Native American Studies


Northern Michigan University's 9 public school academies (charter schools) offer a wide variety of learning and teaching environments.

Two of the schools have a focus on Native American culture: Bahweting Anishnabe and Nah Tah Wahsh in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The third U.P. school is North Star Academy, which focuses on academic service learning.

In the Lower Peninsula, Burton Glen and Walton are located on the southeast side of the state and are operated by National Heritage Academies. National Heritage Academies touts a four-pillar philosophy: academic excellence, moral focus, parental partnership and student responsibility.   South Pointe Scholars Charter Academy, which opened in 2012, is located in Ypsilanti and has grades K-8. Experiencia Preparatory Academy, which opened in fall 2013, was closed in June, 2016. 

As of July 1, 2014, NMU adds 3 charter schools:  Francis Reh Academy in Saginaw, a K-9 facility, the George Crockett Academy in inner-city Detroit, operating as a K-8 facility, and East Shore Leadership Academy in Port Huron, which opened first time in 2014 as a K-5 and will progress to K-8.

Along with providing education to its students, these schools provide an excellent opportunity for hands-on classroom experience for NMU’s hundreds of elementary and secondary education majors. This immersion is invaluable to these future teachers as they prepare for their student teaching experiences and professional careers.

If you would like more information about one of NMU’s charter schools or about charter schools in general, please contact us at 906-227-6600. Find copies of charter school contracts below.

For information on individual charter schools, see the links below:

Charter Oversight

To ensure that public school academies are complying with all rules, laws and statutes, a contract is developed between Northern Michigan University--the authorizing body--and a public school academy (charter school). The authorizer develops and implements a comprehensive oversight system which holds public school academy boards accountable for, among other things, contractual and legal compliance, academic performance and financial stewardship.

The public school academy board members are public officials and have primary responsibility for the academy’s governance and operation. Northern Michigan University has established a clear policy detailing the selection and appointment process for public school academy board members. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • completing an application for appointment;
  • undergoing a personal background check; and
  • participating in a personal interview.

Lastly, candidates who are approved according to the appointment process must take a constitutional oath of office to serve on the public school academy board.