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Mills College To Stop Operating As A College, 2021 Last Year For Freshman Enrollment

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- The president of Mills College announced Wednesday that the school is transitioning to an institute and will likely award its final degrees in 2023.

According to school president Elizabeth L. Hillman, the 169-year-old college's board of trustees made the decision to move away from providing degrees because of "economic burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic, structural changes across higher education, and Mills' declining enrollment and budget deficits."

"We will focus our resources on building degree pathways for our continuing students, and supporting the new first-year undergraduate, transfer, and graduate students who will join us this fall," Hillman said in a statement.

The school plans to accept its last class of undergraduate freshmen in fall of 2021. The class of 2023 will be the last to receive a degree from the college.

The college started in 1852 as a women's college and until this year, was one of the last single-sex schools in the nation. Hillman says the new institute will focus on fostering "women's leadership and student success, advance gender and racial equity, and cultivate innovative pedagogy, research, and critical thinking."

"Our goal is to deliver an exceptional academic and co-curricular experience to our students for at least the next two academic years, with Mills faculty and staff at the heart of that experience," Hillman said.

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