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School Psychology Advocacy Collective for [Racial/Social] Equity


The School Psychology Advocacy Collective for [Racial/Social] Equity (SPACE) is a student-led group that aims to address issues of diversity within counseling, assessment, consultation, school climate, and the training of school psychologists. SPACE leads current and future TC School Psychology students, alumni, and faculty to continue to engage in critical dialogue, partnership, and action resulting in long-term implementation of racial and social justice practices.

As a program that prides itself on its commitment to proactively addressing student feedback through the content and scope of training students receive, TC School Psychology students are confident that SPACE will be another way to extend this value.

We define diversity as: all aspects of one’s identity including internal dimensions (i.e., gender, age, race, language, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and ability); external dimensions (i.e., social class, religion, and parental status); life experience dimensions (i.e., historical and current events, various living or employment situations); and the intersectionality of all dimensions as they apply to the students in our program, faculty, and the communities we serve.

The committee is dedicated to:

  • Anti-racism
  • Accountability
  • Advocating for culturally and linguistically diverse graduate students and the communities that we serve
  • Community building, engagement, and inclusivity
  • Cultural competency
  • Dismantling systems of oppression
  • Creating safe spaces for communicating ideas and issues
  • Recruitment, retention, and support for culturally and linguistically diverse graduate students

SPACE is currently shifting the culture of the School Psychology community by doing the following:

  • Drafting admissions recommendations that allow for an equitable evaluation process and a more diverse student body
  • Engaging in critical dialogue around how our school psychology program can shift curriculum and program structure to center BIPOC experiences and knowledge
  • Offering additional training and professional development opportunities
  • Building relationships within the community and program
  • Meeting biweekly to provide a safe space for advocating for anti-racism within our program and discussing current student experiences


Multicultural Affairs Office at Columbia College: This office is primarily responsible for working with Columbia College undergraduates and Columbia School of Engineering, but their trainings are available to Columbia-affiliates as well. Though this list is not exhaustive, we recommend the following offerings:

  • Unconscious Bias Training: Through presentation, discussion and interactive dialogue exercises, this workshop offers an overview of unconscious bias; the neural processes that guide our snap judgments; and strategies for mitigating implicit assumptions. This workshop is appropriate for individuals and cohorts of all levels of experience.
  • Anti-Racism Training: Through personal reflection, interactive exercises and group dialogue, this workshop explores racial oppression and its systemic maintenance, and asks participants to consider strategies and frameworks for shifting from a “not-racist” mode to an “anti-racist” one.
  • Identity and Oppression Training: This workshop introduces students to the complex ideas around their socio-political roles, the identities they hold, and the underlying power dynamics of community service. Participants will be challenged to reflect on individual and community approaches to service, grow understanding to better navigate dynamics and recognize their social responsibility as leaders in this community work.
  • CU Safe Zone Training: CU Safe Zone is a training session that provides the foundational knowledge needed to support and act in solidarity with LGBTQ+ communities at Columbia University. This campus-wide program was designed to educate and visibly identify students, faculty, and staff who support the LGBTQ+ community; provide an overview of LGBTQ+ communities and some of the issues these communities face; and share various LGBTQ resources available to folks on campus.
  • Identity and Inclusion Series:
    • This series of interactive diversity and inclusion training is offered every semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer) and is open to all students and faculty at Columbia and Columbia affiliates on a first-come, first-served basis.
    • Each semester they cover a variety of topics set on building a socially conscious community.
    • Expected topics for Fall 2020: Unconscious Bias, Anti-Racism, Identity and Oppression, CU Safezone.

Columbia’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CLT) Office

  • Workshops To Go: This is an on-demand offering for departments or programs that wish to host a short pedagogical workshop for their faculty.
  • Teaching Observations and Syllabi Review: Trained consultants provide feedback on specific requested topics, including “inclusive teaching techniques” and “general course climate and presentation.”
  • Inclusive Teaching: Supporting All Students in the College Classroom: An open Online Course titled using EdX platform that is a more accessible and self-paced training.

Edmund W Gordon Lecture series: Held by the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) at Teachers College in the summer (remote live streams are also available). This event features top researchers in America discussing racism within education.

New TC Employee Orientation Information

  • New hires take the following trainings: An Introduction to TC staff and resources, Cultural and Racial Microaggressions, Promoting Mutual Respect and Preventing Workplace Harassment (Sexual Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Training), Title IX, and Information Privacy Compliance Trainings addressing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and Cyber Security training.

We build cohort strength based on diversity, thereby enhancing varied interests, experiences, and perspectives within the program. A lack of diversity in the field of school psychology limits the perspectives, skills, and ideas represented within the field.


SPACE hopes to cultivate an environment of students who have the following characteristics:

  • Drive and motivation to persist and succeed in their careers notwithstanding barriers in higher education that disproportionately disadvantage them
  • Communication skills and cross-cultural abilities to maximize effective collaboration with a diverse cross-section of the academic community
  • Research interests in subjects that will contribute to in higher education (e.g., issues of race/gender/diversity/inclusion, health disparities, educational access and achievement, political engagement, economic justice, social mobility, civil and human rights)
  • Potential to bring to their research a critical perspective that comes from their non-traditional educational background or their understanding of the experiences of members of groups historically underrepresented in higher education
  • Potential to contribute to their graduate research through their understanding of the barriers facing women, domestic minorities, students with disabilities, and other members of groups underrepresented in higher education careers (e.g., attendance at minority-serving institutions, experience with issues facing students with disabilities, ability to articulate the barriers facing women in science and engineering fields)
  • Potential to make research contributions to understanding the barriers facing members of groups who have been historically excluded from higher education.


Program Information:

Program Degree Requirements Website - Find Ed.M. and Ph.D. Handbooks here

Prospective Student Resources

Resources for Taking Action within the Harlem Community

Intro to Advocacy and Anti-racism information sheet

Incoming Students

  • GRE fee reduction program
  • TC's Office of Admission statement on application fee waivers: "In general, we do not offer application fee waivers. However, we do offer fee waivers to applicants who have participated in specific organizations affiliated with Teachers College. In order to obtain a waiver on this basis, you will need to indicate on your application that you are part of one of these organizations and provide contact information for the organization. Please note that if you indicate membership in an affiliate organization, we reserve the right to contact the organization to confirm your participation." For more information visit TC FAQ.
  • Opportunities for remote interviews are available upon request
  • Financial aid information is available here.

Current Students

Community outreach and engagement means working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the well-being of those people.

  • Resources for Learning, Supporting and Taking Action within the Harlem Community
  • Office of School and Community Partnership: The Office of School and Community Partnerships (OSCP) connects TC resources to local schools in order to support public education and enhance faculty and student field-based teaching, research, and service activities. It does so by establishing comprehensive and long term partnerships with schools in Harlem while creating opportunities for students and faculty to work with local schools. Please browse the website to learn more about TC’s working partnerships in New York City schools and neighborhoods.
  • School Psychology DHCEPS Practicum: School Psychology students provide direct support for children in the local communities throughout the first year of the program in an assessment practicum experience. Students work with clients through the Dean Hope Center for Educational Psychological Services (DHCEPS). DHCEPS offers affordable psychological and educational services to individuals, couples, and families residing in the nearby neighborhood of the New York City area. Students work with clients from diverse, multicultural contexts regardless of age, racial and ethnic background, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and religious or cultural affiliations.
  • School Psychology Fieldwork Program: The School Psychology Program maintains affiliations with several schools in the greater New York City area. Through different school placements across the New York City area, students are able to serve diverse populations of students and families, while furthering the accessibility to mental health services in schools.
  • Lenape Land Acknowledgement:
    • Stand in solidarity with Indigeneous communities by including a land acknowledgement in your email signature. More information here.
      • We acknowledge that Columbia University’s location on the island Mannahatta is the traditional territory of the Lenape people.
    • More information: Columbia University currently resides on land that was originally owned by the Lenape [“original people”, “real people”, or “common people”] Tribe. The Lenape established a well-organized society that stretched from the south of Delaware to what we now refer to as “Manhattan.” They were farmers, fishers, and hunters, who harvested corn, beans, squash, melons, and pumpkins. However, their thriving soceity was violently disrupted and destroyed as a result of colonization from Holland, Sweden, and Great Britain. In 2016, Columbia University officially published and dedicated a plaque acknowledging the Lenape’s "displacement, dispossession, and continued presence.” Sources: University Life at Columbia University, Native American Heritage Programs, Columbia Spectator

As Black- and Latinx- populations make up the majority of the surrounding community in Harlem and Washington Heights, it is important to lift up our neighborhood by engaging with the community and supporting BIPOC-owned businesses.

These are some guidelines that should be kept in mind when interacting with the community, as recommended by the Community Tool Box: meet people where they are, be respectful, listen to your community, build trust and relationships, get the word out in a non-stigmatizing manner, offer service and information in a variety of locations (including home visits) and at non-traditional times, especially after work hours, make written information friendly and easy to understand, provide information in the primary language of those who will use the service, follow-up.

  • Volunteer Opportunities: 
    • Education and Socioemotional development 
      • Double Discovery: A program committed to helping youth in Harlem and other communities prepare for college and to build both their confidence and academic skills. Contact: Dr. Kecia Hayes 
      • The Body Project: A cognitive intervention that focuses on helping adolescent girls and young women resist sociocultural body norms and promotes body positivity.
      • Raising Educational Achievement Coalition of Harlem (REACH): Works to improve educational outcomes for K-12 students in the Harlem community. Contact: Director Catherine Hogg
      • Teachers College Community School:
      • School Based Mental Health Collaboration (SBMHC): Program that allows TC students to volunteer as mental health partners providing a range of services and research assistance within the TCC School. Contact:  Nancy Eppler-Wolff Ph.D., Director
    •  Food Security 
      • GreenThumb Community Gardens: raise awareness within the community about their location and increasing their accessibility to green spaces/foods. There are over 600 GreenThumb community gardens across the city, and any resident can join a garden. In Central Harlem, there are 31 GreenThumb Gardens (which total more than 140,000 square feet), 12 of which grow food.
      • Grow to Learn NYC: a school gardens initiative that includes more than 600 registered network schools throughout the city. In Central Harlem, there are 19 Grow to Learn–registered network schools.
      • Fundraise for local food banks:
        • “Fundraising can give the highest return for your effort. Food drives can raise 700 pounds per distribution location — roughly 583 meals. Conversely, raising and donating $700 to your local food bank would translate to 2100 meals” [Feeding America]. Address: 355 Food Center Dr. New York, NY 10474 718.991.4300
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