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University Settlement Society of New York

Listing Last Update: July 15, 2021

Primary Contact

Lucian Leung

(212) 533-6306

Educational services

  • To read and write better
  • To find a family literacy program
  • To learn English
  • To improve my technology skills
  • To improve my workforce skills

Instruction Type

  • Classroom
  • Computer

File uploads

Program Overview

University Settlement has been providing English language instruction and related services to the immigrant population of Manhattan's Lower East Side throughout its 125-year history. Today, we continue to be particularly effective not only in bringing about substantial, measurable gains in communication, reading and writing skills, but in providing a practical introduction to American life and a link to a larger community as well as a network of supportive services. We offer daytime, evening, and weekend English classes from beginning to advanced, and our aim is to help our students reach their full potential on the job, at home, and in their communities.

Mission Statement

University Settlement partners with 40,000 New Yorkers on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn every year to build on their strengths as they achieve healthy, stable, and remarkable lives. For 135 years, we've collaborated with our communities to pioneer highly effective programs that fight poverty and systemic inequality. Established in 1886 as the first Settlement House in the United States, we bring the values of that movement into the 21st century by meeting New Yorkers where they live, listening to their perspectives, recognizing their excellence, understanding them as complete individuals, and creating space for them to organize. Joining together with our neighbors to advocate for justice and equality, we help build community strength.

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday 9am-5pm. Evenings Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 6:30pm-9pm and Weekends Saturday and Sundays 9am-5pm

Cost info: Free

Student and Volunteer Success Stories

"Thanks to this program, I learned to write and read in English. I can communicate with my daughters and their teachers much better than before. I can participate in school meetings and I can ask with confidence about the progress of my girls."

- Ingrid

"Formerly I didn't know how to take the subway, so I often got lost in the subway, but now I understand it because the teacher taught us how to read the subway map, how to take the subway, and transfer trains. In the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program I really learned many things and now I know more about NYC."

- Huan Juan

"I am lucky to study at University Settlement because my English has improved. When I immigrated to New York, I didn't know how to speak English and I was scared. Last year, I started to learn English at the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program. Now I can speak a lot of English with other people."

- Vivian

Program’s Demographics/Metrics

Last school year, we had students from nearly 30 different countries, ranging in age from 18 to 80. We generally serve over 400 students per school year, and last year 309 of them made a measurable gain in English.

Program Status: