CUNY SLU & UFT Partnership – Educational Opportunities for Professional Development

The CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) is partnering with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) to provide NYC teachers with access to college credits towards their 30+ in an advanced certificate program that provides educators with history and understanding of teaching in diverse urban communities. The UFT and CUNY SLU have a long, rich history of partnership, with UFT leadership represented on the Advisory Board for the school.

Steps to your Success

  • Earn 12 credits toward your 30 above and an Advanced Certificate in Community Leadership
  • Earn up to 540 hours in CTLE Professional hours
  • The 12 credits count toward a 30-credit MA in Urban Studies if you continue
  • Affordable tuition rate through CUNY

Learn about CUNY's Advanced Certificate in Community Leadership

The UFT and UFT Teacher Center is collaborating with the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies to offer graduate courses this fall and spring especially for UFT members. Come to an information session on August 17th to learn how you can earn CTLE hours while collecting up to 12 credits toward the differential you receive when you have 30 credits above your bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Advanced Certificate in Community Leadership

Using New York City and its diversity as the classroom, students learn how communities are organized, how nonprofits serve constituents, how to analyze the contemporary forces and trends in the field of community development and social change, and build the skills necessary for fostering community empowerment.


  • URB 635 – Community Organizing (3 Credits)
  • URB 651 – Special Topics: Diversity in Urban Education (3 Credits)
  • URB 612 – Urban Social Problems and Community Development (3 credits)
  • LPOL 602 – Work, Culture, and Politics in New York City (3 Credits)

Earn Six Graduate Courses and CTLE Credits thru Remote Instruction

URB 635 – Community Organization (3 Credits) 

This course will examine the historical development and contemporary practice of community organizing. Students will examine why and how people in urban communities and neighborhoods have organized to protect their rights and their entitlements to public services, to acquire resources for development, and to improve their quality of life. Students will develop a historical and theoretical perspective on community organizing and will explore the range of issues around which communities organize. They will acquire practical knowledge and skills for effective grassroots organizing, including coalition-building and alliances between community organizations and labor. Through readings and presentations by guest speakers, they will gain familiarity with various models and strategies of community organizations in New York City. Following each presentation by a guest speaker, students will submit a 1-2 page paper, reflecting on a key theoretical or practical concept in the presentation.

URB 651 – Special Topics: Diversity in Urban Education (3 Credits)

Urban schools are nested within communities, and the education that happens in these schools is partially conditioned by the social relations that permeate these communities.  This course will examine the social forces that shape urban education.  We will evaluate the extent to which urban schooling reproduces the existing social relations and the extent to which it can act as an agent of change.  Because of their central role in community life, urban schools have been the site of multiple layers of struggles involving democratic values, public -private organization and community control, civil rights and equal access to quality education, unionization of the educational workforce, economic development and employment opportunity, the multi-racial and multi-cultural content of the curriculum, the instrumental or humanistic nature of education, and the role of professional autonomy in evaluating the instructional process.  The conflicts embodied in these struggles will be examined through the experiences of immigrant communities, different racial and ethnic groups, working class communities, and students gender roles and identities.  Where possible, we will map specific communities and understand how urban schools structure and engage the experiences of students with the goal of exploring the transformative possibilities of urban education.

URB 612 – Urban Social Problems and Community Development (3 credits)

“Community development” refers to strategies in which neighborhood residents come together to generate and implement solutions to shared problems, and this course will explore the theory and practice of community development. The main emphasis of the course is a broad examination of the issues that have confronted communities since the mid-20th century. First, it studies the historical development of urban communities and the structural roots of urban social problems. Second, it traces the community development movement from its historic connections to the civil rights movement and the War on Poverty to its present-day manifestations. Third, it introduces students to various community development approaches and the complex constraints residents, activists, and organizations face as they confront common challenges. Finally, this course will use New York City as its main “case,” relying on New York-focused studies to illuminate the theoretical and practical issues outlined above.

LPOL 602 – Work, Culture, and Politics in New York City (3 Credits)

This course is designed to provide an interactive overview of the constantly changing worlds of work, culture and politics in New York City. We will learn about where New Yorkers live and work, how specific urban communities develop, and assess how the cultural and political institutions of New York serve the city’s diverse population. The class uses an historical frame to situate the contemporary city, spending equal time on past and present inquiries. Throughout, we will learn about New York’s key industries, trends in immigration, economic development, public policy, public and private space, popular culture, urban social identity, community organizations, and labor’s contributions to building the city’s institutions.