The average age of those who attend the Touro College Graduate School of Social Work in New York City is 36 and most are employed.
That suits Steven Huberman, the school’s dean and professor of social work administration, just fine. The graduate school — established in 2006 — aims to serve the surrounding metropolitan community by providing a welcoming program that trains its diverse population to help others in need.
“We want to give those most at risk a support system once they enter school,” Huberman said. An important part of that goal includes the college providing NASW student memberships.
“Students look at NASW for research and reports,” Huberman explained. “We use NASW publications and periodicals extensively.”
The dean said providing this benefit is important to him and he plans to carry on the tradition. “NASW stands for the core values of social work, social justice, community building, fighting poverty and reducing human distress,” he said. “I want to demonstrate from the start of their career, students need to be part of our national association.”
Recent Touro graduate Chaya Friedman said, “It was an extremely generous gesture of Dean Steven Huberman to sponsor free membership for his students. It is a reflection of his commitment to his program and the communities that his students will continue serving.”
Friedman added that Huberman’s “quest to help us advance in areas of employment, social diversity, better working conditions and social policy are unparalleled and evident within the courses in the program as well as the diverse student body.”
Robert Schachter, executive director of NASW’s New York City Chapter, said the college — which was recently accredited by the Council on Social Work Education — is the first graduate school in the city to his knowledge to supply student memberships.
Recent Touro graduate Mia Artis said it was the school and staff that made the difference in her success in obtaining her graduate degree. As a single mother and working full time, she found that the school accommodated her needs, she explained.
The professors are very personable and knowledgeable, Artis said. “I had so much support from them. It was like a family. The professors were responsive to my questions.”
Susan Nayowith, the New York City Chapter’s president, joined Schachter at the chapter’s recent meeting in accepting a check from Huberman during a ceremony.
The Touro College Graduate School of Social Work joins a handful of schools of social work across the U.S. that include NASW student membership in its enrollment. Some other schools require NASW memberships but do not include the fee as part of the program’s cost.