Bilingual/Bicultural Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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Standard Policies & Procedures

Services for Students with Disabilities: The College will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities for information about registration (166 Thorndike Hall). Services are available only to students who are registered and submit appropriate documentation.


Statement on Academic Conduct: A Teachers College student is expected to refrain from any conduct, including cheating, plagiarizing, or purchasing documents submitted for academic evaluation, that calls into question his/her academic and/or professional probity. Decisions regarding academic evaluation in all aspects of students’ work at the college, including course work, certification examinations, clinical or field experiences, and preparation of dissertations, are within the sole jurisdiction of the faculty concerned, including as appropriate, the department or program staff members. Disciplinary actions (e.g., reprimand, suspension, or dismissal) in cases of academic misconduct can be imposed by the Vice Provost or the Committee on Student Conduct.


Resolution of Student Academic Program Concerns: Any student who has a concern regarding an academic matter may seek assistance. The procedure for resolving academic program concerns (see note of grade correction process below) begins with either the faculty member (if the concern is related to a course) or the student’s advisor. If the student is not satisfied with the response or resolution achieved at this first level, or if speaking with the faculty member presents a conflict of interest for the student, the student should proceed to speak with the Program Coordinator in the area in which the academic concern resides. If the student is not satisfied with the response or resolution achieved through the Program Coordinator, the student should proceed to speak with the Chair of the academic department in which the academic concern resides. If the student is still not satisfied with the response or resolution achieved through the Department Chair, or if speaking with the Department Chair presents a conflict of interest for the student, the next step is to contact the Office of the Vice Provost. At any stage of the process, students are welcome to seek the advice and guidance of the Ombudsman, who is charged with attempting to informally resolve student dissatisfaction of an academic nature on a completely confidential basis.


Period of Candidacy (Master’s Degrees): Candidates must be formally admitted to a degree program by the Office of Admission. The period of candidacy for the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science, and Master of Education is limited to five years. Every candidate for the Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science, and Master of Education must complete at least 16 points through Teachers College during the final five-year period prior to the award of the degree so as to meet recency requirements.


A candidate may petition the Registrar for an extension of time for adequate reasons if the student has been in attendance in the degree program within the last five years. In such cases, an extension must be recommended by the major advisor and approved by the Registrar. Upon approval, all current degree requirements including the departmental integrative project and at least 16 points to satisfy the recency requirement must be completed. Petitions for extension may be obtained through the Office of the Registrar.


If a student has not been in attendance within the last 5 years and wishes to pursue the completion of the degree, the student must re-apply for admission and be accepted into the degree program. Applications for re- admission may be obtained from the Office of Admission. Applications for re-admission follow the same processes and standards as those for initial admission. If a student is subsequently re-admitted to a Master’s degree program with a period of candidacy after the expiration of the initial five-year period of candidacy, all current degree requirements including the departmental integrative project and at least 16 points to meet recency requirements must be completed.


Grade Correction Procedure: The instructor for a course has the responsibility for setting the requirements for a course and making an evaluation of students’ work. Once a grade has been given, the instructor is not free to change the grade unless the instructor indicates to the Registrar that an error was made in the original grade transmitted. If a student believes that an error has been made, he/she must take the initiative in bringing about the necessary correction prior to the conclusion of the semester immediately following the semester in which the course was taken. The normal procedure for effecting a correction would be through direct discussion between the student and the instructor. If redress cannot be attained through such discussions, the student may next appeal to the department chairperson of the department offering the course. If resolution cannot be attained through appeal, the student may next appeal to the Dean. In situations where the student feels that such an appeal process might not be in the student’s interest, counsel and assistance can be sought from the Office of the College Ombudsman and the Office of the Vice Provost.