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Teachers College, Columbia University

Teachers College, Columbia University (TC or Columbia University Graduate School of Education) is a graduate school of education, health and psychology in New York City.[2][3] Founded in 1887, it has served as the Faculty and Department of Education of Columbia University since its affiliation in 1898.[4][5] Teachers College is the oldest and largest graduate school of education in the United States.[6]

Teachers College, Columbia University
Endowment$315.9 million (2018)[1]
PresidentThomas R. Bailey
ProvostStephanie J. Rowley
Location, ,
United States
Teachers College Logo.png

For 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranked Teachers College #7 among all graduate schools of education in the United States.[7] In 2008, 2002, 1998, 1997, and 1996 Teachers College was ranked #1 by the publication.

Teachers College alumni and faculty have held prominent positions in academia, government, music, non-profit, healthcare, and social science research. In general, Teachers College has over 90,000 alumni in more than 30 countries.[8][9] Notable alumni and former faculty include John Dewey, Carl Rogers, Margaret Mead, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Thorndike, Maxine Greene, William Heard Kilpatrick, Donna Shalala, William Schuman (former president of the Juilliard School), Lee Huan (Premier of the Republic of China), Shirley Chisholm (first black woman elected to the United States Congress), Mary Adelaide Nutting (the world's first professor of nursing), Zhang Boling (founder of Nankai University), Hamden L. Forkner (founder of Future Business Leaders of America), E. Gordon Gee (former president of Brown University and chancellor of Vanderbilt University), and Chester Earl Merrow (a U.S. Representative from New Hampshire).



Russell Hall

In the 1880s, the Kitchen Education Association was founded by philanthropist Grace Hoadley Dodge, the daughter of a very wealthy businessman William Dodge. The association's focus was to replace miniature kitchen utensils for other toys that were age appropriate for kindergarten-aged girls.[10] In 1884, the KEA was rebranded to the Industrial Education Association, in the spirit of widening its mission to boys and parents as well.

In 1887 William Vanderbilt Jr. offered a substantial financial sum and with the support of Dodge appointed, future longest-serving president of Columbia University and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Nicholas Murray Butler as new president of the IEA.[10] The IEA decided to provide schooling for the teachers of the poor children of New York City. Thus, in 1887-88, it employed six instructors and enrolled thirty-six juniors in its inaugural class as well as eighty-six special students.[10] In order to reflect the broadening mission of education beyond the original philanthropic intent set forth by Dodge, the IEA changed its name to the New York School for the Training of Teachers.[10]

In 1892, the school's name was again changed to Teachers College.[10] The curriculum combined a humanitarian concern to help others with a scientific approach to human development. Beginning as a school to prepare teachers for the children of the poor, the College affiliated with Columbia University in 1898 as the University's Graduate School of Education.[4]

The founders early recognized that professional teachers need reliable knowledge about the conditions under which children learn most effectively. As a result, the College's program from the start included such fundamental subjects as educational psychology and educational sociology. The founders also insisted that education must be combined with clear ideas about ethics and the nature of a good society; consequently, programs were developed in the history of education and in comparative education.

As the number of school children increased during the twentieth century, the problems of managing the schools became ever more complex. The college took on the challenge and instituted programs of study in areas of administration, economics, and politics. Other programs developed in such emerging fields as clinical and counseling psychology, organizational psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, curriculum development, instructional technology, media studies and school health care.

Teachers College was also associated with philosopher and public intellectual John Dewey, who served as president of the American Psychological Association and the American Philosophical Association, and was a professor at the facility from 1904 until his retirement in 1930.[11]


Teachers College buildings on 120th St., looking northwest

The school offers Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Education (Ed.M.), Master of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in over sixty programs of study. Despite the College's name, less than one-third of students are preparing to become teachers. Graduates go on to pursue careers in psychology, social and behavioral sciences, health and health promotion, educational policy, technology, international and comparative education, as well as educational leadership.

According to former president Susan Fuhrman,[12] Teachers College, Columbia University provides solutions to the difficult problems of urban education, reaffirming its original mission in providing a new kind of education for those left most in need by society or circumstance. The college continues its collaborative research with urban and suburban school systems that strengthen teaching in such fundamental areas as reading, writing, science, mathematics, and the arts; prepares leaders to develop and administer psychological and health care programs in schools, businesses, hospitals and community agencies; and advances technology for the classroom, developing new teaching software and keeping teachers abreast of new developments.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 13th President of Columbia University

Teachers College also houses a wide range of applied psychology degrees, including one of the nation's leading programs in Organizational Psychology. Every year Captains from the United States Military Academy at West Point are selected for the Eisenhower Leader Development Program (ELDP) and complete the Organizational Psychology M.A. Program to become Tactical Officers (TAC) at West Point. To date, Columbia is the only school in the Ivy League to offer a military leadership graduate degree program.[13]

The college also houses the programs in Anthropology (Anthropology and Education, and Applied Anthropology founded by Franz Boas). It was foundational in the development of the field of Anthropology and Education. By the 1930s, Teachers College had begun to offer courses in anthropology as part of the foundations of education. By 1948 Margaret Mead started what would be a long association with Teachers College where she taught until the early 1970s. In 1953 Solon Kimball joined the faculty. In 1954 nine professors (including Mead and Solon Kimball) came together to discuss the topic. In the 1960s, these people formed the Council on Anthropology and Education within the American Anthropological Association, and it is still considered as the leading organization in the field.

Margaret Mead, became President of the American Anthropological Association in 1960

The student experience at Teachers College is governed by a student senate, headed by the Senate President, followed by the Vice-President, Parliamentarian, Communications Officer, and Treasurer. Two Senators, a Master's candidate, & a PhD candidate, are elected each year to represent each academic department at Teachers College to advocate on behalf of current students and Alumni.[citation needed] The TC Senate meets bi-weekly to determine what issues need to be investigated.

Academic departmentsEdit

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Biobehavioral Sciences
  • Counseling & Clinical Psychology
  • Curriculum & Teaching
  • Education Policy & Social Analysis
  • Health & Behavioral Studies
  • Human Development
  • International & Transcultural Studies
  • Mathematics, Science & Technology
  • Organization & Leadership


In 2019, Teachers College was ranked #7 among all graduate schools of education in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.[7] In 2008, 2002, 1998, 1997, and 1996, Teachers College was ranked at #1 by the publication.

According to the 2019 QS World University Rankings, Columbia University placed 9th in the world under the subject category, Education & Training. In addition, according to The Times Higher Education, Columbia University ranked 14th under the subject of education in 2019.

Relationship with Columbia UniversityEdit

Teachers College graduates are awarded Columbia University degrees.[14] Teachers College is statutorily prohibited from conferring its own degrees.[14] Although the College houses Ph.D. programs, these degrees are conferred by the University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in a manner analogous to the Ph.D. programs of the University's other professional schools.[15][16] Teachers College's graduating class participates in the University commencement.[17][18][19] TC graduates are Columbia University alumni, may attend Columbia Alumni Association events, and are eligible for nomination of the alumni medal and membership to the Columbia University Club of New York.[20][21][22][18][19]

Teachers College serves as Columbia University's graduate and professional school of education by virtue of its designation as the University's Faculty and Department of Education.[4] However, the College holds its own corporate status, including an independent administrative structure, board of trustees, and endowment.[23] While Teachers College faculty appointments are approved by Teachers College's board of trustees at the discretion of the president of Columbia University, "Columbia University [has] no responsibility for salaries, tenure, or retirement allowances" of officers of Teachers College.[14]

Teachers College shares academic and institutional resources with greater Columbia University including courses of instruction, libraries, health service systems, email services (lifetime email address), research centers, classrooms, special event facilities and the Dodge Fitness Center. (The Teachers College Aquatic Center has the oldest indoor pool still in use in all of New York City, as well as one of the oldest in the country).[2] The Columbia University Senate includes faculty and student representatives from Teachers College who serve two-year terms; all senators are accorded full voting privileges regarding matters impacting the entire University.[24][25] The president of Teachers College is a dean in the University's governance structure.[14]


The college has three residence halls for single students. They are 517 West 121st, Grant Hall, and Whittier Hall.[26] The college has three residence halls for family housing. They are Bancroft Hall, Grant Hall, and Sarasota Hall. One bedroom apartments are available for childless students and students who have one child. Two and three bedroom apartments are available for students who have more than one child.[27]

Lowell Hall and Seth Low Hall have faculty housing units.[28]

Whittier Hall


The Teachers College Record has been published by the school continuously since 1900. In 1997 a group of doctoral students from Teachers College established the journal Current Issues in Comparative Education (CICE), a leading open-access online academic journal.[29]

Teachers College Press, founded in 1904, is the national and international book publishing arm of Teachers College and is dedicated to deepening the understanding and improving the practice of education.

Teachers College also publishes The Hechinger Report.


President Tenure
1. Nicholas M. Butler 1889–1891[30]
2. Walter L. Hervey 1893–1897[30]
3. James Earl Russell 1898–1926[30]
4. William Fletcher Russell 1927–1954[30]
5. Hollis L. Caswell 1954–1962[30]
6. John Henry Fischer 1962–1974[30]
7. Lawrence A. Cremin 1974–1984[30]
8. Philip M. Timpane 1984–1994[30]
9. Arthur E. Levine 1994–2006[30]
10. Susan Fuhrman 2006–2018[31]
11. Thomas R. Bailey 2018–Present[30]


Current facultyEdit

Past facultyEdit

Notable alumniEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2018. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2017 to FY 2018" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2018. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  2. ^ a b 4 years ago (January 11, 2013). "What is the relationship between Teachers College and Columbia University? on Vimeo". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "Organization and Governance of the University". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Organization and Governance of the University".
  5. ^ "History - Columbia University in the City of New York".
  6. ^ "2018 Best Education Schools". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Best Education Schools". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  8. ^ "TC Office of Alumni Relations | Teachers College Columbia University". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  9. ^ "International Alumni Network | Teachers College Columbia University". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e McCaughey, Robert (October 22, 2003). "Stand, Columbia: A History of Columbia University". Columbia University Press – via Google Books.
  11. ^ The New York Times edition of January 19, 1953, page 27
  12. ^ President Fuhrman Outlines the State of the College | TC Media Center. (November 6, 2009). Retrieved on September 7, 2013.
  13. ^ "About Us". Resilience Center for Veterans and Families. Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c d "Charters and Statutes" (PDF). 2017.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Degree Requirements - Teachers College Columbia University". Teachers College - Columbia University.
  18. ^ a b "Thomas Howard Kean".
  19. ^ a b "Georgia O'Keeffe".
  20. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 21, 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Alumni Medal | Columbia Alumni Association". October 14, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  22. ^ "Alumni Community | Columbia Alumni Association". October 14, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  23. ^ "Teachers College - Columbia University". Teachers College - Columbia University.
  24. ^ "Elections packet" (PDF). 2017.
  25. ^ "Elections".
  26. ^ "Housing Options Single Housing Archived January 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine." Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
  27. ^ "Housing Options Family Housing Archived January 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine." Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
  28. ^ "Housing Options Faculty Housing Archived January 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine." Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
  29. ^ "Welcome". CICE. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Making History | Teachers College Columbia University". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  31. ^ "Teachers College Data | Teachers College Columbia University". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  32. ^ "Dr. Ruth Westheimer Sex Therapist, Author and Media Personality". Teachers College, Columbia University. Columbia University. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  33. ^ "Jack Mezirow, Who Transformed the Field of Adult Learning, Dies at 91". TC Media Center. Teachers College, Columbia University. October 11, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  34. ^ Trenton, Patricia; D'Emilio, Sandra. Independent Spirits: Women Painters of the American West, 1890-1945. University of California Press. pp. 126–130. ISBN 978-0520202030.
  35. ^ Encyclopedia of New Jersey. Lurie, Maxine N., 1940-, Mappen, Marc. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. 2004. ISBN 0813533252. OCLC 57590112.CS1 maint: others (link)

External linksEdit