About the EMU Charter Schools Office

The Charter Schools Office at Eastern Michigan University oversees 11 public school academies located in the Michigan counties of Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw, Genesee and Saginaw. These schools offer a variety of innovative approaches to educating students.

Eastern's Charter Schools Office provides the academies with the guidance and technical support needed to maintain the high standards to which each school aspires.

With the support of Eastern's College of Education, the Michigan Department of Education, and the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), among others, the Charter Schools Office is leading the way toward enhancing public education in Michigan.


A world class education for all students.


Our history begins with the passing of two public acts (Michigan's Public Act 362, Part 6, and Public Act 416, Part 6B) in 1993 and 1994. These laws allowed for four types of public school academy (charter school) authorizers in the State of Michigan: public universities, community colleges, intermediate school districts and local school districts.

During the fall of 1995, Eastern Michigan University appointed Dr. Joseph Pollack to head up the newly created Charter Schools Office. The first two EMU-sponsored charter schools, Gaudior Academy and Commonwealth Community Development Academy, came online in 1996. The following year, Great Lakes Academy and the Academy for Business and Technology were added to the list of EMU authorized charter schools. In 1998, Ann Arbor Learning Community and Hope Academy became members of the EMU charter school family. Edison Oakland Academy and Grand Blanc Academy, were added in 1999. With Michigan's statutory limit on the number of university authorized charters, no new charters were awarded from 1999 to 2012.  In December 2011, Public Act 277 increased the limit.  Detroit Public Safety Academy and The James and Grace Lee Boggs School opened in the fall of 2013, and Global Tech Academy opened its doors in late summer of 2014.  The Saginaw Academy of Excellence charter was approved in April 2018 to open for the 2018-19 school year.

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