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College of Education

College of Education

The Boise State University College of Education “meaningfully engages with communities through innovative teacher preparation and education research.”


When BJC began in 1932, education was one of nine courses for the academic year, but only as a preparatory certificate to transfer to a four-year program. By Fall 1935, BJC offered education programs, with curricula designed to help a student qualify for the Idaho State Board of Education State Elementary Certificate.1 In 1948, the State Board of Education established a timeline, where by 1955 all teachers regularly certified for teaching in Idaho must complete at least four years of college. Thus by 1950, the BJC curriculum for Elementary Certification required practice teaching and coursework to meet the level of credit hours. To help with teaching practice, BJC partnered with the Independent School District to construct an elementary school on campus. The Campus School opened in 1953, was operated by the School District, and closed in 1990.

In the 1940s, education was listed in the catalog as the Department of Instruction, under the Division of Social Sciences, where it remained until Summer 1968. With the move into the state college system, the Division of Social Sciences, which included Criminology, Education, History, Library Science, Philosophy, Psychology, Political Science, Social Work and Sociology disbanded. All academic departments moved to different schools within BSC, except Education which formed the School of Education.

During the BSC era, the School of Education offered undergraduate programs in Teacher Education, Library Science (minor), Physical Education for Men and Women, and Psychology. The department was also responsible for the Instructional Materials Center, the Curriculum Resource Center, Reading Education Center, and the Educational Television program.

The School of Education moved into the Education Building shortly after its construction in 1979. At the dedication ceremony, Boise State recognized retiring Dean of Education Gerald Wallace for his service with a portrait featured in the new building. While most of the Education department centralized in the new Education Building, the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation were all located in the gymnasium. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s the School of Education oversaw the Department of Athletics, where coaches also served as teaching faculty, this changed in the 1980s.


Dr. Gerald R. Wallace, 1968-1979
Dr. Richard Hart, 1979-1992
Dr. Robert D. Barr, 1992-1998
Dr. Glenn R. Potter (Interim), 1998-2001
Dr. Joyce Lynn Garrett, 2001-2004
Dr. Margaret Miller (Interim), 2004-2006
Dr. Diane Booth, 2006-2015
Dr. Richard Osguthorpe, 2015-

First Masters Degrees

The first two masters degree programs offered at BSC were Master of Arts in Elementary Education and Masters of Business Administration, both first offered in Fall 1971. BSC offered three specific MA degrees: Education, Reading Education, Education – Core Enriched. Carmen J. Mayes and Elizabeth L. Taylor were the first students to complete the Masters of Arts in Elementary Education, and Ralph Newell Downes, Mariel D. Fritschle, and Amy Wik Vinz were the first to complete the Master of Arts in Elementary Core Enriched Education (May 21, 1972 commencement).

First Doctorate Degree

The Idaho State Board of Education approved an Ed.D in curriculum and instruction in June 1992. Dr. Robert Barr, Dean of Education, said “This is a degree that will help them become better teachers… it is not to train them to leave the classroom to become administrators or counselors.”3 The first graduates of the program in 1997 were Alecia R. Baker, Christopher Eugene Francovich, Brenton Allen Kidder, Eileen Ann Thornburgh, and Patricia N. Toney.

University Catalogs
Focus, November 1979Summer 1992

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