Talk:Teachers College, Columbia University

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Name(s) of Teachers College[edit]

Note that there is a separate article titled "Normal school" to which one gets redirected upon entering "teachers college."

Arthur Levine said at many welcoming ceremonies to incoming TC students that he asked Columbia University's president why Columbia wished to maintain the affiliation with TC--to which the reply was that in some parts of the world, Teachers College is better known than Columbia University. Levine used this anecdote to illustrate why Teachers College stuck to its unremarkable name.

I agree that the appending of Columbia University is adjectival and added only when needed. Among Ivy League universities, Columbia's affiliation with TC (which has consistently stayed near the top of the U.S. News rankings for graduate schools of education) has been a distinguishing feature, but Columbia University is generally more widely recognized as a premier institution. Hence, "Columbia University" is used as needed to specify Teachers College from other teachers colleges, i.e., schools of education. It will be interesting if I ever hear anyone specifying Columbia University as "the one that's affiliated with Teachers College"--as opposed to, say, a university in Colómbia.


"Teachers College" is the name most frequently used on the Teachers College website, http://www.tc.columbia.edu/ The top of the page reads

TEACHERS COLLEGE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

It makes frequent references to "TC" (not "TCCU"). The copyright notice at the bottom of the page, where you'd think they'd be punctilious for legal reasons, reads

Copyright ©2004 Teachers College

not "Copyright ©2004 Teachers College, Columbia University"

The About TC page opens "Introducing Teachers College;" the Letter from the President refers to the institution simply as "Teachers College" seven times, and in contexts such as "The most valuable possession we have at Teachers College is our name."

The letter finally does close "Arthur E. Levine, President, Teachers College, Columbia University," but I perceive that as being like saying "Paris, France" or "Boston, Massachusetts."

In an online search of The New York Times and the first reference I could find, March 19, 1893, p. 11 is headlined "Gift to Teachers' College — A Mechanic Arts Building To Be Erected at a Cost of $200,000 & mash; The Board of Trustees of the Teachers' College announced that a lady whose identity is kept secret has offered to erect a building... "

An article March 21, 1893 p . 8, "TEACHERS' COLLEGE EXHIBIT." opens "One of the interesting and instructed exhibits at the World's Fair, and one of which New-York may well be proud, will be the display made by the Teachers' College of 9 University Place... The alliance with Columbia College, which the Teachers' College has recently entered into, will prove valuable in many ways to all concerned."

Searching for recent entries, I find: (December 30, 2005) "MILLER--Shirley (nee Buchsbaum)...graduated from New College of Teachers College, Columbia University; (December 14, 2005) "Arthur E. Levine, president of Teachers College at Columbia University;" (November 23, 2005) "GRINELL--Martha M.... was a graduate of Lehman College and received her Master's in education from Columbia Teachers College."

The most recent story about the institution seems to be one published on October 6, 2002 length: "NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS - A Dispute With Teachers College Adds a Twist to Town-Gown Tensions." It opens

The traditional town-gown friction pitting Morningside Heights residents against Columbia University has turned upside down, with neighbors praising the university and developers criticizing it. The sore point concerns Teachers College, which is affiliated with the university but separate from it. Teachers College plans to break ground next month for a 19-story dormitory on an empty site that occupies part of the block bounded by Broadway, Amsterdam Avenue and 121st and 122nd Streets.

At this point, it really seems to me that the "Columbia University" part is merely descriptive. The historical name of the institution was "Teachers' College," and the "Columbia" is just tacked on any old way when, as, and if needed. Dpbsmith (talk) 03:23, 7 January 2006 (UTC)


The name "Teachers College, Columbia University" reflects TC's status as a member of the Columbia University system as opposed to being a wholly separate institution. It is like "Balliol College, Oxford", "King's College, Cambridge" or "Imperial College, London". Each of those institutions is a separate legal entity like TC but also part of the larger university around them. Such a structure is common among British universities but rare in America; Columbia's relationships with Barnard College and TC are the ones most directly analogous in the U.S., though the relationship between the Claremont Colleges in California is similar in many ways.
Internal TC communications refer to "Teachers College" or "TC" without adding the university's name because everyone there knows of the Columbia connection. Just as family members refer to one another by first name only without adding the last name, members of the TC community know which teachers' college one another is talking about. Internal communications of Columbia's schools of engineering, law, etc. also seldom use the full university name, and for the same reason; this does not suggest, however, that they are separate institutions or that the use of the Columbia name is meaningless.


The articles, etc. which you cite don't prove much, since just as many others refer to the institution as "Teachers College, Columbia University". The 1893 article you cite is even less informative, since TC only became a Columbia affiliate in 1898.



Both this article and the one on Columbia University indicate that Teachers' College is much more connected to Columbia than it actually is. It is NOT like Balliol College, Oxford, which is a constituent part of the University of Oxford. The only connection between TC and Columbia is that Columbia grants TC degrees and allows the use of its facilities, like libraries. TC is simply a separate institution with its own administration, degree standards, curriculum, etc. It is probably the case that Columbia does not have a school of education because TC is so nearby and well-regarded, but nonetheless, TC is NOT a part of Columbia.

TC is an official faculty of Columbia University, as stated very very clearly in the Columbia University handbook, so how you define "constituent" is irrelevant-- and that faculty (TC) is Columbia's Department of Education. TC has access to the same classes and resources. Read the Columbia handbook.


What are you smoking? Teacher College is part of Columbia University wherever you like it or not. You might wish it was not. Nevertheless the fact remains that Teachers College is an intricate part of Columbia University; Its like saying Harvard Business School is not a part of Harvard University. Dude…wake up and smell reality. -V 01/08/2007

TC is no more part of Columbia than Barnard, Union Theological Seminary or the Jewish Theological Seminary. All four are listed on www.Columbia.edu as affiliated schools. EF (JTS-64)

"TC is no more part of Columbia than Barnard, UTS, or JTS." While it is true that all four schools are listed as affiliates, only one of those schools functions as an department of the university, serving as the department of education. UTS and JTS are seminaries, whereas barnard is an undergraduate school, of which Columbia already has three.


TC is legally a separate entity, but it grants Columbia degrees and its faculty is officially the university's faculty of education. It thus fits neither the paradigm of a university division nor that of a stand-alone graduate school.
The comparison to Harvard Business School is not apt, since HBS is legally part of Harvard whereas TC is legally separate from Columbia. The comparison to Balliol, Oxford is more apt but still not precise; each Oxford college is a legally separate entity, whereas most of Columbia's schools and colleges are part of Columbia.
Structurally, TC's relationship to Columbia is very much like Barnard's. The Columbia-Barnard relationship is more apparent because CU and BC students take the same classes and their faculty teach the same subjects, so there is more opportunity to interact. "TC students and faculty are the only ones at Columbia dedicated to the field of education, so there is less overlap."

""TC students and faculty are the only ones at Columbia dedicated to the field of education, so there is less overlap." This statement presumes to know the degree to which TC students overlap with classes at other schools -- how the conclusion that there is little overlap was come to, I don't know, but the fact is there is tremendous overlaps with Arts and Sciences, SIPA. I know of TC students that take classes at Social Work, Law School, School of Public Health, and the Business school as well. Indeed, there is far more overlap between TC and the rest of CU than there is between Barnard and CU, just given Barnard's status as an undergraduate institution w/ little graduate level overlap.

All TC Graduates are Alumni of Columbia University http://c250.columbia.edu/c250_celebrates/remarkable_columbians/thomas_kean.html , which means that TC is a part of Columbia University.


"indicate that Teachers' College is much more connected to Columbia than it actually is" ???

I'm not sure what personal grievances some people have, but let me spell-out some simple examples for some simple-minded arm-chair critics: TC students share the same libraries, share the same campus health care, use the same e-mail system, workout in the same antiquated gym, and receive the same CU degree as CU students. And the referenced "19-story dormitory"? Some non-TC CU students live there as well. The term "affiliation" refers to budget matters/financial independence. Spare your trivial objections for a page that needs editing.

Fair use rationale for Image:Tcollege.jpg[edit]

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Teachers College, Columbia University is a part of Columbia University[edit]

As if the institution's name was not enough. I hope this helps resolve this debate "Two affiliated institutions – Barnard College and Teachers College – are also Faculties of the University" [1]--Viscountrapier (talk) 23:27, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Redirect adjusted, hatnote added[edit]

I adjusted Teachers College to redirect to this article, and inserted a hatnote so people looking for generic teachers colleges will go to the right place. (Teachers' College still redirects to Normal school.) Ylee (talk) 18:29, 5 July 2012 (UTC)