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Office of School and Community Partnerships
The Office of School and Community Partnerships was established in 2007 to coordinate and increase the College’s engagement with New York City K-12 public schools. The Office builds on a long legacy that reflects the College’s founding mission to bring educational opportunities to all members of society. At the heart of this commitment is a belief in the moral imperative that Teachers College, like all higher education institutions, should bring intellectual, human and financial resources to bear on improving educational outcomes for the children and families in their own communities. In establishing deep partnerships with schools, the OSCP seeks to direct resources and expertise into areas where they are most needed and where there are pronounced disparities in educational access and achievement between advantaged groups and disadvantaged groups. In doing so it shares accountability for students’ success in its surrounding community, while also strengthening knowledge, teaching and research at the College.
The OSCP is led by Dr. Nancy Streim, the Associate Vice President for School and Community Partnerships. Dr. Streim is an expert on university partnership with elementary and secondary schools and an architect of a “university-assisted public schools model” that systematically addresses conditions related to educational success, including teacher development, early childhood education, physical and mental health, expanded learning opportunities and parent engagement. Under her leadership, the OSCP has become a focal point for encouraging and enabling mutually beneficial collaborations between the College and NYC schools.
OSCP supports the College’s commitment to New York City public schools and to the preparation of educators, school leaders, and policymakers through several key initiatives:
- The Teachers College Community School (TCCS) is a demonstration university-assisted public school established in 2011 in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education. TC undertook this initiative to demonstrate how affiliation with a higher education institution can lead to effective implementation of comprehensive educational services in an urban public school. OSCP facilitates the College’s contributions to the school in the areas of curriculum, professional development, psychological and health services, pre-service professional preparation, extra-curricular programs, school development and operations, and fundraising. For more information, visit http://www.tc.edu/communityschool/
- REACH (Raising Educational Achievement Coalition of Harlem) is a demonstration university-assisted community schools model in a group of low performing public schools. OSCP coordinates services to six Harlem schools in the six domains of the model: teaching and learning, school leadership, expanded learning opportunities for students, physical and mental health, family engagement, and early childhood education. Strategies are designed in collaboration with TC faculty, and delivered by TC students and community partners, which include several Columbia University affiliates. The School of Social Work, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Department of Pediatrics, Mailman School of Public Health and Barnard College are realizing OSCP’s vision for a University-wide integrated school-based service model. To learn more, visit the REACH website: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/reach/.
- Community Service Opportunities for Students: OSCP administers the Zankel and Milman Fellowships and the Duques Scholarship to support the involvement of Teachers College students in surrounding communities and schools. Additionally, the office manages a significant proportion of the College’s community work study funds. OSCP also funds students through part-time employment and graduate assistantships. Each year, OSCP hires between 50 and 80 students to serve as specialty instructors, after school instructors, classroom assistants, tutors, researchers and program assistants in our partnership schools. Since its founding in 2007, the office has distributed over $1.8 million in student support.
- The Cahn Fellows Program for outstanding principals provides opportunities for professional, intellectual and personal growth. Founded through the vision of its benefactor Charles Cahn in 2002, it has engaged 275 school leaders from New York City, Newark, New Jersey and Chicago, Illinois in a 15-month professional development course that includes a summer leadership institute and regular study groups led by Teachers College faculty, as well as ongoing mentorship. More information is available at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/cahnfellows/.
- The Performing Arts Series is offered annually in the spring to open the doors to the campus and introduce music, dance, and theater to hundreds of New York City school children. Longstanding partners such as the Manhattan School of Music and the Dance Theatre of Harlem as well as other organizations put on live performances for students every year.
OSCP is proud to be the recipient of numerous grants and gifts from public and private sources that have supported its work. Among the agencies and individuals that have funded OSCP initiatives are: the New York State Education Department, the United Way of New York City, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, the General Electric Foundation, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation , the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the Saltz Foundation, the Hearst Foundation, and many individual donors whose generous gifts have supported the development of the Teachers College Community School, REACH and OSCP operations.