McDermott/Doyle Program

Program Philosophy

Mount Carmel High School has a history of developing each student’s unique potential for learning so that he will develop the needed skills to prepare for his journey after high school.

In 1992, consistent with this philosophy, Mount Carmel established the Frank McDermott/Patrick Doyle Program for Developmental Learning to meet the needs of Catholic students who have specific learning disabilities, but who have potential to succeed at the college level.


Student Success

The success of McDermott-Doyle students is linked to a number of factors. First and foremost is the willingness and the determination of the student to work hard. Second, parental support is a key factor. Third, students are expected to cooperate with classroom teachers and follow the rules and policies of Mount Carmel High School. When a student follows these guidelines, he is typically quite successful. While not all graduates of the McDermott-Doyle Program pursue college, many have attended, and graduated, from four- year institutions, including Marquette University, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Loras College, Eastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, Carthage College, Miami (OH) University, and the University of Illinois.

Modifications to Curriculum

With the exception of waiving the requirement of studying foreign language, no curricular modifications are made for McDermott-Doyle students: they must meet the same standards as any student at Mount Carmel. No extra time is given for projects or papers, and all assigned homework is to be completed at the time the teacher indicates. As a college prep school, Mount Carmel adheres to the guidelines established by colleges/universities which offer support to students with learning disabilities.

The program is designed to provide a program for students who meet some or all of the following criteria:

  • Average or above intelligence, as assessed by the educational and psychological testing.
  • A significant discrepancy between intelligence and achievement. 
  • Difficulty in processing learning tasks which may be related to deficits in visual perception, visual memory, auditory perception, auditory memory and/or visual-motor integration
  • Work habits and behavior, which demonstrate the potential to succeed in college-preparatory program. 
  • Students who typically have received less than 400 minutes of support per week at the grammar school level

Benefits of the McDermott/Doyle Program

  • Serves a broad range of academic levels
  • Transition plan from grade school to high school. 
  • Entrance Exam: Accommodations for IEP and 504 plans during the entrance exam if taken at Mount Carmel. 
  • Co-teaching: A McDermott/Doyle teacher is present in a classroom setting so the pace of teaching does not affect the student's learning while still experiencing college-prep courses. 
  • Testing center
  • Small class sizes: Student-teacher ratio of 5 to 1 during program hours
  • Daily access to McDermott/Doyle resources for one period per day or 200 minutes per week. 

Maintaining Enrollment

To maintain enrollment in the McDermott/Doyle program, a student must demonstrate a serious work ethic and must update his file of educational tests every three years. All students who have documented IEP or 504 are required to provide such documentation at the time of the entrance exam or enrollment. This program does not accommodate for BD and ED. 

Please contact Ms. Maureen O'Donnell to discuss if Mount Carmel's McDermott/Doyle Program is right for your son. 


McDermott/Doyle Faculty

Mrs. Maureen O'Donnell

Mrs. Maureen O'Donnell

Director of the McDermott/Doyle Program
modonnell@mchs.org