Start a School

Why We Authorize

The Charter Schools Office is currently receiving applications for new community-driven charter public schools to join our portfolio.

We are active in the chartering community because it is one way, but not the only way, to improve public education. It is a reflection of our University’s values and our commitment to our state.

Our goal as an authorizer is to curate a portfolio of innovative and high-performing educational opportunities for students throughout Michigan. Schools within this portfolio benefit from being part of something bigger. With assistance from GVSU, they can access professional learning opportunities, school and governance support, and graduate education scholarship programs that they typically could not attain on their own.

Our goal as a Charter Schools Office is to leverage the power of GVSU to improve and support the schools we charter, as well as to join together professors, practitioners, policymakers, and communities in new ways to solve problems in education.

In short, we believe that we can learn from each other and get better, together, for our students and our state.

What We Look For

Though we are open to receiving any application, our chartering priorities are two-fold: add diversity to educational options in the community the school would serve, or replicate a program or model that is likely to show success in the area. 

Successful applicants demonstrate alignment with the University’s five core values: inquiry; inclusive and equitable community; innovation; integrity; international perspectives. This is done through articulating a distinct mission and need for their proposed school and clearly demonstrating how the educational program will be delivered in a fiscally and organizationally sound way.

Applying for a Charter

Phase I applications are collected on a rolling basis and reviewed four times per year in February, April, July, and November (applications due by the 1st of those months for review within that month).  In limited instances, applications may be reviewed prior to these dates if the CSO determines that circumstances exist that warrants this review.

All applications should be sent to the GVSU CSO via email at [email protected]

Download a Phase 1 Application

Overview of how GVSU reviews new school proposals

Current Charter Public Schools

Existing charter public schools may apply to join our portfolio. However:

  • The applicant must provide a letter from their current authorizer that the authorizer would not object to this transfer. Applications received without this letter may not be considered.
  • Similar to a charter renewal, the CSO will assess the school’s academic performance against the educational goals in GVSU’s charter contracts.

Contact Us

Need more information? Please email Gretchen LaHaie, Deputy Director for School Accountability, or call (616) 331-2240.

Page last modified January 22, 2024