The BYU Division of Continuing Education (DCE) is a division of Brigham Young University that oversees continuing education programs.
Attempts at BYU to offer continuing education programs date back to Karl G. Maeser offering night classes to workers at the Provo Woolen Mills in 1876. However night classes and other attempts to reach out to non-matriculated students were haphazard through the next few decades.
The Polysophical Society was organized in 1877 to give lectures open to the general public. At first most of the lectures were given by students. By 1903 the program was organized as the lyceum program with John C. Swensen as its director and most of the lectures were either by BYU faculty or by professors and lecturers invited from elsewhere.
The DCE as an organization began in 1921 when Franklin S. Harris, BYU's president, organized the Extension Division. Lowry Nelson served as the first director. Nelson believed that educational opportunity should not be limited to those who could formally attend colleges and universities in the standard campus format. In 1946 Harold Glen Clark was made director of the extension division. Clark oversaw a major expansion of the role of BYU and the expansion or creation of many of the programs that BYU still offers, staying at the head of the program until he became the first president of the Provo Utah Temple.
Bachelor of General Studies
The Bachelor of General Studies program is an accredited bachelor's degree from BYU, designed to help former BYU students who left the university without a degree complete their studies. The motto is "Finish at home what you started at BYU." Students may apply previously earned credit towards their final degree.
Students who are formally accepted into the BGS program complete a Bachelor of General Studies degree, with a major in General Studies, and an emphasis in American Studies, English, Family Life, History, Management or Psychology.
Evening classes offered allows students and members of the community attend BYU classes without formally applying to the university. Classes can be taken to satisfy degree requirements for transfer to another university, or to satisfy educational or career goals.
Campus Education Week
Campus Education Week is a one-week time of lectures in August. Most of the participants are adults, significantly more females than males, who want to augment their education. However there are also teenage youth participants with some lectures aimed specifically at teenagers and even dances for the youth. The minimum age for participation is 14. Over 1,000 classes are offered.
The program began in 1922 when it began as leadership week. It was originally held during the winter to allow for attendance by farmers. In 1950 it moved to the summer and in 1963 the name was changed to education week.
In 2009 attendance was around 20,000.
Some education week lectures are broadcast over the LDS Church satellite network, while others are shown on BYU-TV.
Conferences and workshops
BYU's DCE oversees a range of conferences and workshops. Many of these are short summer programs aimed at improving the skills of specific professional groups. These include summer workshops aimed at providing continuing education credits to teachers, but which are also open to interested parents of elementary and secondary students, which are co-sponsored with the David O. McKay School of Education.
BYU Women's Conference
BYU Women's Conference is a two-day conference co-sponsored by the LDS Church's Relief Society organization and BYU and is open to women and men, ages 16 and older. Both days of the conference begin and end with a general session in the Marriott Center, where all participants meet together.
Between the general sessions there are three one-hour concurrent sessions, with up to 16 sessions to choose from each hour. Topics, centered around the annual theme, include home, family, marriage, service, gospel (scripture, doctrine), and other topics such as missionary work and educationâ"all discussed from a gospel perspective and directed toward women.
The summer InterMuse program offers work in the methods pioneered by ZoltÃ¡n KodÃ¡ly. This program has been held annually at BYU since 1996.
BYU's Native American Educational Outreach Program is also co-ordinated under the Conferences and Workshops section of the DCE.
Especially for Youth
Especially for Youth is a program run through BYU's DCE for youth ages 14â"18 with the goal of helping the central mission statement to "help them come unto Christ". It seeks to emphasize physical, spiritual, intellectual and social growth. Although run through BYU and with large numbers of participants at BYU it also occurs at various locations throughout the United States and abroad. The program is mainly run on university campuses.
BYU Dance Camps offers dance instruction in ballet, ballroom, clogging, ethnic, folk, jazz, modern and tap. Faculty from BYU's department of Dance, along with guest instructors, direct and teach the Dance Camps. The BYU Dance Department is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance.
The BYU Independent study program offers over 550 courses. They are grouped under four general headings, University Courses, High School Course, Middle School Courses and Free Courses. The program is headquartered in the George Q. Morris Center. BYU Independent Study began in 1921.
BYU's high school level independent study courses are accredited by both the Northwest Accreditation Commission and the Distance Education and Training Council. The program has been praised as an option for home schooling parents.
In May 2010 the NCAA banned the use of BYU Independent Study high school courses as course credit for students bound for Division I schools. This was done because Michael Oher had several years earlier used BYU Independent Study courses to boost his grades. However it was done without consulting BYU on the matter. After the announcement of disallowance the NCAA said that they wanted courses to have mandated student/teacher interaction and to have a minimum course completion time. BYU's courses generally have maximum completion times but not minimum ones.
BYU Conference Center
The BYU Conference Center is located on the northeastern part of campus, and shares a lobby with the Harman Continuing Education Building. The Conference Center is primarily used for university sponsored conferences and events, but is also available for rent by groups outside the university.
BYU Jerusalem Center
The Jerusalem Center is BYU's center for study in Jerusalem. Students enroll through the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, travel to the Holy Land, and live in the center for programs that extend for approximately four months. Students study a core curriculum that focuses on Old and New Testament, ancient and modern Near Eastern studies, and language (Hebrew and Arabic). Classroom study is built around field trips that cover the length and breadth of the Holy Land.
Salt Lake Center
The Salt Lake Center is one of two satellite campuses operated by BYU. Beginning in 1952 lectures and classes were periodically offered by BYU faculty in Salt Lake City. In January 1959 the BYU Salt Lake Center was formally organized with Lynn M. Hilton as chairman. It was originally located in the Alfred McCune House, but this proved to be too small for the program. Other courses were offered at the Craft House, Barrett Hall, the Salt Lake Assembly Hall, the Institute of Religion adjacent to the University of Utah, and many other locations. In 1972 the Salt Lake Center was relocated to 401 Twelfth Avenue in the former Veteran's Hospital.
Today the BYU Salt Lake Center is located in the former Triad Center.
The Ricks center was authorized in July 1956. It was created after Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) went from being a 4-year college back to being a two-year college. It was formed largely to provide continuing education classes to teachers. J. Kenneth Thatcher, who was the superintendent of the Sugar-Salem School District in Idaho, was hired to organize the center. Besides classes on the Ricks College campus the center also offered classes through its sub-office in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
The BYU-Ogden Center was located in the old LDS Institute of Religion building in Ogden, which was vacated when a new building was set up near the new Weber Junior College (now Weber State University) campus in 1957. In establishing the center, Ernest L. Wilkinson, president of BYU, and Joseph Fielding Smith, chairman of the executive committee of the BYU Board of Trustees, sent a letter in which they emphasized that the institution was geared toward adult continuing education programs and not meant at all to compete with Weber Junior College. Mark A. Benson, a son of Ezra Taft Benson, was appointed as the first director of the Ogden Center when it opened in August 1957.
The BYU-California center was started in 1959, with central offices but most courses given in LDS Church buildings scattered throughout southern California. Until 1969 almost all the courses offered were non-credit classes. Starting in 1959 the center offered an Ed.D. program.
- Ernest L. Wilkinson, ed., Brigham Young University: The First 100 Years. Vol. 2, p.Â 782-794. These pages consist of charts that show the historical development of the various BYU colleges and their constituent departments through the end of 1975.
- Official website of DCE