Summer Session Course Descriptions

Online Courses

Asian Art in the Bay Area

J. Soriano

Core: Critical Analysis, Community Engagement, and Race, Gender, Power

Description: Mills College has an extensive and often unacknowledged collection of Asian art, comparable to other major collections in the Bay Area. How did this art get here? What relevance do these works have to the Bay community? What are the ideological and socioeconomic factors in owning and displaying this art? We will explore these questions by surveying collections at Mills and around the Bay. The class incorporates site visits, discussions with art workers, research, and a range of analyses. We will try to understand how local people, art, and institutions relate to the world of Asian art.

The Biology of Exercise

BIO 080B
James D. Smiley

Core: Scientific Inquiry

Description: This course will focus on the physiology of exercise. Students will explore the pathophysiology of, clinical considerations of, and exercise prescription for conditions including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, asthma, human immunodeficiency virus, multiple sclerosis, low-back pain, and depression.

General Chemistry II with Lab

CHEM 018
Jennifer Cassano

Core: none

Description:A continuation of an overview of chemical principles and reactivity. Topics include thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium, acid-base theories, solubility, electrochemistry, and chemical kinetics. Lecture and lab.

Can Comedy Save Our Democracy

Keli Dailey

Core: Creativity, Innovation, and Experimentation; Written Communication II

Description: This course provides instruction in analyzing and creating satirical broadcast news and digital media. It teaches you how to decode and challenge it as an engaged audience member, as well as prepare it for presentation. Our goal in this course will be to define this genre, explore its evolution, identify its public impact and importance, determine whether it’s an agent of journalistic information-dissemination, suggest improvements in areas such as ethics and diversity, and gain experience in creating news satire.

Victorian Supernaturalisms

Kirsten Saxton

Core:  Creativity, Innovation, and Experimentation; Critical Analysis

Description: Victorians excelled at telling ghost stories. In an age of rapid scientific progress, the idea of a vindictive past able to violate the present held a special potential for terror. Haunting—the structure, the ghost, the uncanny—was a means to wrestle with history, memory, deep time, industrial labor, conceptions of self, the limits and possibilities of the human, and the known.

All Power to the People: The Politics and Pedagogy of Community-Based Education

Natalee Kehaulani Bauer

Core: Race, Gender, and Power

Description: This course will trace the history of community-of-color-based educational movements as models for worldwide educational equity and innovation. We will begin with antebellum Black schools in the US South as the historical model for contemporary “public schools for all,” followed by an introduction to community-led Hawaiian Cultural charter schools as an example of the contemporary and future potential for schooling as an emancipatory project when led by the people being served. We will then focus in on modern-day Bay Area movements for emancipatory education, from the Black Panthers’ Oakland Community School (1973–1982), to the Oakland Small Autonomous Schools Movement (2000–2005). We will also consider the current top-down, neoliberal charter school takeovers happening in Oakland and across the US in comparison to real community-led efforts for change rather than "reform." In addition to understanding the historical, political, and social implications of community-based education, this class serves to understand communities of color from an asset rather than a deficit model by exploring the ways in which colonized/oppressed communities have always prioritized and made universal innovative and emancipatory education. We will also give considerable focus to the current COVID-era schooling and distanced learning, and the possibilities for reimagined community-led education as an unexpected upside to the pandemic.

Linear Algebra

MATH 050
M. Averett

Core: Quantitative Literacy

Description: Matrix algebra and determinants, and the theory of vector spaces, including: the notion of subspace, independence, basis and dimension, linear transformations, and eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Applications to geometry, systems of linear equations, and the theory of approximations are given.

Math in Society

M. Averett

Core: Quantitative Literacy

Description: What's the fairest way to divide the pizza you ordered with your friends? How should we determine who wins an election when there are multiple candidates? Can we choose a walking path through town that avoids walking past the police station? Analytical thinking and quantitative reasoning provide structure to solving problems across all areas of life. This course equips students with problem solving skills by studying mathematical structures as they appear in applications in life. Topics may include voting theory, gerrymandering, apportionment, fair division, graph theory, sets, cryptography, and others as time allows.

Leadership and Ethics

MGMT 244
Darcelle Lahr

Core: none

Description: The course surveys key topics in leadership and business ethics, including examining and internalizing what it means to lead authentically, and how authentic leadership underpins ethical decision-making. We then turn to ethics in the workplace, considering prevalent theories of, and influences on, ethical business behavior. We explore “ethical awareness,” drivers of ethical conflicts, and types of ethical issues faced in business. We examine impacts of individual moral philosophies and values on ethical outlook, as well as the influence of corporate culture and work group dynamics.

Personal Finance

Cathy Curtis

Core: none

Description: This class will cover the vocabulary and instruments necessary to manage one’s own personal finances. Topics covered include budgeting, personal credit, retirement planning, buying a home, and dealing with risk.



Core: none

Description: This course covers the budgeting process from start to finish, including how to create a disciplined culture of budgeting in your organization, the various methods for building budgets, and techniques to analyze budget-to-actual results. The course will also focus on using budgeting as a management tool to achieve your organization’s strategic goals.

Measuring Social Impact

Erin Kilmer-Neel

Core: none

Description: This course will provide an overview of social impact measurement and management. Topics will include articulating an organization’s theory of change and impact framework; development of metrics for social, community, and environmental impact; data collection systems; defining stakeholders; and communicating impact. Students will explore case studies, apply concepts with hands on exercises, and develop an impact framework and metrics for a business, organization, or program of their choice.

General Physics I with Lab

PHYS 061
Boe Mendewala

Core: none

Description:Calculus-based general physics lecture and laboratory course. Emphasis upon Newtonian mechanics. Topics include measurement, vectors, linear kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, forces, momentum, work and energy, and rotational kinematics and dynamics.

General Physics II with Lab

PHYS 062
Boe Mendewala

Core: none

Description:Continuation of PHYS 061. Topics include fluids, waves, sound, optics, electricity, and magnetism.


PSYC 080
John Ruys

Core: none

Description:Physical, cognitive, and social-emotional aspects of human development from puberty to maturity.