Date of Award

1974

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Michael Bertoch

Abstract

Intermountain School in Brigham City, Utah is a coeducational boarding school operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Students are enrolled in one of three programs: Preparation for direct employment, post graduate vocational or technical training, and college.

A small group of students are in a non-graded elementary program; however, most of the new enrollees are of high school age and plan to take courses which will lead to graduation by age nineteen or twenty.

Intermountain School is located at the base of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains in Northern Utah and is considered one of the world's most unique educational institutions. The facilities now occupied by the school, were originally built by the U. S. Army during World War II and were operated as the Bushnell General Hospital. In 1946 the Army declared the hospital surplus and it was vacant until 1949 when it was turned over to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to be used as a boarding school for Navajo youth.

Prior to the time the Navajo tribe accepted the facility for a school, representatives from the tribe and Brigham City area, as well as people on a national level who had concerned themselves with the affairs of Indians, met to determine the feasibility of converting the surplus hospital into a boarding school.

At that time there were more than 18,000 Navajo youth of school age who were not in school. Many of them were 12 years of age or older and had never had an opportunity to set foot inside of a school. It was determined that the existing facilities at Brigham City could help solve the problem of the critical school shortage on the reservation.

With some remodeling and the addition of a few new buildings, they began operation and received the first group of Navajo youth (542) in January, 1950. Since that time the school has operated at a capacity of about 2,150 students each year. The last two years the enrollment has dropped considerably: in 1970-71, there was an enrollment of 1,500 students.

Approximately 3,800 students have graduated from the school, according to Smoke Signals (1970), it employs a work force of 300 teachers, guidance personnel, maintenance personnel and medical staff.

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Psychology Commons

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