Summer Academic Workshop

Summer Academic Workshop
510.430.3165
saw@mills.edu 

Priya Kandaswamy, Director
Associate Professor of Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
pkandaswamy@mills.edu

This four-week residential program provides first-generation college students with a rigorous academic transition to college and a lasting support community for the duration of their time at Mills. Over the four weeks, SAW students participate in course modules in subjects like English, social justice, sociological inquiry, mathematics, and computer science, as well as workshops designed to build their academic skills. This is complemented by structured study time, interspersed with leadership development and team-building activities, introductions to key areas and resources on campus, weekly educational and social outings, athletic programs, and introductions to library and computing services available at Mills. SAW students consistently cite their participation in this program as one of the most meaningful, useful, and memorable aspects of their entire college experience.

Program Requirements

The four-week course focuses on the intersection of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Students are introduced to college-level work through rigorous classroom instruction in the summer. Course modules emphasize the unifying theme of intersectionality and utilizes examples of this theme, where appropriate, as a basis for enhancing writing, logical reasoning, and mathematics skills.

Qualified first-generation college students who will benefit from a very rigorous college-level academic program in the summer before their first year are invited to participate. In addition to the summer program, SAW is designed to ensure students' academic and personal success at Mills through a weekly seminar for students during their first year and ongoing support and peer mentoring until graduation.