The Office of School & Community Partnerships (OSCP), directed by Nancy Streim, Associate Vice President, connects Teachers College’s resources to local public schools and enhances faculty and student field-based teaching, research and service activities. 

OSCP’s portfolio includes:

Teachers College Community School

The Teachers College Community School (TCCS), the pre-K–8 public school founded by TC and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). 

There are now three entry points to TCCS: prekindergarten, kindergarten and 6th grade. 

NYCDOE has finalized an agreement to lease a second building for TCCS, with occupancy slated for September 2018. The “new” building will house the lower grades (pre-K–3).

Meanwhile, after receiving 400 applications for its 50 kindergarten seats for Fall 2017, TCCS also welcomed its first 6th grade class. The school has been cited by DNAinfo as one of New York City’s most coveted elementary schools. TCCS is also included in New York City’s Best Public Pre-K and Elementary Schools: A Parents’ Guide by Clara Hemphill and Lydie Raschka.

For this academic year, OSCP has granted 55 service awards to TC students to apply their learning while assisting at TCCS. Graduate student instructors and work-study students teach or assist with specialty classes at TCCS, provide small-group tutoring, lead after-school clubs and offer administrative assistance. A doctoral-level Milman Fellow, working with Lalitha Vasudevan, Professor of Technology & Education, is teaching a year-long digital literacy course in 5th and 6th grades, and another Fellow, working with Sandra Schmidt, Associate Professor of Social Studies Education, is leading development of the upper grades’ social studies curriculum and creating a project-based learning platform for grades K–6. TC-led music offerings now include Film Scoring and String Ensemble for 6th grade. The TCCS Orchestra rehearses at TC one day a week, and the new TCCS Creative Technologies Club meets in TC’s Maker Space. Both these after-school programs are taught by TC students.


REACH (Raising Educational Achievement Coalition of Harlem) continues to support six TC partnership schools serving 2,000 students, with a focus on continued improvement of teacher instructional strategies, academic enrichment for students, family engagement and physical and mental health services.

In addition, 11 TC Zankel Fellows and several work-study students provide expanded learning opportunities to students at all of the partner schools.

All REACH schools continue to use an electronic home messaging and attendance monitoring system introduced by REACH. TC is again enabling REACH school students to receive comprehensive mental health supports through partnerships with the Columbia University School of Social Work, New York Foundling, Counseling in Schools and Association to Benefit Children. With Helen Keller International and Smile Programs, REACH facilitated vision and dental screenings for over 500 students, a third of whom received follow-up dental restorative care or glasses.

The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science continues to prepare student volunteers who provide STEM enrichment alongside TC students.

Twenty-one REACH schoolteachers participated in the annual professional development Summer Institute, where they focused on establishing clear learning goals for their curricular unit plans. Nearly 100 students took advantage of the four-week, full-day Summer Bridge program which included academic coursework in ELA and STEM, an SAT prep class and a writing intensive class to assist students with their college essays.

In 2016-2017, REACH received $2.29 million in renewed support for its work in Harlem schools: a $1.173 million extension of the federally-funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which provides expanded learning opportunities to students at three partner schools; $334,000 for an extension of the Community Schools Grants Initiative funded by the New York State Education Department at two partner schools; $331,000 for continuation of the Attendance Improvement and Dropout Prevention program at one school; and $452,000 for work at Wadleigh Secondary School under the City’s Renewal Schools Program.

Student Aid

In total, OSCP distributes over half a million dollars in financial aid to support TC students engaged in school and community initiatives. In 2016-2017, the Office launched two new service scholarships established by TC Trustee Dawn Duquès and alumna Evalyn Milman for students engaged with REACH schools: the Duquès Social Justice Endowed Scholarship Fund, supporting students that are participating in Professor Ansley Erickson’s Harlem history project at Frederick Douglass Academy II, and the Milman Music Education Fellowship, enriching the music offerings at PS 154.

Additionally, 50 Zankel Urban Fellowships were awarded to students to conduct year-long projects in schools and community organizations under the direction of more than 20 faculty sponsors. 

The Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Public School Principals

In Fall 2016, The Cahn Fellows Program welcomed a new cohort of 27 outstanding principals, including 19 from New York City and eight from Chicago. The program added two principals from Charlotte, North Carolina in Fall 2017. The principals from Chicago are supported by The Chicago Public Education Fund. The program also embarked on a national expansion with a goal to expand to seven more cities and double the cohort size by fiscal year 2020. To lead these efforts, the program hired a national director, Lisa Sahulka, to join forces with program director Lily Woo, a much-decorated former principal and Cahn alumna. The Cahn Fellows Program has also formed an advisory council with 20 members to assist in expansion planning and implementation.