The Murphy Instituite for Worker Education provides students with a ton of benefits. Photo: The Murphy Institute

Student Opportunities Through the Murphy Institute at Queens College

4 mins read

The Murphy Institute for Worker Education is a collaborative program between the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) and Queens College. The program is open to both graduate and undergraduate students pursuing degrees in any field and is free for union members. Students enrolled in the program will receive assistance with pre-admissions counseling, registration, prior learning credits, financial aid, and union-specific benefits. The program also offers students free college-prep classes, NYC teacher certification exam preparation workshops, writing support and tutoring, and academic success workshops.

The Murphy Institute hosts special programs including Leap to Teacher and Urban Leadership at QC, according to the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies website

The Leap to Teacher (LTT) program’s mission is to help participants pursuing degrees in education or other fields become more effective in their schools and have a greater impact in their communities. LTT services are tailored specifically for UFT and DC37 paraprofessionals, teachers, daycare workers, and other school employees. The program also awards a  tuition assistance scholarship to full-time paraprofessionals continuing their graduate studies.

The Urban Leadership Program is a unique set of college courses designed for participants who want to advance their careers and take on leadership roles in their union, workplace, and community. QC offers bachelor’s degrees in Urban Studies and Labor Studies, and the program’s courses would include public administration and policy, community leadership, healthcare administration, and labor relations.

The Murphy Institute also offers opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to be involved in social justice work through their Community Semester and Union Semester academic service programs. Both of the programs provide a stipend for students’ tuition and fees up to $7,000. 

The Community Semester Program provides students with the opportunity to learn about grassroots organizing through fighting for environmental justice, housing rights, immigrant rights, tenants’ rights, economic justice, youth engagement, neighborhood resilience, civic justice, and community empowerment. 

The Union Semester Program collaborates with a number of unions, worker organizations, and progressive coalitions. Interns have recently been placed with Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the New York City Central Labor Council, and other organizations. Interns are typically assigned to departments based on their interests and may work on a variety of projects including event-planning, researching corporations, analyzing legislation and policy, facilitating educational programs, writing for a union paper, or aiding in social media campaigns. 

To participate in Community Semester and/or Union Semester, students must commit to taking four courses and spending 20 hours per week at the internship site. QC students are eligible to apply for both programs using the CUNY ePermit system

Heysel Rodas, an academic advisor, graduate admissions coordinator, and tuition benefits coordinator for the Murphy Institute at QC told The Knight News, “As an academic advisor, I advocate, when necessary, to help students contact academic departments such as registrar, bursar, or admissions. I work with students once they are admitted until they graduate.”

The advisors from Murphy Institute can be found at Kissena Hall building 1, room 217. To contact the Murphy Institute interested students are encouraged to make an appointment on their website and email that at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog