Historical Timeline | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Student Handbook

Skip to content Skip to content

Historical Timeline

  • 1886: 654 East 11th St. is leased as Annex No. 9 University Place, occupied by the Industrial Education Association.

  • 1887: The College is founded by Grace Hoadley Dodge as the New York School for the Training of Teachers. Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler is appointed as its first president.

  • 1892: Permanent charter is granted. Name is changed to Teachers College.

  • 1894: The College moves to West 120th Street.

  • 1898: Teachers College becomes affiliated with Columbia University as a professional school for the training of teachers while retaining its legal and financial independence.

  • 1899: The first Ph.D. degree is conferred on a Teachers College student.

  • 1900: The first publication of Teachers College Record.

  • 1904: John Dewey, influential proponent of the progressive education movement, joins the faculty.

  • 1905: Patty Smith Hill (composer of “Happy Birthday”) teaches the first class in childhood education.

  • 1909: Mary Swartz Rose develops the first Nutrition Education laboratory. The Bureau of Publications (later renamed Teachers College Press) is created.

  • 1917: The Lincoln School opens as a Laboratory School for experimentation with progressive education methods and curricula.

  • 1935: The first Ed.D. degree is conferred.

  • 1945: The library supplies textbooks free of Nazi propaganda for the first schools set up by American and British forces in occupied Germany.

  • 1954: The Afghanistan Project, a project aimed at modernizing the educational system in Afghanistan, is launched.

  • 1961: Teachers for East Africa (TEA) is created to recruit and train American teachers for African schools.

  • 1964: The Institute of International Studies is established.

  • 1965: The Institute of Philosophy and Politics of Education is established.

  • 1973: The Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) is established.

  • 1977: The Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Center for Independent School Education is established.

  • 1981: The Institute of Research and Service in Nursing Education (IRSNE) is established.

  • 1981: The Hollingworth Center for the Study of the Gifted is established.

  • 1985: The Peace Corps Fellows Program is created.

  • 1986: The Institute for Learning Technologies is established.

  • 1990: The National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST) is established.

  • 1996-8: Teachers College is ranked the #1 graduate school of education by U.S. News & World Report. The College is perennially ranked at the very top of its peer group and will receive the #1 ranking frequently in subsequent years.

  • 1997: The Heritage School opens in East Harlem, offering a program that integrates performing, visual and literary arts into a comprehensive education curriculum.

  • 1999: The Everett Student Lounge opens.

  • 2000: The Schools of Education Research Project, The National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (NCSPE), the Community College Research Center, the Center on Chinese Education, and The New Teacher Institute are established.

  • 2002: Milbank Chapel restoration is completed.

  • 2003: New residence hall construction begins.

    Record-breaking Capital Campaign raises over $150 million.

    Teachers College reestablishes a presence in Afghanistan to aid in reconstructing the country’s educational system.

  • 2004: Teachers College celebrated the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education. Among the events held for this landmark occurrence included a study on the effect of this decision from the students’ perspective, an evaluation of the No Child Left Behind Act, and even a visit from Bill Cosby for local 9th grade students at Riverside Church.

    Teachers College cuts the ribbon for the new residence hall on 121st Street.

    The College cuts the ribbon for its new, state-of-the-art Gottesman Libraries, home to the world’s largest and richest collection of materials on the educating professions. The new facility was made possible by the generosity of TC Trustee Ruth Gottesman and her husband, Sandy.

  • 2005: Teachers College launches the Campaign for Educational Equity. The Campaign seeks to overcome the gap in educational access and achievement between America’s most and least advantaged students.

  • 2006: Arthur Zankel was a dedicated Trustee, a valued advisor, and a generous contributor of his time, wisdom and resources to the mission of Teachers College. Most of all, he was our friend. A bequest from the Zankel estate established the Zankel Urban Fellowships—50 scholarships ($10,000 each) for students who will serve internships in the College’s programs for under-served New York City school children. To honor Mr. Zankel and his contributions to education, Teachers College renamed Main Hall as the Arthur Zankel Building.

  • 2007: Teachers College initiates a long-term partnership with the Ministry of Education of Jordan, conducting an evaluation in Jordan of the needs of the country’s public school system and then hosting a delegation of Jordanian public school teachers in its summer certificate program for the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

    TC’s Japan Campus is officially accredited by the Japanese government. The new status, awarded by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, means that Japanese graduates of the 20-year-old institution, now officially known as a “Foreign Graduate School, Japan Campus” can use the credits they’ve earned to apply for higher degrees at Japanese universities.

  • 2008: The College establishes its Office of School and Community Partnerships, providing a single point of access to its resources for public schools and other New York City organizations.

    Trustee John Klingenstein endows TC’s Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership with a $20 million gift for ongoing support—the largest gift in TC history. Mr. Klingenstein, who made his gift on the 30th anniversary of the Klingenstein Center, received a lifetime achievement award from the College.

    With funding from The Global Education and Leadership Fund (tGELF) Teachers College collaborates with educators in India on a long-term project to create and assess a leadership development curriculum for Indian high school students.

  • 2009: TC formerly launched a project, backed by a $5 million grant from the GE Foundation, to turn 10 Harlem public schools into models of teaching and learning in the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. TC is collaborating on the project with Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.

  • 2010: TC admitted the first cohort in its new Teaching Residents@Teachers College (TR@TC) program, funded by a $9.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The program recruits academically talented, diverse individuals from under-represented groups to become exemplary, high qualified teachers who can capably meet the needs of youth in high-need, urban school districts.

  • 2011: Teachers College, already an internationally renowned seat of education policy expertise and endeavors, has gathered its education policy faculty across a range of disciplines into a new centralized unit called the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis (EPSA). Serving as a central academic hub for the College’s education policy work across all phases of educational and human development, with both a national and global focus, EPSA began accepting graduate students in Fall 2011.

  • 2012: The Teachers College Community School, which will ultimately serve students in grades K–8, completes its first year of operation.

  • 2013: Teachers College celebrates the 125th anniversary of its founding, highlighted by an exhibit at the New-York Historical Society.

  • 2014: TC fully operationalized Where the Future Comes First: The Campaign for Teachers College, which, with a target of $300 million, is the largest-ever campaign for a graduate school of education. The effort (officially launched in November 2013 with a gala event at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater), includes a goal of raising $125 million to support student scholarships. Three TC Trustees were tapped to lead the campaign: alumna Marla Schaefer (Chair), and Leslie Nelson and Bill Rueckert (Co-Chairs).

  • 2014:Supported by a five-year, $12 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (I-3) fund -- the largest single federal grant TC has ever received -- the College's National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST) launched a unique partnership that aims to increase access and achievement in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) for 22,000 high-need middle and high school students in Michigan and Connecticut. Known as the STEM Early College Expansion Partnership, the project is a collaboration among NCREST, MCNC and Jobs for the Future (JFF), a nonprofit that serves low-income youth and adults in 25 states.

  • 2015: A $1 million gift from David and Maureen O’Connor creates a new Teachers College Resilience Center for Veterans & Families, bringing together one of the world’s foremost authorities on human emotional resilience, a TC clinic that will now actively recruit students to provide counseling to veterans and their loved ones, and a study of a potentially groundbreaking new approach to helping veterans transition back to civilian life. The College also announces its newly renamed George Clement Bond Center for African Education, honoring its late education anthropologist who fought to overturn a Eurocentric view of Africa and its history. In addition, to accommodate a growing influx of international students and prepare them for the rigors of graduate schools in the United States, TC launches a first-of-its-kind six-week residential International Pre-Graduate Program (IPGP).