Program Prioritization Initiative (PPI)

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In 2014 Delaware State University (DSU) began a Program Prioritization Initiative (PPI). The evaluation process examined all academic and administrative programs and services, focusing on their efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and centrality to the University’s mission and strategic plan goals relating to intellectual climate as well as institutional and operational effectiveness. The Taskforce was comprised of two subgroups: the Academic PPI and the Administrative PPI working groups. The focus herein will be on the outcomes of the Academic PPI process.

To implement this comprehensive evaluation, in late 2013 DSU President Harry L. Williams appointed a PPI Taskforce, which included faculty, staff and administrators. The Academic PPI Taskforce was comprised of 12-members. The group was chaired by Dr. Donald Becker, chair of the Department of Art as well as chair of the Chairs Council. As committee chair, Dr. Becker was charged with providing the leadership for implementing a process by which to seek consistent feedback from all stakeholders; thinking critically, strategically and analytically using data to develop its recommendations concerning program retention or deactivation. In this initiative, the University has taken a hard look at each academic program to assess its enrollment and degree productivity, the external professional job market demand for the program graduates, the program costs, and the quality of program inputs.

The taskforce’s recommendations were submitted to Dr. Alton Thompson, who served as provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs from August 2010 until his retirement in March 2016. The provost developed the final recommendations and submitted them to the DSU Board of Trustees, which during its January 21, 2016 public meeting approved the final list of program deactivations.

Based on the findings of the PPI, the below 21 degree programs have been identified as low priority and have been deactivated. Deans have been charged with development of teach-out plans for all deactivated programs to enable all students currently enrolled in these programs opportunities to complete degrees in their currently enrolled discipline. However, no new students will be accepted into these programs.

The 21 deactivated degree programs (and the degree concentrations under them) are:


  • Art Management
  • Biology Education
  • Chemistry Education
  • Elementary Special Education – Grades 1-8
  • English Education
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • French
  • Physics Education
  • Secondary Special Education – Grades 7-12
  • Spanish
  • World Language Education
    • French
    • Spanish

Graduate (all the below are master’s degree programs)

  • MA Applied Chemistry
  • MS Art Education
  • MA Biological Sciences
    • General Biology
    • Biology Education
  • MA Education
    • Curriculum and Instruction
    • Adult Basic Education
    • Special Education
  • MS Family and Consumer Science Education
  • MA Historic Preservation
  • MS Mathematics Education
  • MS Physics Teaching
  • MA Science Education
  • MA Teaching