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About the College

About the UST Authorizing Program

Housed within the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling, the Authorizing Program brings together experts from across the University to oversee a group of seven charter schools.



Charter School Resources

‌Are you an existing UST
Charter School Network member?
Visit our page for Existing Charter Schools.

Are you interested in
joining the UST Charter School Network?
Download our Authorizing Program Manual to learn more.


Questions? Contact Us

Molly McGraw Healy, Director of Authorizing


(651) 962-4372

Charter School Authorizing Mission & Vision

Inspired by the mission of the broader University, the Authorizing Program strives to always act in a morally responsible manner and to employ critical thinking, wise action, and skillful work in an effort to become a model of excellence in authorizing throughout the state and nation.  In pursuing this goal, we seek to add a thoughtful, student-focused voice to the ongoing dialogue about public education, and above all, to advance the common good. We believe that quality authorizing assists in the creation and maintenance of quality schools and work toward a reality in which all students and families have access to high-quality educational options, whether private, charter, or district. 

The schools that make up the UST Charter Network are held to rigorous academic, financial, and organizational standards, and must possess a mission which is compatible with that of the University. 

History of the St. Thomas Authorizing Program

The University of St. Thomas, founded in 1885 by Archbishop John Ireland, is a Catholic, independent, liberal arts, archdiocesan university that emphasizes values-centered, career-oriented education.  When it established a new academic structure in 1990 with an undergraduate college and graduate schools, St. Thomas changed its name from college to university. It refined its academic structure in 2001 when it established academic divisions that brought together related graduate and undergraduate programs into common schools and colleges.

The College of Applied Professional Studies, founded in 2007, includes the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, the School of Education and over 50 degree programs.  With a deep commitment to serving the professional school constituents, college faculty and staff are deeply involved in the preparation of tomorrow’s leaders in all fields served by the college.  The structure of the college enables the schools it contains to work collaboratively and to develop interdisciplinary curricula to be better able to serve the common good.

The University of St. Thomas’ Charter School Authorizing Program is housed within the College of Applied Professional Studies.  The program was founded in 2000 and quickly took on two schools, HOPE Community Academy and Academia Cesar Chavez.  In 2010 the University of St. Thomas became the first higher education institution certified by the Minnesota Department of Education to authorize charter schools.   Shortly thereafter, the program added four existing schools to its portfolio: Community of Peace Academy, Twin Cities Academy, Twin Cities Academy High School, and Main Street School of Performing Arts.  In July of 2013 a seventh school, Metro Deaf School, joined the St. Thomas portfolio.  All St. Thomas authorized schools, with the exception of Main Street School of Performing Arts, are located in St. Paul. 

Portfolio Performance

UST is currently working on its first Authorizer Annual Report which will contain information on our program, as well as the performance of the schools in our portfolio.  We look forward to sharing this report in late summer 2014!

© University of St. Thomas · Minnesota
1000 LaSalle Avenue · Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403 · USA
1-651-962-4550 · education@stthomas.edu