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Charters Overview

For over 50 years, Bethel University has prepared many excellent educators. As an academic institution, it is Bethel’s mission to eduate and energize men and women for excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service. In accord with its mission and vision, Bethel University supports school choice through its charter school authorizing efforts. The goal is to authorize a network of charter schools—each with its own individual curricular focus, and all subscribing to an accountability model informed by the most current research about ensuring children's success.


Bethel’s commitment to authorize charter schools is an outgrowth of its history and mission to educate and energize men and women for excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service. 


The Education Department's vision for charter school authorizing is to serve innovative charters committed to academic excellence for their students and show proof of practice in alternative and scalable designs for education to our preservice teachers, educational researchers, and the field of practice.

Program Overview

Education Department

The Bethel partnerships coordinator, working with the education department chair and the oversight committee, is responsible for the leadership and management of the Charter School Authorizing Program. The Bethel partnerships coordinator assumes responsibilities for communication and coordination with staff and administrators at the schools and to facilitate oversight of schools authorized by Bethel University.

The Bethel Charter School Oversight Committee (BCOC)

The Bethel Charter School Oversight Committee has been in place for over ten years and is made up of five full members. This committee works with the Bethel partnerships coordinator to provide regular and ongoing oversight to each of the charter schools that the university authorizes.

Committee members:

  • Education department partnerships coordinator
  • Education department chair
  • Representative of the president’s office
  • Dean of professional programs
  • Ad hoc financial expert

Resources for Authorized Charters


For questions or inquiries about charter school authorizing, contact the education department's Partnerships Coordinator Heather Ross at

Bethel-Authorized Charter Schools

Hmong College Prep Academy

Hmong College Prep Academy’s mission is to provide the best integrated, challenging, and well-rounded educational experience to students in grades K–12.

HCPA is a K–12 charter school (1,450 students, 85% free/reduced lunch) that provides its students with a college-focused curriculum. The school is composed of 115 licensed teachers (39 M.A. or higher), 26 paraprofessionals, and 35 district/admin. personnel; all of whom share the ideology that all students, regardless of socio-economic background, will be given the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education. Since 2004, HCPA has expanded its campus four times to serve their stakeholders' needs, and over the past decade it has seen increases in key metrics including graduation rates, college enrollment, and awarded scholarships.

Northwest Passage High School

Students enrolled at Northwest Passage High School develop self-confidence and academic skills through participation in a small learning community, where instructors are lifelong learners who model integrity, responsibility, and respect. Its curriculum combines advisory, inquiry-driven, project-based learning, interdisciplinary seminars, and expeditions.

Varied projects, field studies, and inquiry-based methods give students the opportunity to develop a greater sense of the world by engaging in challenging academics, structured work experience, and service learning. Students take responsibility for their own educational plans and graduate with the tools to make informed decisions about their future.

PACT (Parents Allied with Children and Teachers) Charter School

PACT Charter School, which opened in the fall of 1994, is located in Ramsey and serves 660 students in K–12. It is the mission of PACT Charter School to prepare students for college and lifelong learning, promote positive character development, and pursue a community atmosphere of mutual respect.

Program Distinctives

Approved by Minnesota Board of Teaching

The Board of Teaching governs the teacher licensing requirements for the state of Minnesota. The undergraduate Education program at Bethel meets these requirements.

Accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)

Bethel’s undergraduate teacher education program is accredited under the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Quality Principles through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Accreditation System for a period of 7 years, from October 2015 through December 2022. Our teacher education program will seek accreditation under the CAEP Standards in fall of 2022. Formed in 2013, CAEP is the single specialized accreditor for educator preparation, and administers TEAC accreditation. See our candidate performance data (pdf).

Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative

Bethel’s Education program is part of a Bush Foundation funded collaboration with five other higher education institutions called the Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative (TC2).

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