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From left to right, Melissa Heath, Timothy Smith and Ellie Young stand in the McKay Education Building at BYU. (Credit: Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

The BYU school psychology program was recently named the No. 1 program out of 136 of its kind in faculty research productivity.

That means the faculty do more, high-quality research than any other group of school psychology professors in the United States.

The three top producers from BYU — Timothy Smith, Ellie Young and Melissa Heath — were also listed among the top 25 individual researchers in the nation.

“Beyond the numerical, cross-sectional comparisons in the recent article, we are more pleased with the contribution that our research makes to the quality of our public schools,” said BYU counseling psychology and special education department chair Lane Fischer.

BYU’s program preps students to work in K-12 schools, solving problems and creating safe, supportive learning environments for children. All students work with faculty on research as they go through school, preparing them to recognize and implement evidence-based best practices in their careers.

“We want to enhance our schools,” Fischer said. “Our research in effective screening of students who are vulnerable to emotional and behavioral disorders that can disrupt their schooling enhances our schools. Our research into crisis management, suicide prevention and response to crises enhances our schools. Our research into the multicultural competence of providers enhances our schools. We are pleased to make such a contribution. That’s where our real satisfaction lies.”

This No. 1 ranking for the program is based on findings from a study that examined scholarly works published between 2002 and 2011 by faculty in programs throughout the US and appeared in Research and Practice in the Schools.