The Worker Education and Workforce Development (WEWD) Unit at Murphy serves as a gateway to higher education and all CUNY Colleges for adult learners.
WEWD equips workers with skills and training and provides career pathway programs. It matches the educational needs of workers and union members to academic programs by developing industry-related curricula and providing supportive services to students of the Institute and other units of CUNY. WEWD is positioned to develop new programs that expand our portfolio to meet the changing needs of the workforce in both private industry and city and state governments. Learn more here.
Sima Petilli, a special-needs educator and participant in SLU’s LEAP-to-Teacher program who recently earned her master’s degree at Lehman College, was not going to let anything stand in her way of becoming a certified teacher – not even the sudden, mid-semester transition to working, studying, and full-time parenting from home in response to COVID-19, all while also preparing for the edTPA, a challenging certification exam requiring prospective teachers to submit a portfolio of lesson plans, videos, and written responses.
“It’s very easy to get confused and overwhelmed, but in reality, the edTPA is like a wave. You ride from one wave to another,” Sima said of her experience tackling the different portions of the test.
Originally from Russia, Sima first came to the U.S. when she was 13 years old and then moved to Israel to complete her undergraduate studies. She returned to the States afterward to pursue a career in public relations as a Conference Director. But when the company went bankrupt, she realized she wanted a completely different lifestyle. For the past three years, Sima has worked as a special needs preschool teacher in Manhattan, and loves it.
“You never know what could happen during a lesson!” she exclaimed gleefully. “This was a big shift in my career and I’m very happy with my decision.” Read more about Sima.
By Becky Firesheets
This new reality of life in quarantine is challenging for all of us, but we don’t have to look far to find encouragement and motivation, especially when it comes to our students here at SLU. Montserrat Vargas, an adult learner currently enrolled in Worker Education’s Reading/Writing College Preparation course, recently shared her answers to a few questions about surviving quarantine life. As an immigrant, small business owner, and craftivist workshop leader, her perspective and positivity are especially valuable right now. Check out her inspirational words below, and learn more about her work, including Mujeres Stitchers Virtual Meet-Ups and custom-made embroidery kits, by visiting her website. Continue reading Spotlight on Students: Montserrat Vargas
By Becky Firesheets
Lehman College’s new LEAP to Teacher Coordinator Isaac Rodriguez is certainly not new to SLU. After two years as the Writing and Research Consultant for the Murphy Institute at Queens College, Isaac is thrilled for this opportunity to step up – and not just because his commute is shorter now.
“I love it so far,” he said of his new role. “It’s much easier to get to. But the advocacy part of the job is most alluring for me. We serve the adult learner; we serve the worker.”
For the uninitiated, LEAP to Teacher (LTT) is a specialized set of support services for UFT paraprofessionals pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in any field of study, offered at five CUNY campuses across all of New York City’s boroughs. Managed by Worker Education at SLU, this program serves nearly 600 students per year and is currently in the process of expanding to BMCC. Continue reading Spotlight on Staff: Congratulations to Isaac Rodriguez of LEAP to Teacher
By Becky Firesheets
Sara Esfarayeni, Joanne Mason, and Becky Firesheets recently represented SLU at “Designing a System for the Future of Workers,” the New York City Employment & Training Coalition’s workforce development conference held Monday, September 23rd at the CUNY Graduate Center. The sold-out event featured panels and presentations with various CBOs, educational institutions, and local and city government, focusing on topics such as the role of public policy, utilizing big data, building apprenticeship programs, and how to more effectively support immigrants, women, and people of color in entering and advancing through the workplace. Continue reading Advancing Workers’ Rights in the Workforce Development Community
Worker Education at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies is excited to launch a new semester of “CUNY Days,” in partnership with the DC37 Education Fund.
CUNY Days offers free one-on-one advisement sessions with experienced pre-admission advisors for DC37 members, held at union headquarters (125 Barclay St, NYC). Our advisors begin each session by discussing participants’ career goals then recommending various academic pathways at SLU and/or greater CUNY that could lead toward achieving this goal. Depending on the individual’s needs, sessions might also include application assistance, exploration of various industries and local labor market data, guidance on accessing union tuition benefits and financial aid, and more.
Schedule your session today by visiting CUNYDays.eventbrite.com.
Can’t find a date/time that works for you? Please contact us at WorkerEd@slu.cuny.edu or 212-857-1976.
Spotlight on Students is a series in which we showcase the different pathways that students are taking through SLU. This is the first post in the series, featuring William Barron, a student in our Worker Education program at Queens College.
By Becky Firesheets
William Barron exudes passion, even over the phone. During our recent interview, Barron, a public school paraprofessional earning his bachelor’s degree at Queens College, would regularly become so enthusiastic that his sentences blurred together in one fast outburst of emotion. Yet his answers never felt off-topic or unfocused. On the contrary, his magnetic personality and fierce determination left me inspired and wanting to talk further, to see what life lessons I might be able to glean.
Barron’s CUNY story began at Kingsborough Community College where he earned an associate degree before planning to take a break from school in order to work. He decided last-minute to stop by a college fair and serendipitously met Francine Sanchez of The Murphy Institute for Worker Education at Queens College. Her advice was so compelling that he decided to keep going with his education. Continue reading Spotlight on Students: William Barron of Queens College