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Adult Learning and Leadership
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Adult Learning and Leadership

In the Department of Organization & Leadership

FAQs > General

General

Prospective Students | Admissions | Adult Education Guided Intensive Study (AEGIS)
Doctoral Students | Employment & Volunteer | Financial Considerations
General | Student Demographics | Student Life

What classes should I take?

This depends on a number of factors. First, it is helpful to consider what you would like to take. What topics are you interested in exploring? What subjects do you find engaging or exciting? There are many options and it helps to have a sense of what you are most interested in.

Second, it is important to know the course requirements for your degree. Please see the "Degree Requirements" on the left menu bar for the requirements for your degree program.

You can also use these worksheets to help identify and organize the courses you need to take for your degree:
Masters Students:
http://www.tc.columbia.edu/i/a/document/8574_MAProgWorksheet10-24-08.pdf
Masters of Education Students:
http://www.tc.columbia.edu/i/a/document/8575_EdMProgWorksheet10-24-08.pdf
Doctoral Students:
http://www.tc.columbia.edu/i/a/document/8576_EdDProgWorksheet10-24-08.pdf

Third, take a look at what courses are offered in the program, here.

You can also click on the link at the top of the page to see what courses are being offered for the current semester.

The program secretary will send a list of recommended courses prior to the beginning of the upcoming semester. This is also a helpful guide for choosing courses.

Fourth, look through the TC catalog to find courses outside of the program in which you might be interested:
http://catalog.tc.columbia.edu/tc/

To find courses offered in the current or upcoming semester look here:
http://www.tc.columbia.edu/tc-schedule/schdsearch.cgi

Once you have identified some courses you are interested in, and which fulfill your degree requirements; it is also important to speak with your advisor about courses he or she would recommend, in addition to those you have chosen.

You can also seek out other students in the program and ask them about courses they have taken and what they might recommend.

Who are the "good" professors?

This depends on personal preference and learning styles. You can assume that every professor in the program is very knowledgeable in their area of study and is a very competent instructor. At the same time, each student has different needs, preferences, and learning styles. To find out who might be a "good" professor for you, take time to learn more about the faculty in our program.

You can begin by looking at the faculty page to learn more about their research interests and backgrounds.

The best evidence is your own experience, so once you have identified a professor you are interested in working with, you might contact them directly about meeting or sitting in on one of their classes.

You can also take time to speak with other students about their experience with a particular professor in the program and get their recommendation.

In addition, you can look at web sites such as http://www.ratemyprofessors.com to get anonymous student reviews of some of the professors in our program.

When should I start my program plan?

It is important to start thinking about your program plan early. You should read through the program requirements for your degree.  Please see the "Degree Requirements" on the left menu bar for the requirements for your degree program.

You can also use these worksheets to help plan your course work:

Masters Students:
http://www.tc.columbia.edu/i/a/document/8574_MAProgWorksheet10-24-08.pdf

Masters of Education Students:
http://www.tc.columbia.edu/i/a/document/8575_EdMProgWorksheet10-24-08.pdf

Doctoral Students:
http://www.tc.columbia.edu/i/a/document/8576_EdDProgWorksheet10-24-08.pdf

Doctoral students should read through the requirements outlined on the Office of Doctoral Studies web site here:
http://www.tc.columbia.edu/administration/doctoral/index.asp?Id=Requirements&Info=Requirements+for+the+Ed.D.+and+Ed.D.+C.T.A.S.

In terms of program plan the Office of Doctoral studies web site says, "The student should submit the Program Plan as early as possible, but no later than the term in which 60 points of graduate study (including transferred credits) have been completed."

The forms necessary for completing the program plan and statement of total program can be found here:
http://www.tc.columbia.edu/administration/doctoral/index.asp?Id=Forms+%26+Brochures&Info=Ed.D.+Student+Forms

Once you have read through the requirements and outlined your program plan, it is important to meet with you advisor and get their input and feedback. Once you both have agreed on your program plan they will sign off and it can be submitted.

If you have already submitted your program plan and you need to make changes, use the form here:
http://www.tc.columbia.edu/i/a/document/8741_Change_of_Program_Plan.pdf

How do I transfer credits? Who decides which ones can transfer?

Only Ed.D. students and Ed.M. can transfer credits toward their degree. M.A. students cannot transfer credits. Transferring credits from a previous graduate degree program requires several steps.

  • Begin by looking at the description of how to transfer credit here:
    http://catalog.tc.columbia.edu/tc/catalogdetail/policiesproceduresdocuments
  • You can read through the policies and procedures for transfer credits here:
    http://www.tc.columbia.edu/i/a/document/7940_Policies_Procedures_Spring2008.pdf
  • The next step is to complete the transfer of credit form and return it to the admissions office:
    http://www.tc.columbia.edu/i/a/document/7941_Request_for_Allocation.pdf
  • A list of approved courses will be sent to the program secretary and forwarded to you. This will indicate which courses have the potential to be transferred.
    Note: These courses have not been applied to your degree, they are only the courses which could possibly be approved for transfer.
  • You need to compare this list of potential transfer courses with the required course outlined in your degree requirements (please see "Degree Requirements" on the left menu bar).
  • It is important to think about which courses might count toward your required credits and which courses might count toward elective credits. If you are hoping to have some courses count toward your required credits you should be able to make a good case for why they fulfill a required course area. You can review course descriptions here and here (http://catalog.tc.columbia.edu/tc/ to find out more about required courses.
  • The next step is to meet with your academic advisor and discuss which of the courses may be transferred toward your degree. Your advisor will decide which courses will count toward your required credits and which will count toward your elective credits.
  • Once your advisor signs off on the list of approved courses it will be sent back to the admissions office for final approval. You will receive a letter from admissions indicating which courses have been approved for transfer.

How can I transfer from the M.A. to Ed.D. program?

To transfer from the M.A. to the Ed.D. program you will need to complete the application for the Ed.D. program. Details on completing the application can be found here:
http://www.tc.columbia.edu/admissions

Note: the deadline for submitting you application is currently January 2nd

When should I work on the research project for the MA or Ed.M?

If you want to graduate in May, you will need to begin planning your Ed.M. research-based project in the fall; which must be finished in addition to coursework in order to graduate. You will need to work with a faculty member on an outline and topic and then proceed with the work.

Is ORLD 5057 a required course?

ORLD 5057 is not required but strongly recommended for doctoral students. It is a course designed to help doctoral students review, expand and integrate what they have learned about learning theory in preparation for the certification exam. Ed.D. Students typically take the course, and some Ed.M. and MA students as well (along with students from other departments).