2014 | Teachers College Columbia University

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2014 Annual Report

Thinking Outside the Box

A year of innovation at Teachers College


Teachers College's Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs (ODCA) implements an ongoing academic and cultural approach to community building by supporting programs, initiatives and events with involvement from faculty, students and staff to address diverse institutional climate concerns. The Office promotes workplace contentment and respect through annual recurring initiatives, as well as through those that address current or immediate concerns for the various constituencies within TC's diverse community.

At Teachers College, our track record of "firsts" -'" new ideas that have changed the world -'" reflects an environment dedicated to both inspiration and perseverance. As our Provost, Tom James, likes to say, we were conceived of as a skunkworks, an experimental laboratory where creative risk-taking is a way of life. As a result, we have been home to more brilliant people tunneling away on issues of teaching, learning, physical and mental health, and the leadership of organizations than any other institution in the world.

The past year has been one of extraordinary achievement by Teachers College's faculty and students, reflecting the College's rich diversity of people and ideas and its dedication to promoting innovative and original thinking.

TC's Office of School & Community Partnerships (OSCP) coordinates engagement with New York City K-'"12 public schools, directing resources and expertise to areas with pronounced disparities in educational access and achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged groups. OSCP helps students succeed and strengthens TC's knowledge, teaching and research.

Beyond traditional schooling, the department's programs focus on learners' knowledge construction, the art and methods of teaching, the contemporary classroom, schools' relationships with communities, and school reform philosophies.

The department probes the biology of human communication, movement and related disorders. Graduates become speech-language pathologists, exercise physiologists, trainers, cardiac rehabilitation, occupational and physical therapists, researchers and administrators.

Through its four degree programs -'" the M.A. in Psychology & Education, the Ed.M. in Psychological Counseling, and two Ph.D. programs, in Counseling Psychology and Clinical Psychology (APA-accredited) -'" the department prepares students to investigate and address the psychological needs of individuals, families, groups, organizations, institutions and communities, with a growing emphasis on multicultural competencies.

The department explores the nature, purpose and design of curricula and the theory and practice of teaching, focusing on social inequalities and children in under-resourced schools. It prepares outstanding educators with intellectual tools to reimagine schools and other educational settings and to ensure that all children receive the kind of education historically reserved for those of privilege.

The department focuses on how governments, markets and societal conditions combine to shape schooling and educational opportunities at all levels, and on the creation of an informed population that has the skills to critically analyze its own areas of need and interest and work in concert toward creating a better world.

The department researches behavioral and social determinants of health and learning throughout the lifespan. Alumni practitioners, researchers and leaders help people self-actualize, make informed decisions and attain quality of life.

The department's research centers on fundamental issues in human development, human cognition, and measurement and applied statistics to increase scientific knowledge and help solve educational and social problems.

As people, information, goods and services increasingly flow within and across national boundaries, the department's two programs -'" International & Comparative Education, and Anthropology -'" explore individual and institutional identities reflecting diverse cultural values, globalization and education in developing countries.

Current reforms in education place increasing emphasis on broad-based public understanding of the department's three core fields. The department focuses on issues of educational practice and related professions, including the relationships among its three disciplines

The department understands leadership as an ethical imperative inextricably linked to learning, and groups and organizations as communities of diverse individuals who bring unique perspectives to the collective endeavor of promoting the common good.

Choosing the moment to take a campaign public depends so much on timing. Has the institution identified issues that matter to the world, now and in the future? Has it assembled the intellectual expertise to shape that future as envisioned? Are alumni and friends mobilized for action?

The accompanying financial statements have been prepared on the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with standards established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) for external financial reporting.