McKay School History

"The only thing that is constant is change." —Heraclitus

When you were at BYU, you may have been enrolled at the College of Education; the name was changed in 1997. This was not the first change. In 1903, when Brigham Young Academy became Brigham Young University, we were called the Church Teachers College. In 1920 we were the School of Education, but in 1921 we became the College of Education. In 1997 the name was changed to the David O. McKay School of Education.


Photos Courtesy, L.Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
Photos Courtesy, The Banyan, Associated Students of Brigham Young University, 1980–1985, Provo, UT.


Early History

McKay School History is BYU's History

The Brigham Young Academy was established on October 16, 1875, with Warren N. Dusenberry as interim principal. Karl G. Maeser became the principal on April 14, 1876.

The Brigham Young Academy was a normal school, with the purpose of training teachers and establishing teaching standards or norms, hence the name. Some Academy students were at the elementary level and received tutoring from older students. By August 28, 1876, the academy had three academic departments: normal, intermediate, and primary.

On January 4, 1892, Benjamin Cluff Jr. became principal of the Brigham Young Academy and head of the Latter-day Saints Normal Training School. The organization was changed to include the following:

  • Kindergarten
  • Primary School
  • High School
  • College or Collegiate Department
  • Commercial College

On October 23, 1903, Brigham Young Academy became Brigham Young University. On April 16, 1903, George H. Brimhall was named president of BYU.

Deans of the College of Education/McKay School of Education

Alumni history chart

Your own department may have also gone through name changes.

The Department of Communication Disorders

  • was Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

The Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education

  • was the Department of Counseling and Special Education
  • and before that the Department of Educational Psychology

Teacher Education was once two separate departments

  • Elementary Education
  • Secondary Education

Instructional Psychology and Technology has been renamed twice

  • Instructional Science
  • Instructional Psychology

In 1954, the Department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation became a separate college. In 2010 that department was absorbed into other colleges around campus with the Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) relocated in the Department of Teacher Education in the McKay School.

* Ernest L. Wilkinson’s Brigham Young University: The First Hundred Years
* Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education, A Chronological History compiled by Darwin Gale