In 1996 Elementary Education was established as a baccalaureate degree program and was given permission by the Utah State Board of Regents to admit one cohort of 30 students into the professional program. New programs are required by the Regents to complete a three-year trial to insure the quality.  The Regents granted New Program approval in 1999.  

A Department of Secondary Education was approved by the Regents in 2001 with degrees in biology education, English education, and earth science education and was expanded in 2002 to include history education, mathematics education, chemistry/physics education, physical education and business/marketing education. In 2006 theatre education, dance education, music education, deaf studies education, Spanish education, and school health education gained Regents’ approval, with art education in 2010, and chemistry and physics divided into separate degrees bringing the total secondary education licensure programs at the university to 16.  Additionally in 2002, the Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education, previously housed in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS), were taken from HASS and combined to form the new, School of Education.

With student population growth and the associated program expansion, the School of Education was reassigned from the main campus complex to a remodeled elementary school building on the north portion of campus in 2005, which was later named the McKay Education Building.  Currently, the School of Education at Utah Valley University maintains between 800-900 students working through the program.

The Elementary Education professional program is also offered at the Wasatch Campus in Heber City, Utah, with a new cohort beginning every other year.  Cohorts there compare with those on the Orem Campus in terms of admission scores, demographics, and performance in the program.

Reflecting a high level of support from community, business, education, and government leaders, in the 2007 Utah legislative session unanimously approved changing the name and designation of the institution to Utah Valley University, which became effective July 1, 2008.  In conjunction with the change to university status, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction was initiated in the School of Education. The Master of Education degree program offers five options: models of instruction, ESL, educational technology, elementary math, and reading.  Additionally, licensure endorsements are offered in dual language emersion, educational technology, ESL, gifted and talented, math, reading level 1, and STEM.