The University of California, Berkeley, is starting a yearlong program in Oakland at the private, nonprofit Mills College campus for 200 first-year Berkeley students.
Called UC Berkeley Changemaker in Oakland, the program will be made up of 150 incoming students from Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science and 50 from its Rausser College of Natural Resources. Berkeley students will live in Mills residence halls in single-occupancy rooms, or they can choose to have a roommate from Berkeley.
Instructors and academic appointments will come through the UC Berkeley Extension, which will operate the new program. Students in the program will also be able to take one course on the Berkeley campus each semester.
Berkeley and Mills have had a cross-registration agreement for decades under which Berkeley students who self-identify as women or gender nonbinary are able to take one course per semester at Mills. The agreement also allowed Mills students to take a course at Berkeley. Berkeley’s new program is not restricted to those self-identifying as women or nonbinary.
The Berkeley program’s announcement comes about a week after Mills said it will stop enrolling new first-time undergraduates after the fall of 2021, citing economic pressure. The current Mills student body numbers more than 960. Mills plans to create an institute for furthering women’s leadership, student success and racial and gender equity.
Berkeley touted its new program as helping students “whose transition to Berkeley’s main campus is helped by first spending time in a smaller cohort environment” and as being built on the values of “questioning the status quo and serving the community.”