News and Changes at Teachers College | Teachers College Columbia University

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News and Changes at Teachers College

"Since its inception, Teachers College has served the needs of urban and suburban schools, in this country and abroad, with a commitment to disavantaged children and urban schools. While the conditions facing eduators today are more challenging than ever, the College remains faithful to its mission."

Where We Stand in the Rankings

In its annual rankings of "Top 100 Degree Producers," Black Issues in Higher Education listed Teachers College, Columbia University, as the number one institution awarding master's degrees in psychology to Asian-American students in the school year 2000-2001. Among Hispanics receiving master's degrees in psychology, the College was ranked third, and among African Americans, fourth.

Teachers College ranked fifth of all institutions awarding doctoral degrees in education to African Americans for the school year 2000-2001. The College was ranked second and fourth for Asian Americans and Hispanics respectively who received doctoral degrees in education that year.

For doctorates of all disciplines combined to African Americans, Teachers College ranked 11th of all Traditionally White Universities and 13th of all institutions awarding doctoral degrees in all disciplines to African Americans. The College ranked 33rd for doctoral degrees of all disciplines awarded to Asian Americans and Hispanics.

The data used in the rankings comes from the U.S. Department of Education and is collected through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) program completers survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Institutions appearing in the published lists are ranked according to the total number of degrees awarded to minority students across all disciplines and in specific disciplines. Details on how the data were interpreted can be found in the June 20, 2002, issue of Black Issues in Higher Education.

In one of the most competitive rankings in the last several years by U.S. News and World Report, four major schools of education were separated by five points for the lead rankings. Stanford University was rated number one (100), Harvard and UCLA were ranked two (96), and Teachers College was ranked number four (95).

Gayle Garrett of U.S. News, who happens to be the methodologist and one of the lead organizers of the rankings, noted the narrow margins between schools and explained, "When all data was run through the education schools research ranking model there was just a hair's breadth of difference between Harvard, UCLA and Teachers College.

She added, "I hope you noticed that Teachers College received the highest rating-4.7 out of a possible 5.0-of any education school in our survey of school superintendents. Only Stanford, of all the schools ranked, was able to match it."


State of the College

In "Reflections on the Past Year," President Arthur Levine began with a retrospective of the past eight years, "a period of unprecedented growth and rebuilding for TC." As the nation recovered from a prolonged economic downturn, "we enlarged our faculty, reduced teaching loads, launched several important initiatives, and redefined TC as an activist institution, committed to universal access to quality education, especially for disadvantaged and urban peoples," he said. The college also sought to place itself on a sound financial footing. "We eradicated our debt while building our capital strength, and for the first time instituted real financial controls and budget processes," Levine said. "We launched a capital campaign, improved our administrative services, created a technology infrastructure, and gained new visibility in the community."

But while all these achievements are essential to the College's survival and well-being, "they aren't why we come to TC," Levine said. "If the College's motive is to repair the world through education, we still have some very big challenges before us."

"We still have to ask ourselves some critical questions," Levine said. "Are we properly focused on the right things? Are we using our skills and knowledge to improve practice-or are our efforts in that direction being diluted by differences between us? Are we making a difference in the community? Are we truly helping to shape national discourse on education and education policy?"

The college has been active on all these fronts. "But we need to accomplish more," Levine said. "That's the reason we need to maintain a black bottom line, build our information technology infrastructure, and maintain our physical plant."

Acting President Darlyne Bailey

At the end of 2002, President Arthur Levine prepared to spend the Spring 2003 semester on sabbatical in Poland. In his absence, Academic Vice President and Dean Darlyne Bailey took over as Acting President.

In discussing her new role, the challenges she and the institution faced, and some of the initiatives she wanted to accomplish during her tenure, Bailey said, "We have some tough decisions to make as a College. The economy and the threat of war and terrorism have shaken apart the world we once knew. What we are facing, largely because of external circumstances, are dramatic increases in fixed expenses that greatly impact our budget. Like all other institutions-for-profit, governmental, and not-for-profit-we are forced to find ways to "tighten our belts." I have confidence in my faculty and staff colleagues' abilities to debate, unpackage and address the hard issues because of everyone's deep commitment to our College."

She set three major goals for her tenure as Acting President. First was working with Acting Vice President and Dean Aaron Pallas and the Teacher Education faculty to prepare for the upcoming NCATE (National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education) accreditation in December 2004. Second, she wanted to take steps toward a renewed Office of Student Affairs in the recruitment of a high-level individual to lead that office. And, third, she wanted to present a balanced budget to the Board of Trustees. Additionally, she worked to forge new partnerships between the College and others in the community


New Residence Hall

One of the latest efforts at improving the Teachers College plant is the addition of a new residence hall that TC is building on 121st and 122nd Streets between Broadway and Amsterdam. The residence hall project, designed by Mitchell/Giorgola Architects, consists of two buildings connected at the basement and entry levels, with 252 studio apartments. The studios are approximately 225 square feet in size and each one contains a private bathroom. Some of the apartments include kitchenettes and there will be 17 common kitchens distributed throughout the building.

The first floor of the building will include a lobby, a study lounge and two group study rooms with computers that open onto a landscaped courtyard. The open space between the buildings will bring light into the two proposed buildings and the existing residential buildings. This space will preserve the continuity of central open space that extends the length of the block and its courtyard will be a quiet sanctuary for resident students. The basement level, which contains a laundry room, and storage and mechanical spaces, is below the courtyard and opens at grade on 122nd Street.

When the building was designed, the architects worked with the styles of neighborhood buildings. The predominant use of brick, terra cotta and articulated window frames in the proposed project fit well within the Morningside Heights neighborhood with its eclectic structures of significant architectural merit and historical integrity.

Milbank Chapel

Milbank Memorial Chapel underwent a complete internal and external renovation during 2002. Evergreen Restoration worked with Vincent Del Bagno, Director of Capital Projects, and TC to bring the Chapel back to its original glory with a few added extras to bring it up to 21st century capabilities.

The Student Computing Support Center in Horace Mann Hall was recently renovated to include new computers, work spaces, special lighting, and heat and air-conditioning upgrades, as well as an aesthetically pleasing look. For more information, please click here.

Moving Forward

While the state of the world and the economy may be in flux, Teachers College continues in its focus on education. That, in essence, is where the future lies. In the hands of the next generation and how well they are prepared to meet the challenges they face. It is through today's research and development of practice that teachers will be able to best prepare tomorrow's leaders, tomorrow's citizens, and tomorrow's parents.

Published Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2003


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