Formed in 1984, the Brigham Young University–Public School Partnership is a collaborative effort of three groups:
- The David O. McKay School of Education
- The arts and sciences colleges and departments at BYU that participate in preparing secondary teachers.
- Five public school districts (Alpine, Jordan, Nebo, Provo City, and Wasatch County)
The foundational principle of the BYU–Public School Partnership states that improving public education requires teacher training institutions and public schools to collaborate to simultaneously improve teacher education and K–12 student learning. Participating school districts educate about one-third of Utah's school children, and they employ over 7,000 teachers.
The Governing Board of the Partnership includes the superintendents of the five participating school districts, the dean of the McKay School of Education, and the executive director of CITES (the Partnership's facilitating unit). This board collaboratively identifies needs that can be most effectively addressed by the combined efforts of the university and school districts. For organizational purposes, Partnership initiatives are grouped under three categories: professional development, education support, and research and publications.
The effectiveness of the BYU–Public School Partnership is due to mutual trust and respect of the partners as relationships are built, resources are shared, and collaboration and honest communication are achieved. Through this process, growth and improvement continue. Positive changes occur in teacher education as well as in student learning at both the university and public school levels.
CITES: Established in 1996, the Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (CITES) is the operational unit of the Partnership, facilitating its goals, objectives, projects, programs, and initiatives. Through its three divisions, professional development, education support, and education research, CITES serves the needs of all three partnership entities: the public schools, the McKay School of Education, and the BYU departments that participate in preparing secondary educators.
EPP: The Educator Preparation Program (EPP) is a collaborative unit which prepares undergraduate secondary teaching majors or minors. The EPP consists of the McKay School of Education and seven other BYU colleges, comprising 26 departments.