For the first time in its 162 year history, Oakland's Mills College will welcome transgender students who identify as female into its all-women undergraduate program. It's also a first among the 119 single-sex colleges in the U.S., CBS San Francisco reports, as none but Mills have an official policy for transgender applicants.
The new policy allows for anyone who self-identifies as a woman to apply to the school, including trans women, people identified as female at birth but “do not fit into the gender binary," and women who have not yet legally transitioned to the male gender but may plan to at some point. Women who transition to male after enrolling may stay and graduate.
Mills' vice president of enrollment and admissions, Brian O'Rourke, tells the Chron that among the college's 1,000 undergraduates, each year about three to five are transgender or do not identify with their birth-assigned gender.
The college's graduate program is co-ed (full disclosure: I have an MFA from Mills).
Women’s colleges have struggled with how to treat applications from transgender women, as the New York Times reports, and just last year, Smith College rejected a transgender high school student whose financial aid papers listed her as male.
Mills' president Alecia A. DeCoudreaux proudly tells KTVU: “We were the first women’s college west of the Rockies. We were the first women’s college to have a computer science program. This is just another in many firsts.”