Teacher Education

Teacher Education

Programs

Teachers College offers a wide variety of educational experiences for teacher education students at the preservice and in-service levels. Programs are field-based, offering practica, internships, and student teaching. Departments offer, for qualified holders of a bachelor’s degree, programs that lead simultaneously to a master’s degree and to eligibility for New York State certification for teaching in elementary or secondary schools, as well as for specific subjects and to special populations (see sections below on additional New York State Department of Education (NYSED) requirements for initial teacher certification). Some of these programs also offer New York State teacher certification with a bilingual extension. The programs typically require a minimum of an academic year and a summer term to complete degree requirements. Applicants need not have included courses in education in their undergraduate programs, but inadequate preparation in the proposed teaching field may necessitate additional coursework to meet admission, certification or graduation requirements.

For a complete list of teacher preparation programs, please go to: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/admissions/areas-of-study/teacher-education-and-teacher-certification/

Office of Teacher Education

The Office of Teacher Education (OTE) offers many services to teacher education students and programs at Teachers College.  For example, OTE including conducts professional development workshops, provides information regarding certification requirements, offers information sessions on New York State Teacher Certification Exams, and supports students with student teaching requirements. Most importantly, OTE oversees and manages the certification process, recommending candidates for certification once all institutional and NYS requirements are met.

Student Teaching and Observation

Candidates for initial certification must complete a student teaching experience. This experience may take place in one, two, or even three settings, based on requirements set by NYSED and the student’s TC teacher education program. The student teaching experiences are structured to enable each student teacher to gradually develop pedagogical competence and skill, and typically begin with observation of an experienced cooperating teacher followed by incremental assumption of responsibility as the term progresses. The College provides on-site supervision to ensure that students are well-supported during this component of their teacher preparation program.

Student teachers are required to obtain clearance to commencestudent teaching and to carefully review the “Student Teaching Handbook.” A general orientation to student teaching is offered by OTE in the beginning of each semester. Please go to the “Student Teaching” tab of our website at www.tc.edu/ote for a full list of workshops, packets, and handbooks. 

New York State Certification

Teachers College has an array of programs which, upon successful completion, lead to an institutional recommendation for New York State Certification at the initial or professional level.  Students enrolled in programs that lead to New York State Certification are responsible for becoming knowledgeable about New York State Certification requirements and regulations. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) mandates the teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation. These requirements are listed below.

General Core in Liberal Arts and Sciences.  NYSED requires that all students seeking initial certification complete coursework in Mathematics, Science, English, History, and Foreign Language.  The number of credits that candidates must complete in these areas varies, depending on certificate title and grade level.  These requirements must be satisfactorily met prior to degree conferral. For more information about these General Core Liberal Arts and Sciences requirements, please contact the Office of Teacher Education at 212.678.3502 or go to the Office of Teacher Education Website at www.tc.edu/ote.  NYSED requires that all students seeking professional certification hold a valid New York State comparable teaching certificate in the same teaching certificate title and grade level. This requirement must be met prior to degree conferral.

Content Core.  NYSED specifies general Content Core requirements according to the certification area.  For example, students in the MA program in Mathematics that leads to initial certification (7-12) are required to be Mathematics majors at the undergraduate level or hold 30 credits in pure mathematics.  For more information about these content core requirements, please refer to the NYSED website http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/, the Office of Teacher Education Website at www.tc.edu/ote or call the OTE Office at 212.678.3502.

Child Abuse Identification Workshop. Students may fulfill this requirement at Teachers College by taking a workshop offered through Continuing Professional Studies (CPS) in collaboration with the Office of Teacher Education.  For a list of dates and times, please go to the CPS Website at www.tc.edu/cps. Students may also fulfill this requirement at Teachers College by taking HBSS4116, Health Education for Teachers, which is offered by the Department of Health and Behavior Studies.  Alternatively, students may opt to take an on-line or in-person workshop offered by approved NYSED vendors.  This requirement must be met prior to degree conferral. For information about these workshops, please go to http://www.op.nysed.gov/training/caproviders.htm.

School Violence Intervention and Prevention Workshop. Students may fulfill this requirement at Teachers College by taking a workshop offered through Continuing Professional Studies (CPS) in collaboration with the Office of Teacher Education.  For a list of dates and times, please go to the CPS Website at www.tc.edu/cps. Students may also fulfill this requirement at Teachers College by taking HBSS4116, Health Education for Teachers, which is offered by the Department of Health and Behavior Studies.  Alternatively, students may opt to take an on-line or in-person workshop offered by approved NYSED vendors.  This requirement must be met prior to degree conferral. For information about these workshops, please go to http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/ssae/schoolsafety/save/SVPIWP_location.html.

Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Workshop. Students may fulfill this requirement at Teachers College by taking a workshop offered through Continuing Professional Studies (CPS) in collaboration with the Office of Teacher Education.  For a list of dates and times, please go to the CPS Website at www.tc.edu/cps. Students may also fulfill this requirement at Teachers College by taking HBSS4116, Health Education for Teachers, which is offered by the Department of Health and Behavior Studies.  This course may be offered on-line; however, to fulfill the DASA requirement, students must complete 3 hours of in-person preparation. In addition, a list of NYSED approved providers is available at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/dasa-applicant.html.  This requirement must be met prior to degree conferral.

Autism Workshop (only for students seeking certification in special education/teaching students with disabilities). Students fulfill this requirement at Teachers College by taking a course specified by their programs.

New York State Teacher Certification Exams (NYSTCE):  Please see the chart below for exams required by certificate type. 

Initial Teaching

  • Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)
  • Educating All Students Test (EAS)
  • Content Specialty Tests (CST)

Initial School Building Leader

  • School Building Leader Assessment (SBL) Part I & Part II
  • Educating All Students Test (EAS)

Professional School Building Leader

  • School District Leader Assessment (SDL) Part I & Part II
  • Educating All Students Test (EAS)
  • research and inquiry methods and the relationship between research and practice;
  • the continuum of lifelong learning and issues of professional concern;
  • subject-matter/disciplinary content;
  • learners and learning;
  • curriculum and teaching;
  • processes and strategies of effective communication and collaboration; and
  • foundations of democracy, equity, and schooling.

For more information regarding NYSTCE exam registration and schedules please see the NYSTCE website at: http://www.nystce.nesinc.com/.

For more information regarding NYSED exam requirements by certificate title and grade level, please see the NYSED website at: http://eservices.nysed.gov/teach/certhelp/CertRequirementHelp.do.

Please note that Teachers College programs lead to New York State certification.  If you would like to seek certification in another state, please contact that state’s Department of Education regarding requirements.

Applying for Certification

Students who are in programs leading to teacher certification must complete a two-step process.

Step 1: Create a NYSED TEACH account, and apply and pay for the teaching certificate(s) via the NYSED TEACH online system at: www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert.

Step 2: Submit a completed Institutional Recommendation Data Form (IRDF) to the OTE. The IRDF can be found on the OTE website at: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/office-of-teacher-education/office-of-teacher-education/certification/institutional-recommendation/.

Once all requirements have been met, and the Office of the Registrar has notified the Office of Teacher Education that candidates have been cleared for graduation, TC’s Certification Officers will electronically submit the institutional recommendation for certification via the NYSED-TEACH online system.

Students who are in the Literacy Specialist, Reading Specialist programs must provide proof of either completion of an approved teacher preparation program or of a valid teaching certificate. Students who are in the Summer Principals Academy program must provide proof of teacher certification and hold a minimum of three (3) years of full-time classroom teaching/PPS experience.  If you have questions about this requirement, please contact the Office of Teacher Education at 212.678.3502 or ote@tc.columbia.edu.

Teacher Education Standards at Teachers College

Consistent with the College’s long tradition of serving the needs of urban and suburban schools in the United States and around the world, the vision and purpose of professional education at Teachers College is to establish and maintain programs of study, service, and research that prepare competent, caring, and qualified professional educators (teachers, counselors, psychologists, administrators and others). This vision is based on three shared philosophical stances that underlie and infuse the work we do:

Inquiry stance: We are an inquiry-based and practice-oriented community. We and our students and graduates challenge assumptions and complacency, and embrace a stance of inquiry toward the interrelated roles of learner, teacher, and leader in P-12 schools.

Curricular stance: Negotiating among multiple perspectives on culture, content, and context, our graduates strive to meet the needs of diverse learners, both students and other adults, in their school communities.

Social justice stance: Our graduates choose to collaborate across differences in and beyond their school communities. They demonstrate a commitment to social justice and to serving the world while imagining its possibilities.

Expectations of Teacher Education Candidates at Teachers College

Our candidates are inquirers/researchers who have breadth of knowledge and a variety of tools to ask questions about educational environments. They reflect on and continually evaluate the effects of their choices on others (children, families, and other professionals in the learning community).

Lifelong Learners:  Our candidates are continually engaged in learning and research. They take responsibility for their professional growth and seek/create learning opportunities for themselves and others.

Learner-Centered Educators:  Our candidates understand their subject matter/disciplines, learners and learning, and curriculum and teaching. They create learning experiences that foster development and achievement in all students.

Effective Collaborators:  Our candidates actively participate in the community or communities of which they are a part to support students’ learning and well being.

Advocates of Social Justice and Diversity:  Our candidates are familiar with legal, ethical and policy issues. They provide leadership in advocating for children, families, and themselves in a variety of professional, political, and policy-making contexts.

Expectations of Teacher Preparation Programs at Teachers College

Teachers College programs preparing teachers and other professional school personnel ensure that candidates have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for effective teaching. By the conclusion of the program, candidates demonstrate:

Knowledge and Understanding of:

Skills in:

  • self-critique and reflection;
  • use of research and inquiry methods and application of research to practice;
  • planning, implementation, and evaluation of professional growth;
  • planning, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum/services;
  • communication and collaboration; and
  • addressing inequalities in the classroom, school and society.

Dispositions/Commitments to:

  • inquiry and reflection;
  • the profession, ethics, and lifelong learning leadership;
  • the fullest possible growth and development of all students;
  • cooperation and collaboration; and
  • social justice and diversity.

Peace Corps Fellows Program

The Peace Corps Fellows Program recruits outstanding Returned Peace Corps Volunteer educators who are passionate about making long-term commitments to teach in New York City’s public schools. Since 1985, the program has recruited and prepared more than 750 urban educators. As the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows (formerly Fellows/USA) flagship teacher preparation program, we provide full scholarships covering all tuition expenses. Upon completion of our 13-week Intensive Summer Institute, new Jaffe Peace Corps Fellows teach full-time as salaried teachers of record in NYC public schools for a minimum of three years. All related Master's degree requirements are completed at Teachers College within two to three years. We prepare teachers for a variety of grade levels and subject areas. For more information, please review the Program website www.tc.edu/pcfellows or call 212-678-6622.

Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOCII)

The Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOCII) program is a New York State Education Department grant funded program designed to increase the number of New York State teachers from underrepresented backgrounds. To be eligible for TOC II at TC, candidates must be New York State residents who are enrolled in a TC teacher education program that leads to certification.  Participants are provided with tuition assistance for coursework at Teachers College in addition to a generous travel stipend.  All participants engage in a 10 month internship from September-June at one of our local partnership schools, seminars with renowned TC faculty who are committed to culturally sustaining pedagogies, and professional development opportunities that suit the needs and inquiries of the TOC cohort. 

Teaching Residents at Teachers College (TR@TC)

This 18 month intensive, full-time program prepares those who wish to teach in high-need New York City public schools. With support from the U.S. Department of Education, the Teaching Residents at Teachers College (TR@TC) program was developed to ensure that Teaching Residents receive exceptional preparation and multiple supports, while enrolled in a Master’s degree program leading to initial NYS teaching certification. Teaching Residents receive generous stipends. Upon graduation, alumni benefit from induction support for at least two years, while they fulfill their commitment to teach in a high-need urban school in New York City for a minimum of three years. For more information please visit: www.tc.edu/teachingresidents.

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