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Office of School and Community Partnerships
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

About Us

The Office of School and Community Partnerships was established in October 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 providers, 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. Under her leadership, the OSCP has become a focal point for encouraging and enabling mutually beneficial collaborations between the College and NYC schools.

The Office has established partnerships with around 32 public elementary, middle and high schools that serve students most at risk of dropping out and under-achieving. Last year it coordinated 19 programs that reached more than 15,000 students. It directs a wide array of existing and new resources to these schools including professional development opportunities, targeted curriculum enhancements, student teacher placements and parent/family engagement activities. For example:

  • The Harlem Schools Partnership for Science and Math Education, a five-year multi-million dollar grant from the GE Foundation, that aims to improve the teaching and learning in the STEM disciplines in eight Harlem schools

  • The Harlem Ivy 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, a five-year state-funded enterprise, that involves five community-based organizations and four Harlem middle schools in developing science-based after-school activities

  • The Performing Arts Series brings hundreds of children on to campus every year to see live productions of music, theater and dance given by local performing groups

  • The Arthur Zankel Fellowship program provides financial aid to 50 TC graduate students each year in exchange for direct service with under-served New York City youth

  • The Reading and Math Buddies puts graduate student tutors in touch with hundreds of children each year to improve their academic performance

  • The Cahn Fellows program recognizes outstanding NYC principals and provides them with opportunities for professional, intellectual and personal growth

The OSCP also oversees the development and ongoing operations of TC’s new public elementary school. Opened in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education in September 2011, the Teachers College Community School (TCCS) is a university-assisted, non-selective, community school that applies state-of-the-art knowledge and best practices in teaching, learning and child development. The educational program is designed to develop each student’s knowledge and skills, love of learning and individual strengths as the foundation for academic and life success. A focus on global awareness celebrates the diversity of the community and prepares students for the social demands of the 21st century. The school also seeks to integrate delivery of services for children and families that help students optimize educational opportunities. Supplementary educational services including early childhood programming, family literacy, after school programming, as well as social and health services are provided. TCCS is intended to demonstrate how affiliation with a higher education institution can lead to effective implementation of comprehensive educational services in an urban, community public school. For more information visit: