Frequently Asked Questions

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  • The Certificate in Advanced Diabetes Topics, offered at Teachers College, is an academic certificate and is not affiliated with certification in diabetes education.
  • For health professionals interested in certification in diabetes education, there are currently two options:  (1) the certified diabetes educator (CDE), and (2) the board certified-advanced diabetes manager (BC-ADM). At the present time, the certification examination for the CDE is administered by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. In order to be eligible to sit for the examination, a minimum of 1000 hours of employment experience as a diabetes educator within the last four years and several other requirements must be met (see www.ncbde.org).  The certification examination for the BC-ADM is administered by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (see eligibility requirements at: http://www.diabeteseducator.org/ProfessionalResources/Certification/BC-ADM/).
  • At the present time the Teachers College Diabetes Education and Management Program provides academic preparation for the certification examination, and does not offer a practicum that meets the practice requirements for the CDE examination. Students already employed in diabetes education should be able to meet those requirements. Faculty in the program will attempt to help students who are not employed in diabetes education identify settings and mentors in their geographical areas who would help them meet this requirement. However, Teachers College does not guarantee that such practice settings will be available for all students. A 2-credit Independent Study is available for students who wish to pursue a more clinical experience during the program.

A: Yes. All courses are offered online. There is no in-person requirement for this program.

A: While the program provides so much more, the content of the six core courses is excellent preparation for the CDE exam. The curriculum and content of our core diabetes courses are based on competencies set forth by the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. One hundred percent of students who have taken the CDE exam while enrolled in our program have passed and become certified diabetes educators.

The MS degree program is geared toward clinicians holding a bachelor's degree who are either working in diabetes or would like to become diabetes educators. The Certificate in Advanced Diabetes Topics is a 16-credit academic certificate for those holding a master's degree or higher, who would like to advance their preparation in the diabetes specialty.

A: We accept applications on a rolling basis, which means students can begin the program in the Fall (September), Spring (January), or Summer (May) term. Our application deadlines are as follows:

  • Spring: November 1st
  • Summer/Fall (priority): January 15th
  • Summer: April 15th
  • Fall: August 1st

A: Yes. Two of the diabetes core courses are offered in the summer.

A: Our program is offered by the department of Health & Behavior Studies at Teachers College Columbia University. Teachers College is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Program accreditation is conferred by the professional organization relevant to the program. Because the professional organization for diabetes educators (American Association of Diabetes Educators) does not currently offer accreditation, our program, itself, is not accredited.

A: Online courses differ from on-campus courses in that students do not come together for weekly class(es). Instead, students log on to an online learning platform and post their responses to discussion questions and to their fellow students and instructors. Assignments are also turned in online. It is recommended that students log on every day, but at least several times each week, in order to benefit from class discussions, contribute to the discussions, and earn full participation credit. In addition to time spent online, students have graduate level reading, studying and writing requirements.

A: Graduates of this program will be eligible for leadership positions in diabetes education. In addition to providing direct diabetes education, they will be prepared to manage diabetes education programs, teach lay or upcoming diabetes educators, apply research in practice, contribute new teaching interventions, develop policies and advocate for people with diabetes.

Our students indicate that they look forward to having this advanced degree because it will give them a credential in their specialty area. Even if they don't plan to change jobs, they look forward to increased respect and leadership in their role. To date our graduates report having taken on new responsibilities and advanced positions, and pursuing further graduate education opportunities.

A: Please contact Jane K. Dickinson, Program Coordinator, with any questions you still have about the program. Virtual (web-based) information sessions are held periodically. Please see Announcements on our website home page for dates and times.

A: At this time, the Diabetes Education and Management Program does not include a clinical component. If a student needs diabetes education work experience, we encourage them to connect with the mentorship program put together jointly by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association: www.ncbde.org

A: It is a 36-credit program, and Teachers College encourages students to take at least 6 credits per semester, which is considered part-time. By going part-time, a student can complete the program in six semesters. A full-time student (approximately 12 credits per semester) can complete the program in three semesters plus a summer.

A: Information about the current cost of tuition at Teachers College can found by visiting Tuition and Fees

A: TC offers some scholarship funding. Information about financial aid options can be found by visiting financial aid. There are applications for both TC scholarship and federal funding. We strongly encourage applicants to inquire whether their employer offers tuition reimbursement and to look into opportunities for graduate education within their professional discipline.

A: Anyone who meets the eligibility requirements for the CDE examination(www.ncbde.org).

A: The Teachers College MS in Diabetes Education and Management meets the education requirement of a master's degree for BC-ADM eligibility.

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