David O. McKay School of Education

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The David O. McKay School of Education, which was named after David O. McKay, operates one of the largest teacher preparation programs in the United States.

The school specializes in improving learning and teaching in the school and 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. The school was founded as the College of Education, and was 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. Second, the 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 McKay School 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 Inquiry, Measurement and Evaluation [4]
  • Educational Leadership and Foundations[5]
  • Instructional Psychology and Technology[6]
  • Teacher Education[7]

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

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

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

For 30 years, the Public School Partnership has facilitated collaboration between the McKay School of Education, five Utah school districts (Alpine, Jordan, Nebo, Provo, and Wasatch) and the arts and sciences colleges and departments BYU that participate in preparing secondary teachers. The Partnership includes more than 7,000 teachers, and approximately 180,000 students. BYU and the McKay School graduate approximately 800 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), local, national, and international internships, behavioral research and application (PBSI), and comprehensive mathematics and literacy education.

Endorsements and training[edit]

The McKay School offers students endorsements in the following areas:

  • Gifted and Talented
  • Reading
  • Special Education
  • Teaching English Language Learners

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 China. There are also a limited number of year-long internships available on a competitive basis.

Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (CITES)[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.[3]

Communication Disorders (ComD)[edit]

The Communication Disorders department offers two degrees:

  • BS in Communication Disorders
  • MS in Communication Disorders

The ComD department is also responsible for the BYU Speech and Language Clinic, which offers evaluations and treatment services in the areas of speech, language, voice, fluency, and aural rehabilitation. The mission of the Department of Communication Disorders is to "advance knowledge and learning in science and clinical practice through research, teaching, and clinical service."[4]

Counseling Psychology & Special Education (CPSE)[edit]

The Counseling Psychology & Special Education department offers four degrees:

  • BS in Special Education
  • MS in Special Education
  • EdS in School Psychology
  • PhD in Counseling Psychology

The goal of CPSE is to "...facilitate positive growth for children, youth, and adults by preparing professionals to work with students, clients, and colleagues in complex and varied educational settings. In particular, we embrace a collaborative, evidence-based approach to serving individuals with diverse strengths and needs."[5]

Educational Inquiry, Measurement, & Evaluation (EIME)[edit]

The Educational Inquiry, Measurement & Evaluation program is a PhD degree offered to students who have completed a specific set of master's level courses. Students may also be admitted if they are able to demonstrate proficiency in the subject matter of these courses through personal experience. Students admitted to the EIME program are awarded the degree upon successfully completing the following:

  • Doctoral core courses (21 credit hours)
  • Elective courses (12 credit hours)
  • Content area speciality courses (12 credit hours)
  • Seminar (2 credit hours)
  • Internship (6 credit hours)
  • Dissertation (18 credit hours)

The mission of the EIME program is to "prepare PhDs who have the knowledge, expertise, experience, and character traits to work productively as researchers, evaluators, policy analysts, assessment specialists, and/or professors in a variety of settings."[6]

Educational Leadership & Foundations (EdLF)[edit]

The Educational Leadership & Foundations department offers two degrees:

  • MEd in School Leadership
  • EdD in Education

The mission of the EdLF department is to "improve the equity and quality of teaching and learning environments throughout the world." [7]

Instructional Psychology & Technology (IP&T)[edit]

The Instructional Psychology & Technology department offers two degrees:

  • MA in Instructional Psychology & Technology
  • PhD in Instructional Psychology & Technology

IP&T's mission is to "pursue knowledge and skills in instructional design, research, measurement, evaluation and theory, to apply knowledge and technology to solve instructional problems, and to strive to live, learn, and teach by the spirit."[8]

Teacher Education (TEd)[edit]

The Teacher Education department offers degrees in five areas:

  • Elementary education
  • Early childhood education
  • Secondary education
  • Physical education teaching/coaching
  • TEd graduate program

The department's mission is to "promote excellence in education by preparing noble educators, engaging in educational scholarship, and serving in our communities."[9]


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 there, 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 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.


  • 1650 average number of students enrolled
  • more than 150 faculty and staff members
  • 900 annual graduates from MSE and EPP
  • more than 27,000 graduates to date
  • TEAC Accredited
  • 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]


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