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Maria Gritz

Certificate in Educational Policy

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Chances are good that Maria Gritz will be a lifelong learner. She earned an undergraduate degree at Boston College, and an M.Ed. degree at the University of Notre Dame, where she was dispatched to Texas’s Rio Grande Valley to teach in a small Catholic school for two years. After completing her degree and student teaching, she moved to Philadelphia and began working at Drexel. Before long, she missed taking courses. She had always been interested in K-12 and higher education, and the Certificate in Educational Policy allowed Gritz to explore both of those areas.

“I chose the Certificate in Educational Policy because I studied history as an undergrad,” Gritz says. “I was interested in how political decisions were made throughout history, and wanted to explore how we got to the point where we are today, and how that relates to our educational system.”

Through her studies, Gritz noticed a common theme repeatedly arose: the importance of teacher quality in K-12 education, and how it can make a difference in students’ progress and performance. This was a wake-up call for Gritz.

“It made me realize that my time in the classroom was not done,” she says. “I wanted to make a difference, and decided to focus on teaching K-12.”

Gritz completed the certificate program in 2013. She recently accepted a position with Teach for America and over the summer, completed the organization’s five-week “Teaching as Leadership” workshop at Temple University. At the completion of the training program, Gritz was placed as a full-time social studies teacher in a Philadelphia public school.

“The best educators see teaching as a craft; it’s not something that you just learn and apply, but something that you continually improve upon,” Gritz says. “The Educational Policy certificate program was a way for me to progress and expand upon my knowledge of education.”