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Looking to the Future | New programs sprout from trims to curriculum

Though outrage over potential program cuts dominated conversation about proposed curricular revisions this past fall, the final draft of these revisions ultimately gave rise to several new programs that will be available for Mills students beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.

Programs were indeed cut from the Mills curriculum, but in many cases, these programs were repackaged into minors or bundled into other new or revised majors. One such program is the French and Francophone studies major, which was eliminated in favor of creating a new Transcultural Francophone Studies minor and road map for an associated independent major.

Audrey Calefas-Strebelle, assistant professor of French, helped pioneer the new minor alongside Department Head Brinda Mehta. Calefas-Strebelle is optimistic about the new program and hopes that the new structure will allow students to learn more about francophone cultures beyond France and its colonies.

“I think it’s going to be a very good program,” Calefas-Strebelle said. “It’s really going to reflect much more [of] the reality of the French speaking world today.”

But some majors, such as data science, are entirely new to Mills. In Fall, Mills will become the fourth school in California to offer an undergraduate data science degree, as well as the only women’s college.

“[Data science] is inherently interdisciplinary,” Maia Averett, head of the department of mathematics and computer science, said. “We thought that [this major] is a really great opportunity for students at Mills because we have already faculty who are trained in these skill sets and what we need to do is bring these faculty together across skill sets to create this major.”

New majors include: Public Health and Health Equity, Data Science, Global Humanities and Critical Thought, Politics, Economics, Policy and Law (PEPL), and Art and Technology.

New minors include: Creative Writing, Creative Writing in Spanish, History of Philosophy and Transcultural Francophone Studies.