Adult Education

Helping adults achieve their educational and personal goals.


Our free classes empower over 500 adult students in their personal and professional lives in East Harlem. We serve people who wish to learn English, gain a basic education, prepare for the high school equivalency exam and develop job skills.

Located at

237 East 104th Street, 2nd Floor
(212) 828-6017

(212) 828-6017

Teacher Assistant (Level 1)


Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites to take this course. However, in order to sit for national certification exams, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent; therefore, it is recommended you have this before enrolling for this course. Foreign degrees are acceptable so long as they are accompanied with appropriate degree evaluation.


What you will learn

  • What paraprofessional educators do and how they work in the education system
  • Roles and responsibilities of a teacher’s aide in various settings
  • Benchmarks of development for children and adolescents
  • Classroom management strategies, instructional control, and positive behavior supports
  • Characteristics and intervention strategies for students with various disabilities
  • Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS) exam preparation strategies


How you will benefit

  • Develop a career roadmap for becoming a teacher’s aide
  • Pass the Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS)exam and enhance your professional profile
  • Develop strategies to support students of different learning abilities


What does the course cover

  1. Teacher’s Aide Foundations
  2. Child and Adolescent Development
  3. Communication and Classroom Management
  4. Supporting Students in the General Education Setting
  5. Students with Exceptionalities
  6. Midterm Exam
  7. Supporting the Reading Process
  8. Supporting the Writing Process
  9. Supporting Mathematics
  10. Preparing for the Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS) exam
  11. Career Roadmap: The Job Search and Future Opportunities
  12. Final Exam


Internship Opportunity:

An internship is a professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work related to a candidate’s career interest. An internship gives a student the opportunity for career exploration and development, and to learn new skills.

Intake Specialist


Teacher Assistant (Level 2)


Prerequisites: Requires that the candidate have a non-expired Teacher Assistant Level I certificate and have worked as a Teacher Assistant Level I for one year. Candidates must also complete 9 credit hours of Pedagogical course work.


Pedagogical coursework

Pedagogical core coursework can be completed on either the undergraduate or graduate level. However, such coursework must be completed at an institution of higher education that has state-approved educator preparation programs that leads to certification in the state where the institution is physically located or a community college with an articulation agreement with such an institution (contact your college). Undergraduate pedagogical core coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of C, and graduate coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of B-.

An alternative to taking formal coursework would be to demonstrate your knowledge of a subject through obtaining an acceptable score on credit-bearing examinations offered by one of the following organizations:

  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Exam
  • Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Support (DANTES) Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) Exam
  • Excelsior College Exams


Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this program are included in enrollment. They will be provided at the start of each class.

We provide Pedagogical test prep for the following examinations:


Introduction to Educational Psychology 3 Credits

The Introduction to Educational Psychology exam covers material that is usually taught in a one-semester undergraduate course in this subject. Emphasis is placed on principles of learning and cognition, teaching methods and classroom management, child growth and development, and evaluation and assessment of learning.

The exam contains approximately 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored.

Human Growth and Development 3 credits (same as LifeSpan Development Psychology 3 credit hours)

The Human Growth and Development exam (infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and aging) covers material that is generally taught in a one-semester introductory course in developmental psychology or human development. An understanding of the major theories and research related to the broad categories of physical development, cognitive development, and social development is required, as is the ability to apply this knowledge.

The exam contains approximately 90 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of them are pretest questions that will not be scored.

Foundation of Education 3 credit hours

This exam was developed to enable schools to award credit to students for knowledge equivalent to that learned by students taking the course. This examination includes topics related to contemporary issues in education; past and current influences on education (philosophies, democratic ideals, social/economic influences); and the interrelationships between contemporary issues and influences, past or current, in education.

The exam contains 100 questions to be answered in 2 hours. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored.

LifeSpan Development Psychology 3 credit hours (same as Human Growth and Development 3 credits)

The examination measures understanding of the concepts, principles, and theories associated with life span development including genetics, prenatal development, and childbirth; infancy and toddlerhood; early childhood; middle childhood; adolescence; early adulthood; middle adulthood; late adulthood; and death and dying. The examination also tests for the ability to apply this understanding in specific situations and to integrate content across the stages of the life span. The examination requires knowledge of content typically covered in an introductory psychology course. (Multiple-choice examination.)

Literacy Instruction in the Elementary School 6 credit hours

Literacy Instruction in the Elementary School examination is based on material typically taught in a two-semester, six-credit, upper-level sequence of undergraduate courses in elementary school reading and writing instruction. The content of the examination corresponds to course offerings such as Reading in the Elementary School, Writing in the Elementary School, Teaching of Literacy in the Elementary School, Methods of Teaching Reading, and Reading and Language Arts. The examination measures knowledge and understanding of theoretical frameworks; emergent literacy/beginning reading; identifying and understanding words; constructing meaning: comprehension and response; writing instruction; the teacher as reflective decision maker; implementing a classroom literacy program; and assessment and evaluation. The examination primarily tests for the ability to apply, synthesize, and evaluate information, and for the ability to read critically. The examination requires an understanding of basic concepts in education and learning theory. (Multiple-choice examination.)


Intake Specialist


Teacher Assistant FAQ

Teacher Assistant Training Program FAQs


Can I register for a course if I am an international student?

Yes, However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country’s regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.


Does this course prepare for a certification?

Yes, this course prepares for the Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS) examination, for the Teacher Assistant I Certification. This course also prepares holders for Teacher Assistant I for credit-based testing of 9 pedagogical coursework in order to obtain Teacher Assistant II Certification.


What does a teacher’s aide do?

Teacher’s aides, also known as a teaching assistant, are paraprofessional educators that assist a teacher with various duties inside and outside the classroom. These duties may include supervision and care for students, along with providing students with lesson reinforcement and guidance in student studies. Teacher’s aide typically monitors behavior, manages paperwork and performs record keeping duties.


Do I need a certificate to be a teacher’s aide?

Requirements for working as a teacher’s aide varies by state. Some states require additional training, some college credits or a paraprofessional certificate.


When can I start the course?

This course is a 15-week intensive training course. Please call our office for cycle dates.


How long does it take to complete this course?

This course is instructor-lead. The course will prepare you for the next Testing date.


What if I don’t complete my course within the time frame provided?

You will need to provide documentation for justification for not completing the course in the given cycle. This will be reviewed and used for re-enrollment considerations. This will be done on a case by case basis.


What kind of support will I receive?

The course instructor will be available by email to answer any questions and provide feedback on your performance. Occasionally, your course may be supported by the Adult Education staff. You will also receive support from the student advising team.


What happens when I complete the course?

Upon successfully passing the final exam, you will be awarded a certificate of completion from the Union Settlement. You will also be prepared to sit for the Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS)examination. You will begin the NYS Application process for your certification.


Am I guaranteed a job?

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.


Are there costs associated with this training?

Certification fees and test fees will be discussed with candidate on a one-on-one case with our Career Case Counselor


How can I get more information about this course?

If you have questions that are not answered on this facts sheet. You can also call us at 1-212-828-6017 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. Or you may email us at

Information Management Systems Administrative Specialist Course

Our Information Management Systems Administrative Specialist course is for learners who may or may not have used the Microsoft Office or Google Workspace but who want to achieve general Microsoft Office or Google Workspace proficiency. The program objectives are to know how to use the most common Microsoft Office programs and Google Workspace Applications. To be able to create documents for printing and sharing. To be able to create and share presentations. To be able to manage and store data in a spreadsheet. As they all relate to various office environment positions.

The program will also address ensuring participants develop and improve personal typing rate, speed, and accuracy. Through instruction, detailed progress reports assist in identifying strengths and weaknesses. Powerful learning tools along with this detailed reporting will help typists learn and excel at their own pace. Using tools such as import your own MP3 files; and fun arcade-style games enrich the learning experience. Lessons will be a comprehensive, individualized learning experience. Participants will master the keyboard with hundreds of practice sessions, games and unique tools guaranteed to advance your skill level. Utilizing the Mavis Bacon Typing software.


Microsoft Office Specialist Certification and Microsoft Excel Certification will be issued by Microsoft Corporation

If interested please contact (212) 828-6017 or


Basic Accounting and Bookkeeping with QuickBooks Course

Our Basic Accounting and Bookkeeping with QuickBooks course will introduce participants to some basic accounting principles, accounting concepts, and accounting terminology. Once participants become familiar with some of these terms and concepts, they will feel comfortable navigating through the explanations, quizzes, quick tests, video training, and other features provided.

Basic Accounting and Bookkeeping with QuickBooks teaches participants the occupational skills important for any job, which can help assist participants in the workplace as well as more specialized, technical skills required to carry out specific job duties. The soft skills are basic, professional skill sets worth developing as they work through more specific accounting-based curriculum, and they may be helpful in improving workplace communication and helping to effectively lead a team of other employees.


National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers will issue the certification for QuickBooks.

If interested please contact (212) 828-6017 or


Flavien I. Amangoua

Education Specialist

Mr. Flavien I. Amangoua is from Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. He has been teaching ESL since 2011. He is a 1987 M.A. English graduate of the University of Abidjan and also graduate in Public Relation. He earned a Teacher English as Second Language (TESLA) Certificate at Literacy Assistance Center Academy in 2012. He taught English as Foreign Language (EFL) to International students at LAL Fordham University for seven years. He continued to teach in diverse Language schools and colleges and different Adults programs. He is known for his love of coffee and Tamale (Mexican food).


Mae Lee

Education Specialist

Mae has been teaching ESOL at Union Settlement for the last 5 and a half years.  She enjoys teaching students who are from all over the world.  Besides English, she also knows Chinese.  Mae is a native New Yorker.  In her spare time, she likes to cook, swim, read, volunteer, and talk about politics and current events.


Klodian Lleshi

Education Specialist

Klodian Lleshi is an English Teacher at Union Settlement, Adult Education Program. He graduated as an English Teacher from Alexander Giovani University in Albania in 2002. With more than 15 years of experience, he moved from Albania to New York, where he resumed his teaching career with Union Settlement in 2019. Passions in life, translation, music, and psychology. His motto: “Work hard, be nice, and always try to bring out the best in people.”


Liria VanZandt

Education Specialist

Liria VanZandt was born and raised in Brazil, the youngest of seven children of Japanese immigrants. I’ve always wanted to be adventurous and see the world. Ever since I moved to New York City, I’ve remained close to my family, and I enjoy the company of friends, but I also embrace quiet time on my own and often find inspiration and motivation in solitude. I’m a film buff, I love reading and I’m politically engaged. (Back in 2007, I organized a fundraiser for Barack Obama called ‘Samba for Obama’.)

Growing up, I was mostly interested in science, which led me to pursue a Physics degree in college, but I felt my passion might lie elsewhere. After a few years in New York, I thought I could advance my English by enrolling in a college humanities program. I got a BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies and went on to earn an MA in Cinema Studies.  Professionally, after a few years of waiting tables in NYC, I started teaching Portuguese – first in private language schools and then in colleges. In 2010, I expanded my repertoire and started working with the adult immigrant population to teach them English and then pursued an MA in TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

One of the things I like most about the city I now call home is its diverse population, and I find my interaction with students from different cultures a tremendously stimulating, enriching, and humbling experience.  Moreover, since I’m an immigrant to this country myself, and the daughter of immigrants who didn’t speak a word of Portuguese when they arrived in Brazil, I can identify to a significant extent with the challenges and aspirations of my students in wanting to learn and improve their English. And last, but certainly not least, I think this work is so fulfilling to me because it offers me an opportunity to honor my long-deceased parents.

As for a few random ‘fun’ facts about myself, one of my favorite things to do is sleep; I don’t drink (alcohol), but I make terrific caipirinhas; and I consider myself something of an ‘honorary’ Philippina, because students consistently make the mistaken assumption that I’m from the Philippines when they first meet me.


Allison Thomas

Education Specialist

Hi, I’m Allison! I’m originally from Connecticut, but I have lived in NY for 15 years. I currently live in Brooklyn with roommates and a big dog. I have a BA in English Education and a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). I’ve been working in education for 11 years and have taught English Language Arts, ESOL, how to get into college, career skill building, and computers. I really like being a Computer Digital Literacy Specialist because computer skills are important for so many things. The more comfortable and confident you are with a computer, the more things you can learn and do! Some fun facts about myself: in my free time I like to play ultimate frisbee; I love to ride bikes; and I have been a bar trivia night host in person and over Zoom!


Azza Zaki

Education Specialist

My name is Azza Zaki. I was born in Cairo Egypt where I earned my bachelor degree in psychology with a concentration in early childhood development. I married and I have two children who are young adults. I teach ESL because I love helping immigrants improve their language which help them improve their lives and overcome any problems. I love teaching, and I love my students. I love cooking.


Yvette Padilla

Case Manager/ Counselor

My name is Yvette Padilla. I am native New Yorker, born and raised in East Harlem, where I still reside.  I have three daughters, and I’m also a proud grandmother.  I provide care for my elderly mother as well. I am currently working on obtaining my degree in Human Services, because helping people is what I love to do. I also enjoy reading, cooking, cleaning, and spending time with my family.