Teachers College, Columbia University (TC) was founded in the late 19th century with the belief that education writ broadly is the path to a better future. At the heart of our philosophy has always been a recognition that education is the “great equalizer” and the basis of a healthy society. TC has a proud legacy of innovating to meet the needs of the times while building on a solid foundation of evidence and practice – a legacy that includes creating the fields of special education, educational testing and psychology, nutrition education, conflict resolution, and urban education. TC has always viewed its leadership role in service to its mission of social justice in two complementary arenas. One is as a major player in policy making to ensure that schools are reformed and restructured to welcome all students regardless of their socio-economic background. The second is preparing graduates to not only serve students directly but also to inform, design, and coordinate the educational, psychological, behavioral, technological, and health initiatives to remove barriers to learning at all ages.
Today, TC maintains its status as a progressive institution of cutting edge research, leadership and practice with over 170 full-time faculty in ten academic departments and over 5000 students (nearly half of whom identify as students of color, and over a fifth of whom come from countries other than the US) engaging in foundational and innovative coursework that leads to the awarding of graduate degrees in more than 70 academic programs. In recent years, we have added to our track record of moving the field forward with the launch of groundbreaking programs in learning analytics, spirituality and psychology, and digital educational games.
TC is an independently run affiliate of Columbia University, allowing us to maintain our own governance and financial planning while also benefitting from the vast academic and intellectual resources of one of the world’s foremost research universities. The College has achieved an operating surplus on its ~$300 million budget for 16 consecutive years and has an endowment of $288 million as of March 2017 and a physical plant valued at $450-500 million. TC is currently finishing a $300M capital campaign, "Where the Future Comes First,” the largest in history for a graduate school of education. Recent improvements to the physical plant and strong fiscal results continue to strengthen the financial base of TC in support and advancement of its mission. In 2016, the Middle States Commission for Higher Education emphatically renewed TC’s accreditation for the next 10 years, affirming the College’s efforts to shape 21st century approaches to teaching and learning through “a research-inspired multi-disciplinary approach, blending both theory and practice” and “responsiveness to emerging societal issues surrounding education.”
Though significantly evolved, the current mission of the College remains closely connected to the founding principle, which was to "provide a new kind of schooling for New York City's poor, one dedicated to helping them improve the quality of their everyday lives." TC today continues to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world – with new technologies, opportunities and challenges – using the wisdom of the past as building blocks in the constant pursuit of excellence, innovation, and impact.