Since the inception of the CUNY SPS Office of Professional Education and Workplace Learning (PEWL), more than 250,000 city and state employees along with other people from around the metro region and the country have benefited from our work. We are experts in research-based learning practices, online as well as in-classroom curriculum development and implementation.

We are uniquely positioned to respond to organizational learning needs and support change management initiatives swiftly and effectively. When the city has a need, they come to us because they know we can respond quickly and competently with quality services and programs. We also have some great partnerships with nonprofit and publicly owned organizations.

Click on the links below to learn more about our partnerships.

PEWL partners


[collapsed title=NYC Opportunity and The Mayor's Office of Community Mental Health]

The Academy for Community Behavioral Health

The Academy for Community Behavioral Health (the Academy) provides training, coaching, and technical assistance that build the capacity of community-based organizations, city and state agencies, and others to integrate proactive and culturally responsive behavioral health support into social services. Social service providers encounter a range of behavioral health issues in their everyday work and have important opportunities to deliver care. By partnering with social service providers, the Academy aims to more equitably and effectively share behavioral health knowledge and skills in communities that have not been well served by traditional care systems. For more information, contact Elise Tosatti.


[collapsed title=Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks]

Learning Programs for Urban Parks

Great parks need great leaders. PEWL helps the Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks share its expertise in urban park management with a broader audience by expanding professional development programming to park professionals across the country and internationally. These continuing education opportunities provide proven practices and firsthand knowledge on topics paramount to successful park management.

Two programs are offered and have represented park agencies and organizations across the United States including Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Houston, and Oklahoma City and internationally from Canada, El Salvador and Mexico:

The Essentials of Urban Park Management Certificate

The Essentials of Urban Park Management Certificate provides a fully online, self-paced, 12-week, non-credit credential for entry- to mid-level positions in public agencies and nonprofit urban parks groups and focuses on practices critical to the care and management of urban parks.

Urban Park Leadership Program

The Urban Park Leadership Program brings together senior-level urban park professionals for a nine-month professional development experience of synchronous and asynchronous learning, network building, and creative problem-solving relevant to urban park leadership and management. For more information, contact Clarke Griffith.


[collapsed title=NYC Department of Social Services]

Staff Learning and Development Program

This PEWL project is aimed at provider agency and operations staff per shelter, program analysts, program administrators, executive level positions and those who provide shared services. The goal of the city’s Department of Homeless Services is to prevent homelessness when possible; provide temporary, emergency shelter when needed and to help individuals and families transition rapidly into permanent housing. Collaborating with other public agencies and nonprofit partners, DHS works to prevent homelessness before it occurs, reduce street homelessness, and assist New Yorkers in transitioning from shelter into permanent housing. DHS remains committed to meeting its legal mandate to provide temporary emergency shelter to those experiencing homelessness in a safe and respectful environment. For more information, contact Tanja Carter-Searls.

Anti-Bias/Trauma-Informed Training
In February 2020, DSS partnered with PEWL to deliver Anti-Bias/Trauma-Informed Training to about 17,000 DSS employees. The goal of the program is to expand DSS, HRA, and DHS staffs’ awareness and knowledge of how individual and structural bias, including but not limited to racism, and trauma influence behavior and decision-making in the workplace, and provide tools to adjust automatic patterns of thinking and mitigate bias. The budget for this nearly three year partnership is $3.5 million. For more information, contact Dorothea Nixon. [/collapsed]

[collapsed title=Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity]

Program Management Forum

Effective program management is critical to the success of the City’s anti-poverty initiatives. NYC Opportunity, which pilots and evaluates anti-poverty programs, is dedicated to promoting capacity-building initiatives designed to improve how these programs are managed.

The Managing for Innovation Core Competency Model was developed by NYC Opportunity and PEWL. It focuses on seven core competencies needed to operate a data-driven innovation program, ranging from Strategy and Planning to Management and Budgeting, and the course allows participants to develop them in a peer-learning environment. Participants are able to discuss their strengths and weaknesses, brainstorm solutions to problems, and receive group coaching. After completing the program, participants are invited to join the Community of Practice, an alumni network that provides ongoing guidance and networking opportunities. For more information, contact Clarke Griffith.

Unlocking Employment: How To Partner with Job Seekers Impacted by the Legal System

This program provides an opportunity for New York City-funded, workforce development provider staff to explore effective practices and resources for job seekers with past or current criminal legal system involvement. The content in this program was developed in partnership with John Jay College Institute for Justice and Opportunity, workforce development provider staff, and job seekers.


[collapsed title=NYC Administration of Children's Services]

ACS Workforce Institute

The Administration of Children's Services Workforce Institute provides ongoing professional skills development of direct service staff and supervisors at ACS and its many partner agencies across the child welfare and juvenile justice sectors. Developed in 2016, the Institute is a partnership between ACS, PEWL and Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work. For more information, contact Charlene Armstrong.


[collapsed title=NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services]

DCAS Energy Management Institute

Launched in 2009 by the Department of City-wide Administrative Services’ Division of Energy Management, the Energy Management Institute (EMI) was designed to create a community of skilled energy management professionals across agencies who could contribute to meeting the city’s ambitious energy and emissions reduction goals. Through EMI, the Division of Energy Management provides city staff with instruction in energy management best practices so that they can help create a culture of energy efficiency at their agencies and implement operational improvements, energy efficiency retrofits and clean energy projects across the city’s portfolio. For more information, contact Michelle Attles.[/collapsed]

[collapsed title=NYC Department of Correction]

NYC Department of Correction

In January 2019, the New York City Department of Correction (DOC) and PEWL launched a partnership to support the development of an overall organizational training strategy focused on best practices and innovative delivery methods. PEWL worked with DOC experts to design On The Job Training (OJT) and simulations for new DOC recruits and supervisors. These programs provide employees new to their position the opportunities to practice critical skills in a realistic simulated work setting or under a controlled and supervised work environment so they will be able to perform work-related tasks in a safe, productive and professional manner.[/collapsed]

[collapsed title=Con Edison and CUNY Building Performance Lab]

Gas Safety Training

This program offers a free gas safety training class for building superintendents, operators, and maintenance staff of all New York City residential buildings. As of Spring 2020, the training consists of three e-Learning modules and a 2.5-hour instructor-led class offered entirely online. For more information, contact Michelle Attles.[/collapsed]

[collapsed title=NYC Department of Homeless Services]

DHS Financial Independence Now (FIN) Learning and Coaching Program

Under this program, we develop and deliver the Financial Independence Now (FIN) adult financial literacy and coaching course to case managers, shelter directors and other agency staff. Our key program partners for DHS FIN include Change Machine, a New York City-based nonprofit organization with expertise in providing financial coaching services to low-income individuals. Nonprofit shelter providers are also key partners in this training initiative. The lively in-person classes were initially held in a classroom at CUNY SPS over two days, and the DHS and shelter provider staff had a chance to collaborate and brainstorm together about different scenarios, as well as engage in financial coaching role-play exercises. Then the pandemic hit and the classes moved to virtual learning. Classes now meet on Zoom and shelter staff still practice financial coaching conversations, as well as have access to more learning modules and coaching tools online.For more information, contact Jennifer DePalma.


[collapsed title=NYC Department of Youth & Community Development]

Family Development Credential

The Family Development Credential is an interactive, professional development training for frontline workers and supervisors from public, private and non-profit health and human services systems. The FDC curriculum was developed by the National FDC Program at the University of Connecticut. Frontline workers earn the FDC by participating in classroom instruction, preparing a portfolio documenting the application of the concepts and skills learned, and passing a standardized exam. The program enables frontline workers to develop skills and competencies to empower families to set and reach their own goals, and to reorient the way services are delivered toward a more family-focused, strengths-based approach. Supervisors earn the credential by participating in classroom instruction, which focuses on the principles and practices of empowerment-based leadership, and preparing a portfolio demonstrating the application of skills that they have acquired in training. For more information, contact Jennifer DePalma.


[collapsed title=NYC Emergency Management Department]

Coastal Storm Planning Training

The Coastal Storm Plan (CSP) and the associated training program emerged as a collaboration with the NYC Emergency Management Department (previously known as the Office of Emergency Management or OEM) around 2005-2006. The federal government began the CSP grant program to assist coastal cities in preparing for large coastal storms and hurricanes following Hurricane Katrina's impact on New Orleans. PEWL partnered with Emergency Management to develop a variety of instructor-led trainings, e-Learnings, training and marketing videos, as well as field guides, pocket reference guides, Just-in-Time training manuals and other operational materials to be used in hurricane shelters and evacuation centers. The partnership between PEWL and Emergency Management has resulted in the training of tens of thousands of city, state, federal, and voluntary agency staff during the past 17 years, many of whom were deployed during both tropical storm Irene and hurricane Sandy. For more information, contact Michael Schultz.


[collapsed title=NYC Human Resources Administration Office of Child Support Services, Families Forward Demonstration]

Families Forward Demonstration

Families Forward is a city program in conjunction with PEWL for parents who owe child support. It gives clients free training for jobs. The program provides training and credentials from experts with proven connections to good jobs. Career tracks include commercial driving, hotel hospitality, IT support, cyber security, construction and wood working. The program also provides one-on-one support such as job placement, financial guidance, career coaching, MetroCard, so that parents may focus on success. For more information, contact Anita Staeheli.


[collapsed title=NYC Human Resources Administation Office of Child Support Services, OCSS/CUNY Training Project]

OCSS/CUNY Training Project

This PEWL program partners with the city’s Human Resource Administration Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) and offers child support services to custodial and noncustodial parents and guardians to improve outcomes for New York City children; lifting tens of thousands of them out of poverty each year. Services include establishing and enforcing child support orders, collecting and distributing child support payments, and offering programs for noncustodial parents to connect them to employment and reduce child support debt. PEWL staff has written 56 procedures, developed 43 courses and trained more than 1,000 OCSS staff. Additionally, we have trained almost 700 participants in the greater New York City community via our Training Institute. We have modernized the training environment within the agency, introducing blended learning into the classroom and developing various eLearning programs around child support topics, including an eLearning program for use by the Administration of Children’s Services (ACS). For more information, contact Anita Staeheli.


[collapsed title=NYC Human Resources Administration Office of Policy, Procedure and Training (OPPT)]

Office of Policy, Procedure and Training (OPPT)

In partnership with PEWL, The New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) Office of Policy, Procedure and Training (OPPT) seeks to develop comprehensive policies and procedures and deliver a new employee training program at the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). The goal of the program is to provide shelter staff with the documentation, knowledge, and skills needed to carry out their assigned responsibilities effectively through the development and implementation of organizational procedures, training manuals and interactive classroom-based courses, online learning, and deliver training courses.
This program is for newly hired and existing DHS employees and shelter provider staff. For more information, contact Tanja Carter-Searls.[/collapsed]

[collapsed title=NY State Office of Children and Family Services]

OCFS Training Technology, Distance Learning and Direct Training Services Program

Under this partnership, PEWL develops and delivers e-learning courses to 100,000 child welfare and juvenile justice county and provider agency staff at the caseworker, senior caseworker, supervisor and manager levels. PEWL also trains mandated reporters of child abuse and maltreatment in New York State, as well as foster and adoptive parents. Key partners include NYS OCFS, as well as its sister State agency, the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). The county agency offices in each of New York’s 58 local social services districts are also key partners, as well as the nonprofit child welfare and foster care provider agencies with which the counties contract for services. Over the last 18 months, OCFS Training Technology team and administrative staff played a critical role in supporting the agency’s ability to open its statewide Human Services Training Center in Albany, a 100,000 square foot training and simulation facility, by researching, selecting, procuring and setting up cutting-edge training systems and technology.