Building Persistence Through Student Independence and Accountability



In our seminar courses we follow the GRIT IT Model. This is a guide to build independent task and project completion. The goal of utilizing this tool is to encourage students to show persistence through difficult tasks. True post-secondary success happens when an individual is able to navigate obstacles and problem solve independently.

Seminar Classes and Teams

Freshman sOCIAL eMOTIONAL Learning


John Bennett -

Social Emotional Learning Teacher

Mastery intentionally develops grit and resilience in students by fostering a “success through hard work” culture. Teachers develop students’ “growth mindset”, encouraging them to persevere through difficult work and providing them opportunities to lead. We believe social-emotional skills can be explicitly taught and nurtured.

Program Highlights

  • Skills/Strategies for successful acclimation to High School

  • Historical roadblocks to success for minorities and how to overcome them

  • Financial Literacy



Saroya Royster -

10th Grade Internship Coordinator

Tania Figgs -

10th Grade Internship Coordinator

Sophomore Seminar will set the foundational understanding of career pathways and practice essential workplace skills for 10th grade students. This course prioritizes--Communication skills for professional settings, Public Speaking, Interview Skills, Technology in a business setting, Career Pathway Exposure, Post-secondary Preparedness Plan development. There will also be opportunities for students to apply their skills learned in a Mock Interview Day, and Career Panels. This is awesome experience for all students involved!!!

Program Highlights

  • Students develop a resume

  • Learn and practice the interview process

  • Many opportunities to learn and develop public speaking skills



Christopher Chaplin -

11th Grade College Advisor

Jana Henry -

11th Grade College Coordinator

Junior Seminar is the second course of a three class seminar series offered at Mastery Charter School in order to prepare all students for postsecondary success. This course is designed to give you a thorough understanding of the multiple pathways available to you after high school. Junior Seminar will build on the skills and concepts you learned in Sophomore Seminar and is a prerequisite to Senior Seminar.

The vision of Junior Seminar is to help students become critical thinkers and independent doers through the process of self-reflection, informed decision making, and personalized planning. And to help them develop the necessary soft skills they need to be successful as young adults in the modern world.

Students will focus on multiple pathways to success as they prepare to create a post-secondary plan that is right for them. Students will take a close look at their current academic credentials and begin to make decisions regarding their post high school plans.

Program Highlights

By the end of this course, students will have:

  • A detailed post-secondary pathway plan

  • Created a list of possible programs they are considering applying to

  • Completed quarterly 1:1 or small group advising sessions (required)

  • Completed a post-secondary "fit" meeting with their advisor and family

senior sEMINAR


Maureen Quiles-Rosa -

12th Grade College Advisor

Jade Roane -

12th Grade College Advisor

At Gratz, we believe in the greatness within each of our students. With love and high expectations, we support them in finding their own paths to success. Whether they want to attend college or start their career right after graduation, we make sure our students are prepared for both so they can make the choice that’s right for them.

Program Highlights

  • Every senior gets assigned advisor and has access to advisor through 2x a week class, office hours, and additional meeting times

  • Advisor works with student and family to complete all financial aid steps

  • Networking Opportunities with Postsecondary institutions from colleges to military to apprenticeships

  • Seniors craft a FIT list for applications and apply to 4-6 options based on their intended plan

  • Seniors learn how to understand the financial aid process and analyze financial aid award letters and take on minimum debt

Need help with College?

College Supports we offer at Gratz:

  • Get a personalized Checklist based on their postsecondary plan

  • Meet with advisor when necessary for assistance with next steps

  • Seniors consider whether to take another standardized test (In a typical school year- juniors take the ACT 1-2 x)

  • Students and Parents create an FSA-ID for parent and student- 1st step for FAFSA

  • Students meet or visit with as many post-secondary representatives that they choose. (We typically have over 50 commit to coming for a visit or zoom session)

  • Students complete 4-10 post-secondary applications

  • Seniors gather necessary materials for applications (test score, letters of rec, essays)

  • Receive necessary fee waivers


  • Have access to monthly scholarship blasts

  • Work through additional financial aid steps like verification and determining Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

  • Update or make a professional resume

  • Create a detailed PLAN 1 and Back up plan

  • Complete a GRIT it Presentation about their postsecondary plans

  • Complete a senior project on relevant transition topics

  • Complete direct enrollment steps

  • Receive support throughout the summer

post secondary resources

Financial Aid

  • Complete the FAFSA

  • Information about financial aid

Apprenticeships in Philadelphia

  • Find an apprenticeship in Philadelphia

Post-Secondary Options

  • Compare post-secondary options

  • Explore trades and colleges

Additional Post-Secondary resources

Post-Secondary Spotlight

Mansfield University

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania is a small public university. It is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university is accredited and has numerous national professional organizations.

Gratz Alumni:


Graduation Rate: 53%

Salary After Graduation: $21k-62k