Education Policy

Welcome to the Education Policy program


The degree programs in Education Policy examine both formal and informal institutions of schooling and the political, legal, bureaucratic, organizational, economic, and social factors that affect both schools and the broader educational enterprise. Students address critical problems affecting education, develop a broad and inclusive view of the kinds of issues facing policymakers, and are encouraged to study and reflect on the processes by which research becomes linked to policy and practice. Our graduates embark on policy careers in government agencies, national school reform organizations, non-profit groups dedicated to advocacy, private research institutes, and higher education institutions.

Education Policy Program Open House Webinar

Premiered on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

Degree Programs


M.A. in Education Policy

Our 33-credit M.A. degree focuses on the preparation of policy analysts, policy advocates, and education researchers. Student become experts in a range of educational policy issues and gain tools for policy analysis.

Ed.M. in Education Policy

The advanced 60-credit Ed.M. is for students who have already acquired an M.A. with at least some coursework with education policy content. Graduate students focus on a policy area relevant to their interests.

Ph.D. in Education Policy

The campus-based Ph.D. degree in Education Policy prepares its graduates to build new knowledge, teach new leaders, and craft new policies. The program may be completed in 75 credits, of which up to 30 credits may be transferred from another graduate institution.

Congratulations Graduates 2020, 2021, 2022!


Learning Theater Spotlight: The Game of School

For their end-of-semester culminating event, graduate students in the Education Policy Foundations Seminar transformed the Smith Learning theater into a life-sized board game and facilitated an interactive “Game of School" experience for the Teachers College community.

Music: Chooby by Dim Dim

Student & Alumni Profiles


Education Policy, M.A. 2016

Ph.D and J.D. Candidate at UCLA

Terry Allen is a Ph.D. candidate in Education and first-year J.D. student at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his B.A. degree in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley, and M.A. degree in Education Policy from Columbia University. Over the past decade, Terry has worked in various research and policy capacities dedicated to reshaping criminal justice systems across the United States. In his current work with the Million Dollar Hoods (MDH) research initiative, Terry has produced several policy reports and begun a new foray into oral history research to document the full impact of mass incarceration on families and neighborhoods. His research is concerned with the structural features of the criminal justice system and the political economy that constrain inequalities, particularly for youth. This interest derives in part from his own intersectional identity: being black, being a man, and being raised in San Francisco's Bayview-Hunters Point.

Ph.D. student; specialization: higher education policy

B.S. Health Education, University of Florida

MPP Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California Berkeley

Taylor Myers is a second year Ph.D. student in Education Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research is focused on higher education policy, including equity and diversity in student access and success, state and institutional planning and organization of higher education systems, and the impacts of postsecondary credentials on social and economic mobility. 

Taylor's career has spanned the non-profit educational ecosystem, from data analysis and program evaluation to policy development and advocacy. She developed a keen interest in higher education after interning at the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of Postsecondary Education. This period codified what she had experienced in her own journey as a first generation college graduate and inspired her to use public policy to advocate for increased access and stronger institutional support for all college students. Taylor has since worked for the University of California Office of the President, California Competes, a higher education policy and research think tank, and presently conducts research at the Community College Research Center at TC and at the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis for the City University of New York. 

With policy and research experience at both the institutional and state level, Taylor understands the complicated landscapes and siloes in which policy meets practice. She hopes her research will help improve and inform policy design that reflects the needs of a dynamic higher education system and the diverse students it serves, leading to more equitable and stronger outcomes for all postsecondary learners. 

Specialization: Self-designed (Higher Education Policy and Law and Education)

B.A. in Latin American Latino Studies, International Studies and Communications in Culture, City College of New York 2016. 

Rene is a first year student in the M.A. in Education Policy program, with an interest in specializing in Higher Education and Law & Education. 

After 8 years in the retail industry, Rene decided to make a career change and work in the field of education, an area he saw himself making the most impact.  Rene currently serves as part of the administrative team for an independent middle school in New York City.  While working as an administrator, Rene has seen how policies can directly affect students, and their teachers.  After seeing how policies can be inequitable, one of Rene’s main goals is to be able to create policies that are cognisant of all students and their identities.  

Working within high levels in schools, Rene has had direct access to the policy implementation process and how it can affect every school community differently.  Currently, Rene is in the process of self designing his own specialization within the Education Policy program that will allow him to create and implement policies that serve all students.  As a believer that schools should serve students, not the other way around, Rene hopes to provide all students with a voice and a seat at the table. 

Irene Cruz
Education Policy, M.A. 2016

Irene Cruz is the Program Associate at the Postsecondary National Policy Institute (PNPI) where she assists in creating and implementing the PNPI Prospective Policymakers Boot Camps. Specifically, she leads the curriculum development and serves as a Boot Camp participant liaison. Irene also co-manages the Summer Scholar Program and the Summer Scholar Alumni cohort. Irene is a PNPI Summer Scholar Program alumna of the inaugural 2016 cohort. 

Prior to PNPI, Irene worked in an education-based non-profit in the San Francisco Bay Area that provides college access and financial aid advising first generation high school and undergraduate students of color. Additionally, she also worked at a college access program at the University of California, Berkeley where she supervised the college application process for the first-generation high school seniors. It was a pivotal experience that piqued her interest in pursuing a higher education policy degree in a graduate school and fueled her passion for expanding educational opportunities for first-generation and underrepresented students. 

Irene holds a Master’s degree in Education Policy in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

 
 

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