Description of the Two Programs | International and Comparative Education Program | International & Transcultural Studies

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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International and Comparative Education

In the Department of International & Transcultural Studies

Description of the Two Programs

In 1899, Teachers College (TC) became the first graduate institution in the United States to develop a program that is now called International and Comparative Education (ICE).  Program faculty members co-founded the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) in 1954.  By the 1960s, TC also became instrumental in the study of the international development of education, establishing the program in International Educational Development.  In addition to actively participating in the work of various centers and institutes within the Department of International and Transcultural Studies, faculty members of the program conduct research around the globe and play a prominent role in international initiatives at TC and beyond.

The ICE program has two separate tracks, Comparative and International Education (CIE) and International Educational Development (IED).  The difference between them is that CIE is based on an academic discipline in the social sciences while IED is based on a professional specialization of education.  Students in both tracks specify a concentration, either within or outside the Department of International and Transcultural Studies.  Students should also specify a geographical area of interest.  The regional areas of concentration may include Africa, the Caribbean, Central Asia, East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and the U.S. (for a transcultural/immigration focus).

The program is designed to provide students with challenging course work related to international and transcultural dimensions of education.  Program requirements include work in four areas: a core curriculum, a concentration that is either an academic discipline (for CIE track) or a professional field of education (for IED track), courses with transcultural or geographic focus, and elective credits.  The program is designed to be as flexible as possible so that previous educational and professional experience and the future career goals of the student can be taken into account in the choice of appropriate course work.  Students are expected to assume major responsibility for formulating, in cooperation with their faculty advisor, a plan of study that will best meet the general program requirements in a way that is most compatible with their own professional goals. 

The ICE Program provides advanced preparation for professional careers in a wide range of teaching, policy and evaluation, administrative, and research roles. Graduates of the program are found in numerous educational positions, including those in academic research and teaching, educational planning, foundations, non-governmental organizations, governmental institutions, businesses and corporations, and private and public educational institutions. 

All students in the ICE Program must select a concentration.  Students in the International Educational Development (IED) track should choose from the available professional concentrations, while students in the Comparative and International Education (CIE) track should choose from the academic disciplines concentrations. The following information provides ICE students with a brief description of the concentrations.

Each student is expected to assume major responsibility for formulating, in cooperation with his/her advisor and the faculty liaison for the concentration, a plan of study that will best meet the general program requirements in a way that is compatible with her/his own professional goals. The programs of study will need to be reviewed and approved by the student’s assigned faculty advisor each semester.

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