Teachers College, Columbia University

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Teachers College, Columbia University
Type Private
Established 1887
Endowment US$266 million[1]
President Susan Fuhrman
Provost Thomas James
Students 5,299
Location New York City, New York, United States
Campus Urban
Website www.tc.columbia.edu
Teachers College Logo.png

Teachers College, Columbia University 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] Teachers College is the oldest and largest graduate school of education in the United States.[5]

In 2018, Teachers College was ranked #7 among all graduate schools of education in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.[6] 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.[7][8] Notable alumni and former faculty include John Dewey, Carl Rogers, 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 FBLA-PBL), E. Gordon Gee (former president of Brown University and Vanderbilt University), and Chester Earl Merrow (a U.S. Representative from New Hampshire).


Teachers College buildings on 120th St., looking northwest
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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.[9] 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.[9] The IEA decided to provide schooling for the teachers of the poor children of New York City. Thus, in 1887-88, the IEA employed six instructors and enrolled thirty-six juniors in its inaugural class as well as eighty-six special students.[9] 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.[9]

In 1892, the school's name was again changed to Teachers College.[9] 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.[10]

Grace Dodge Hall. Chemistry Laboratory With Students. (Ca. 1910). Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College, Columbia University.

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]

John Dewey


Top of TC

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 its president,[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.

Teachers College also houses a wide range of applied psychology degrees, including one of the nation's leading programs in Organizational Psychology. Every year approximately 24 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.

Margaret Mead

It 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.

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 departments[edit]

  • 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 2018, Teachers College was ranked #7 among all graduate schools of education in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.[6] In 2008, 2002, 1998, 1997, and 1996, Teachers College was ranked at #1 by the publication.

Relationship with Columbia University[edit]

Teachers College graduates are awarded Columbia University degrees.[13] In fact, Teachers College is statutorily prohibited from conferring its own degrees.[14] Teachers College's graduating class participates in the University commencement.[15] Teachers College graduates are considered Columbia University alumni. They may attend Columbia Alumni Association events and are eligible for nomination of the alumni medal.[16][17][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. The College holds its own corporate status, including an independent administrative structure, board of trustees and endowment.[20][21] Teachers College faculty appointments are approved by Teachers College's board of trustees at the discretion of the president of Columbia University; "Columbia University shall have no responsibility for salaries, tenure, or retirement allowances" of officers of Teachers College.[22]

Teachers College shares academic and institutional resources with greater Columbia University including the libraries, classes, health service systems, email system, and the University's recreational center. 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.[23][24] The president of Teachers College is a dean in the University's governance structure.[25]

Student, faculty, and guest housing[edit]

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


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–Present[31]


Current faculty[edit]

Past faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY2015 to FY2016" (PDF). NACUBO.org. National Association of College and University Business Officers. 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017. 
  2. ^ 4 years ago (2013-01-11). "What is the relationship between Teachers College and Columbia University? on Vimeo". Vimeo.com. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  3. ^ "Organization and Governance of the University". Columbia.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  4. ^ "History | Columbia University in the City of New York". Columbia.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  5. ^ "2018 Best Education Schools". Grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  6. ^ a b "Best Education Schools". Grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  7. ^ "TC Office of Alumni Relations | Teachers College Columbia University". Tc.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  8. ^ "International Alumni Network | Teachers College Columbia University". Tc.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  9. ^ a b c d e https://books.google.com/books?id=bdBXMiac6l0C&pg=PA572&lpg=PA572&dq=%22teachers+college%22+columbia+barnard&source=bl&ots=u45wLSCdhE&sig=U5TNfasoPFVUXFDvWM7-mn9f5pM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ-NHs4ZXTAhXBXRQKHdzEB1s4ChDoAQgZMAA#v=onepage&q=%22teachers%20college%22%20&f=false
  10. ^ Weneck, B. (1991). "Social and Cultural Stratification in Women's Higher Education: Barnard College and Teachers College, 1898-1912". History of Education Quarterly. 31 (1): 1–25. doi:10.2307/368780. JSTOR 368780. 
  11. ^ The New York Times edition of January 19, 1953, page 27
  12. ^ President Fuhrman Outlines the State of the College | TC Media Center. Tc.columbia.edu (November 6, 2009). Retrieved on September 7, 2013.
  13. ^ Cite error: The named reference https://s.yimg.com/lo/api/res/1.2/BBn8eH_FWpNb8spX4w5PSQ--~B/YXBwaWQ9eWlzZWFyY2g7Zmk9Zml0O2dlPTAwNjYwMDtncz0wMEEzMDA7aD0yMzY7dz0zMTU-/http://www.diplomacenter.net/uploads/allimg/161207/1-16120GAF60-L.jpg.cf.jpg was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  14. ^ http://secretary.columbia.edu/files/secretary/university_charters_and_statutes/University%20Charters%20and%20Statutes_June2017.pdf
  15. ^ http://www.tc.columbia.edu/registrar/pages/degree-information/degree-requirements/
  16. ^ https://alumni.columbia.edu/sites/dev.alumni.columbia.edu/files/list_of_past_alumni_medalists_1933_2016.pdf
  17. ^ https://alumni.columbia.edu/get-involved/alumni-medal
  18. ^ https://alumni.columbia.edu/alumni-directory
  19. ^ http://c250.columbia.edu/c250_celebrates/remarkable_columbians/thomas_kean.html
  20. ^ http://www.columbia.edu/cu/vpaa/handbook/organization.html
  21. ^ http://www.tc.columbia.edu/human-development/faqs/
  22. ^ http://secretary.columbia.edu/files/secretary/university_charters_and_statutes/University%20Charters%20and%20Statutes_June2017.pdf
  23. ^ http://senate.columbia.edu/elections/elections_packet_2017.pdf
  24. ^ http://senate.columbia.edu/topbar_pages/elections.html
  25. ^ http://secretary.columbia.edu/files/secretary/university_charters_and_statutes/University%20Charters%20and%20Statutes_June2017.pdf
  26. ^ "Housing Options Single Housing." Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
  27. ^ "Housing Options Family Housing." Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
  28. ^ "Housing Options Faculty Housing." Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
  29. ^ "Welcome". CICE. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Making History | Teachers College Columbia University". Tc.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  31. ^ "Teachers College Data | Teachers College Columbia University". Tc.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  32. ^ "Dr. Ruth Westheimer Sex Therapist, Author and Media Personality". Teachers College, Columbia University. Columbia University. Retrieved 4 June 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. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°48′36″N 73°57′40″W / 40.8101°N 73.96107°W / 40.8101; -73.96107