The West Michigan Aviation Academy (WMAA) is one of the most unique schools in Michigan. The charter school was authorized by Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools Office and began its first year of operation in 2010 with a duel focus on aviation and quality education. WMAA opened its doors to 80 9th grade students that first year and added 10th, 11th and 12th grades in each subsequent year, becoming a full college preparatory high school serving grades 9-12 in the fall of 2013.
In 2012, student demand allowed the school to be expanded from a 25,000 sq. ft. renovated office space into a 42,500 sq. ft. building to accommodate new students. This new addition enabled not only expansion in space, but also in curriculum, student life, and additional aviation programs.
The school also offers its graduates unique scholarship options for students who choose to pursue a degree in aviation. One scholarship fund totals $150,000 and supports graduates attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and will last for 20 years. Another scholarship from Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation gave $240,000 to WMAA, which is a $60,000 scholarship to one graduate each year from 2014-2017.
The first graduating class at WMAA had over 400 students in the year 2014. That summer, WMAA expanded their building once again and now has the capacity for up to 150 students per grade level. In the 2016-2017 school year, WMAA's enrollment is full with over 100 students on the waiting list.
In the 2014-2015 school year WMAA had a graduation rate of 86%, up from the previous year by approximately 22%. The total percentage of students who went on to enroll in college is 62%, which also is an improvement from the year prior by 3%.
WMAA is a tuition-free public charter high school founded by Dick DeVos upon encouragement from wife, Betsy. Stemming from their passion for education and aviation, the school is located on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
WMAA's mission is to provide a rigorous educational program, through an aviation focus, preparing students for unlimited opportunities, including achievement, career success, and engaged citizenship.