Mastery students going to college for senior year in high school helps students with transition

The Notebook
by Paul Jablow

Cassandra Lopez remembers the moment last spring that she and classmate Jamal Johnson, both juniors at the Academy at Palumbo, received notices that they had been accepted into the School District of Philadelphia’s Advanced Senior Year (ASY) program.

“We just screamed in the hallway,” she said.

Lopez and Johnson are part of the first class accepted into the program, a collaboration with the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) designed to smooth the transition from high school to college and make success in college more likely.

The 60 students from 22 District schools throughout the city essentially spend their senior year taking courses at CCP. They are based at Parkway Center City Middle College, a short walk away from the campus, where they get counseling and advising services and have their own wing and computer lab.

If they successfully complete the program, they get a high school diploma and up to 24 college credits.

In addition, 36 students from six Mastery Charter high schools take part in a similar program based at their own schools. Mastery has offered the program for seven years.