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Community English Program


Community English Program

This is an archived article. For current rates and information please see

The Community English Program (CEP) is a unique and integral part of the TESOL program. It provides English instruction to adult learners of diverse nationalities and serves as a pedagogical laboratory for cutting edge teacher preparation and materials development.

Teachers College students teach in the CEP as part of their practical training. They teach three times a week and share a class with one other teacher. TC students can teach in the CEP by registering for one of the teaching practica offered each semester in the TESOL department. The practica vary from semester to semester, but some of the most frequent ones are Reading, Listening, Grammar, Writing, Using Media, etc. For specific practica offered in the current semester check the TC schedule of classes (A&HL section). In addition to teaching, the practica teachers meet once a week for a seminar with their professor.


The CEP students are predominantly immigrants who live on the Upper West Side and Harlem areas or are family members of international students at TC and Columbia.

The CEP office is located in room 46E Horace Mann and the telephone numbers are 212- 678- 3279 (only a recorded message) and 212- 678 - 3097 (office telephone).

The office is open during the semester on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and from 6:00 to 10:00 PM. The office is also open on Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.

CEP Coordinator: K. Philip Choong The CEP FALL or SPRING semesters last ten weeks (starting 2 or 3 weeks after the beginning of the TC semester) and CEP students take classes three times a week, Monday, Wednesday & Thursday . Classes are offered in the morning from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM or in the evening from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

The CEP SUMMER semesters are 5 weeks long. The classes meet FOUR times a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) for two and a half hours (9:30 AM to 12:00 PM or 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM).

The tuition for a fall or spring semester is $150 (three days a week).

The tuition for a summer semester is $125 for the whole course. The tuition is discounted 25% for the immediate family members of Teachers College (but NOT Columbia main campus) full time students, faculty or staff.

Anyone is eligible for the classes and the CEP office does not require any identification papers or visa documents. The registration for classes is one day only, usually two weeks before class begins.

For morning classes, the registration begins promptly at 10:00 a.m. For evening classes, the registration begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. The number of places is limited and students are registered through a LOTTERY.

At registration, students have a short informal interview and a short written test. The interview and the test are NOT eliminatory. They only serve as placement tests, so that each student can be placed in a class appropriate for his or her level.

The CEP does NOT give any kind of certificate or diploma at the completion of the course and CANNOT be a basis for obtaining an F1 student visa, since it is NOT a full time or a degree program.

The CEP has a staff of four--the coordinator and three assistants, who are all students in the TESOL program.


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