Mills College
School of Education


The Mills College School of Education prepares future teachers, leaders, and practitioners for work in schools, communities, nonprofit organizations, museums, and medical settings. Our work focuses on racial equity and social justice and a deep commitment to community engagement and inquiry. Our location in Oakland, California, enables us to tap into the rich resources of the San Francisco Bay Area which strengthens our ability to educate leaders for urban settings.


Our faculty and students, our program directors and staff, each play a key role in cultivating an authentic and vibrant environment where a critical lens to teaching and learning is relied upon so that we are able to do our best work and the greatest good for the most people.

Wendi S. Williams, PhD
Dean, Mills College School of Education



Mills College Children's School

The Mills College Children’s School provides an opportunity for Mills students to learn about progressive educational practices that focus on the whole child, including the social, emotional, academic, and physical aspects of education. Inquiry is at the heart of our unique model and we support research at all levels, ranging from formal studies to student teacher curriculum projects to helping children investigate their own ideas and hypotheses.

Learn more about Mills College Children’s School.

Educational Leadership Programs at Mills

Through our programs, students develop and articulate their own vision of leadership in order to address the most pressing questions facing educators today. Coursework is designed to help students preparing to be public school administrators develop personal insights, interpersonal skills, and management practices for leading diverse, inclusive programs and organizations with a focus on trauma-informed educational practices and English Language Learner (ELL) programs.

Learn more about Educational Leadership programs at Mills.

Lead by Learning

Lead by Learning is an educator and leader professional learning organization working towards an equitable future.

We work with teams of educators in school districts, county education agencies, individual school sites, and in education-focused organizations to create vibrant, effective adult learning cultures. Why? Because educators who learn about their own practice and its impact on students become educators who lead towards a more equitable future. That can make a profound difference for their students, their teams, and their schools.

Learn more about Lead by Learning.


Our Educational Leadership Programs are designed for working practitioners who hold or seek leadership positions in a wide variety of educational settings, including urban public school systems, higher education institutions, nonprofit organizations focused on policy making, and early childhood educational programs.

Educational Leadership programs include:

The Mills Teacher Education Department prepares professionals to be reflective, collaborative, and visionary teacher-leaders who are committed to improving K-12 education, with a particular focus on urban and public schools. The department hosts a diverse array of programs offering undergraduate majors and minors in education, as well as accelerated pathways from undergraduate degree completion to the teaching credential.

Renowned for its commitment to social justice, equity, and to teachers developing a critical stance to their practice, the newly redesigned teaching credential program, Educators for Liberation, Justice, and Joy (ELJJ), offers multiple and single subject credentials in mathematics and science or the humanities for preservice and interns currently teaching in schools.

Learn more about Teacher Education programs at Mills.

Our Early Childhood Education (ECE) Programs prepare students to become high-quality early childhood teachers, professionals, and cross-disciplinary leaders who support children’s learning, development, and overall well-being. There are both full-time and part-time options with weekday and evening classes. The programs integrate theory, research, and practice in coursework with field placements in a variety of early childhood settings.

Students learn to use inquiry and ongoing critical reflection in combination with a strengths-based, relational approach to working with children, families, and colleagues from diverse backgrounds.

Learn more about Early Childhood Education programs at Mills.


Priya Driscoll

Priya S Driscoll, PhD

Early Childhood Education Department Chair


professor of education

Professional interests: Communicative, social, and cognitive development in a diversity of learning environments; translating early childhood research into practice; the role of culture and experience in children’s attention and learning

Tomas Galguera

Tomas Galguera, PhD

Teacher Education Department Chair

professor of education

Professional interests: Teacher preparation pedagogy for language development, teacher classroom research, trauma informed practice, and the role of information technology and social media on teaching and teacher education

Argelia Lara

Argelia Lara, PhD

Educational Leadership Department Chair

Assistant Professor of Education

Professional interests: Chicana/o Latina/o Education, Immigrant and Undocumented Education, Critical Race Studies in Education, Higher Education Equity and Access, and Educational Leadership

Wendi Williams

Wendi S Williams, PhD

Dean of the School of Education

Professor of Education

Professional interests: intersection of education and mental health; embodied pedagogies; leadership development


Inquiry and community engagement are central pillars to the mission of the Mills College School of Education. Through our youth outreach and teacher development programs, we carry our commitment to fostering racial equity and social justice in educational spaces into the wider San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

Lead by Learning

Through community partnerships with districts, county offices, and individual schools, Lead by Learning is a network of teacher leaders committed to cultivating vibrant student-centered learning cultures while also empowering educators to drive continuous improvement and social change at every level of the school system.

Lesson Study Group

The Lesson Study Group at Mills College conducts research and practice on Japanese lesson study, a form of professional development in which teams of teachers work together to plan, observe, analyze, and refine classroom lessons through an inquiry process. Currently, the Lesson Study Group’s work in Oakland focuses on mathematics.

TRIO Programs

These are federally funded programs for outreach and support for low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities from middle school to post-baccalaureate. There are two precollege TRIO Programs at Mills located in the School of Education: Upward Bound and the Mills Educational Talent Search.


Mills Announces New Path for the College

Publish date: March 17, 2021

While Mills’ role as a degree-granting college will end, its mission will endure. Mills intends to continue to foster women’s leadership and student success, advance gender and racial equity, and cultivate innovative pedagogy, research, and critical thinking by creating a Mills Institute housed here on campus. Over the next few months, Mills faculty, trustees, staff, students, alumnae, and other stakeholders across our community will consider potential structures and programming for a Mills Institute.

How universal basic income can expand educational and career opportunities

Publish date: November 18, 2020

Universal basic income programs do help people, but as they’ve been traditionally implemented they help people meet their basic needs for a limited time. Even this by itself is better than nothing, but in order for these programs to truly achieve the larger goal of addressing systemic disparities in educational and economic opportunities — and to satisfy UBI critics who are skeptical of lasting benefits to the problems of poverty and inequality — they must be part of a broader, integrative strategy.   

3 easy ways to help kids unlearn gender identity & sexual orientation bias during the pandemic

Publish date: October 19, 2020

The reinforcement of bias in our societal institutions is not always the result of active, conscious efforts. Often biases are reinforced passively and unconsciously simply as a result of certain exclusions that are so deeply embedded they are never questioned.

One setting where this occurs on a regular basis is in schools, and one of the most common types of biases reinforced in schools are gender identity and sexual orientation biases.

The Importance of Mental Health Training for Teachers


With the stakes so high, leaders in education need to take action to address the growing student mental health crisis. Students spend a large portion of their waking hours in school, giving properly trained teachers many opportunities to observe, recognize, and help address mental health issues. Mental health training for teachers makes it possible to offer meaningful support to students so they can excel in school.