Is Columbia Teachers College worth it for Education?

Hi all. I was just admitted into Teachers College at Columbia University, and I wanted to hear input. It is the number one school for Education in the country and offers many more specialized electives (offering three separate classes in teaching poetry, memoir, and literature, for example). I got a bit of funding, but my other option is cheaper. Any and all advice would be appreciated, thanks so much- this is for Teaching English btw. The money is definitely a concern but seems to be much more support, classes offered, and resources than my other option, but the other is cheaper. I wonder if I will be more well-rounded and prepared taking more specialized courses as well as general ones at TC.

My D attended TC for speech pathology and had a wonderful experience. (She had an unusual situation where cheaper options did not work as she did not have an undergrad degree in speech pathology.) She felt the professors were top notch. Importantly, she got some funding and the program was affordable to us with no debt.

Probably her biggest negative about TC was that (in her program) she did not feel they helped her find employment after graduation (thank goodness for Indeed LOL).

I expect you could get a similar job from TC and your other less expensive grad school option. I would try to avoid any significant debt.

Hopefully someone who was in a field closer to yours can chime in.

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My daughter completed an 18 month grad program at TC that led to certification in 3 areas. She had a great experience.

She had a scholarship to cover the dorms and she had to pay tuition, which was costly. She was also accepted to a CUNY which is considerably cheaper (1 cert, not 3), but she would have needed an apartment (no graduate dorms). Commuting would have worked short term, but getting home very late for 2 years would have been difficult.

Her cohort was small (less than 10) and they were very close. She was also able to sub her last semester while finishing the degree (had a permanent sub position that paid very well).

My daughter was employed immediately. Her employer called her advisor and asked if she had any students who were looking in that particular area. I am sure graduates from other programs found jobs in the city as well.

I think it’s a great school, but it is expensive and I would definitely take finances into consideration and take on as little debt as possible. (I recognize that grad students often need to borrow). You can get a job as a teacher coming from many schools. My daughter was told to fill out the Fafsa fo be considered for scholarships.

If you plan to teach in NYS you have 5 years to get a masters.

Where are you looking to teach and what grade? Is there a shortage of teachers? If so, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a job regardless of where you go.

My recommendation would be to make sure you get a credential and masters. It is much easier to do it now, than it is to go back and try to get the masters later.

No. It is not worth it to pay a lot, or go into debt, as a plan to become an English teacher. Go to your cheapest option, which is likely to be your in-state public institution.

Getting a job as an English teacher is tough, since there are so many, many applicants. The pay isn’t great, not enough to pay off loans. If later on you decide to go into admin, you can get an additional degree at night that would qualify you to get on the track to become a superintendent. If you want to go into planning international education for UNESCO, you can later on get a PhD in education from a prestigious institution. But right now, if your goal is becoming an English teacher, do it as cheaply as you possibly can. It won’t make a difference in getting a first job - they’re just as likely to hire you if your degree is from the local public state institution.

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I agree that taking more debt to go to TC is not a wise decision, but if you need to take on some debt in order to attend your state school, that would be ok imo. Many grad students need to take on at least a little debt for their degree. You might be able to work part time while attending in order to offset the costs.

Districts will hire teachers regardless of what school they graduate from, and much of what you need in order to be a great teacher will be taught on the job during your first few years. Every young teacher I know has told me they had no idea what they were doing when they started teaching, regardless of where they went to school. Teaching is tough, especially now.

You will most likely have an easier time finding a job in a city, rather than a suburb, even with a teacher shortage. Salaries will vary depending on what part of the country you work in. Some districts will pay extra if you tutor or give up a prep to teach a class.

I don’t know what your other, cheaper option is, but if you need debt to afford Columbia, it probably isn’t worth it. As long as you are going to graduate with the credential and degree that you need to qualify for the job you are seeking, the name doesn’t really matter.

If you can afford it, by all means, enjoy Columbia and don’t look back.