David O. McKay School of Education

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The David O. McKay School of Education, namesake of David O. McKay, operates one of the largest teacher preparation programs in the nation. The school specializes in improving learning and teaching in the school as well as in the home, church and community worldwide. The McKay School is located on the southwest end of Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah and is housed in the David O. McKay Building. Originally founded as the College of Education, the school was officially renamed the David O. McKay School of Education in 1996.


The David O. McKay School of Education began in 1913 as an integral part of BYU named the Church Teachers College with Edwin S. Hinckley as the first dean. It was renamed the School of Education in 1920 and in 1921 became the College of Education.[1]

Prior to 1954, BYU's College of Education was much larger in its scope than it is today. Two reorganizations happened in that year that made the school more focused in its curriculum. First the Department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation was broken off into a separate college. The other was that undergraduate majors outside of elementary education and early-childhood education were shifted to the colleges of their specific discipline, with only the educational methods courses they needed being offered through the school of education. The later change was facilitated by the appointment of Reuben D. Law--dean of education and a supporter of the broad and all-inclusive education program--as president of BYU Hawaii and being replaced by Asahel Woodruff--a strong advocate of cooperation between the School of Education and other colleges.[2]

In 2009 The Physical Education Teaching/Coaching major, which had left the College of Education with the rest of the Health, P.E., and Recreation major in 1955, was brought back into the college of Recreation with the dissolution of the College of Health and Human Performance.

Educator Preparation Program (EPP)[edit]

Through the Educator Preparation Program, the McKay School of Education coordinates teacher education courses and training for all elementary and secondary education majors at BYU. The McKay school provides educator courses in six departments:

  • Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling[1]
  • Communication Disorders[2]
  • Counseling Psychology and Special Education[3]
  • Educational Leadership and Foundations[4]
  • Instructional Psychology and Technology[5]
  • Teacher Education[6]

The following six colleges and their 21 departments participate in the EPP and are supported by the McKay School of Education.

  • Biology and Agriculture
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Family, Home, and Social Sciences
  • Fine Arts and Communications
  • Humanities
  • Physical and Mathematical Sciences

BYU-Public School Partnership (BYU-PSP)[edit]

For 25 years, the Public School Partnership has facilitated collaboration between the McKay School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, and five Utah school districts (Alpine, Jordan, Nebo, Provo, and Wasatch). The Partnership includes more than 7,000 teachers, and approximately 180,000 students. BYU and the McKay School graduate approximately 1,000 certified teachers each year, many of whom receive student-teacher training at schools in the BYU-PSP.

Every year the partnership sponsors ESL endorsement training (TELL), local and regional Science Fairs such as the Central Utah Science and Engineering Fair (CUSEF)[7], local, national, and international internships, behavioral research and application (PBSI), and comprehensive mathematics and literacy education.

CITES - Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling[edit]

CITES is the organizational center that enables the BYU-Public School Partnership to maintain its focus on the simultaneous renewal of teacher education and public schooling. From educational initiatives to professional development, CITES provides opportunities for educators and schools to be involved in continuous improvement. CITES plays a critical role in organizing the collaborative efforts of the colleges that prepare teachers at Brigham Young University and the five public school districts in the Partnership.

Endorsements and training[edit]

The McKay School offers students endorsements in the following areas:

  • ESL
  • Gifted and Talented
  • Reading
  • Special Education

Student teaching opportunities are available locally within the BYU-Public School partnership, as well as nationally in Houston and Washington D.C., and internationally in Fiji, Kiribati, Mexico, Samoa, and Tonga. There are also a limited number of year-long internships available on a competitive basis.


David O. McKay was a teacher, administrator, and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was born September 8, 1873 on the family farm in Huntsville, Utah. McKay's mother worked as a teacher before marrying and his father, despite a lack of formal schooling, educated himself and helped found Weber College (now Weber State University).

After attending Huntsville School, McKay graduated from Weber Stake Academy. Then, with the help of a financial gift from his Grandmother Evens, he enrolled at the University of Utah. While at the U, he played football, studied education, and met his future wife, Emma Mae Riggs. McKay graduated as the president of his class and shortly thereafter served a mission to Scotland for the LDS Church.

McKay married Riggs shortly after returning home from Scotland. They both went to work as educators: he worked at Weber Stake Academy, and she at Madsen School in Ogden. After three years, McKay became the principal of Weber Stake Academy and was influential in helping encourage female student enrollment.

While serving as the Academy administrator, McKay served in the LDS Church as the assistant superintendent of the Weber Stake Sunday School. He created curriculum and developed in-service programs for students. In 1906, at age 32, he was called to serve in the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. As an apostle, McKay supervised the Sunday Schools for nearly three decades, and spent another two decades writing curriculum.

In 1951, McKay became president of the LDS Church at age 78. He served as church president for 19 years, before his death in 1970.

Quick facts[edit]

  • 1774 Total Students in Fall 2008
  • 150+ Faculty and Staff Members
  • 900 Annual Graduates from MSE and EPP
  • 27,000+ Graduates to date
  • TEAC Accredited

Number of degrees awarded in 2009[edit]

  • 330 Elementary Education
  • 232 Secondary Education
  • 62 Master's degrees
  • 9 PhDs
  • 147 placed Interns
  • 467 student teaching positions
  • 179 schools in the BYU Public School Partnership


  1. McKay School of Education fact sheet.
  2. David O. McKay, "True Education," Instructor, August 1961, p. 253.
  3. David O. McKay, Ancient Apostles (Salt Lake City: Deseret Sunday School Union, 1918), p. 2.
  4. "Our Namesake." McKay Today Magazine, Fall 2005. P. 16-17.
  5. Text of article is adapted from a video narrative written in committee: Glenn L. Anderson, E. Vance Randall, Melissa Randall, Stefinee Pinegar, Mary Jan Woodger, Nancy Wentworth, Elizabeth Morris, Catherine Britsch, Al Merkley, Roy Brinkerhoff, Clyde Williams, Carol Lee Hawkins, Tamee Roberts, and Dr. Edward R. McKay. Edited by McKay Today Magazine staff.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Wilkinson. BYU 100. Vol. 2, p. 776
  2. ^ Ernest L. Wilkinson, ed., Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years. (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1975) Vol. 2, p. 641-643

Coordinates: 40°14′50″N 111°39′07″W / 40.24722°N 111.65194°W / 40.24722; -111.65194