As education moves into the digital age, Teachers College is reaching a critical point in its history, President Susan Fuhrman said at TC’s annual State of the College address on Wednesday.
Fuhrman discussed the importance of applying new research to instruction and incorporating technology into the educational process.
“This is a tremendous time for the Teachers College—it’s our moment to lead as one of the world’s best graduate schools of education,” Fuhrman said.
Among education schools, TC is already one of the largest providers of online courses, offering more than 60 courses that students can take online.
“We’ll be working strategically in years ahead to ensure that we’re leveraging technology as much as possible across the academic and administrative areas of the college,” Fuhrman said.
Still, Secretary to the College and Chief of Staff to the President Scott Fahey said that the need to bolster online education continues to challenge professors and administrators.
“The biggest challenge is the diversification of the education enterprise,” Fahey said. “It is no longer static—it’s online, distributive, computerized. It is traditional. We’re already preparing, but we have to do even more.”
Fuhrman also discussed TC’s recent capital campaign, which raised over $110 million, as well as the college’s efforts to engage with the neighborhood. Last month, TC opened the Teachers College Community School, which Fuhrman called an important initiative to “serve children in the surrounding area with a college as a deeply invested partner.”
“Once again, TC is leading the way, showing the nation that it’s possible through partnerships that all students can reach a rigorous educational experience,” she said.
TC professor Eric Nadelstern called the fundraising campaign, as well as TC’s efforts to modernize, a chance to “offer our students not only outstanding facilities but the most up-to-date technology,” and to “contextualize that within what they will need in order to be successful in education into the future.”
Jiayi Xu, TC ’13, who is studying bilingual education, said that she and her classmates have faced difficulties in finding local schools where they can do student-teaching. But Xu, who attended the State of the College address, said that the community school might give her and other TC students a chance to do studies and get firsthand experiences.
“If more and more universities start to take care of the community, not only the university itself, there will be a better education environment,” Xu said.