroom. The Mills education community is very invested in empowering teacher voices, to lessen the divide between education research (which usually happens at the university level, divorced from actual teachers) and classroom practice. I really learned what it means to practice effective classroom research, and how to communicate the results in a way that speaks to others.

Are you interested in a multiple subjects (elementary) credential or single subject (middle/high school)? I did the multiple subjects credential.

Carly's avatar

This is amazing. I agree with everything you’ve said about the program. Thank you so much!

At this point I’m interested in teaching high school. I feel I have a better connection with teenagers, and my own interest in teaching in an urban school setting is fueled by my own experience.

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