Program Definition

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Defining Academic Programs for Program Prioritization at Gallaudet University Program Prioritization Task Force (PPTF)


"An operational definition of a program is any activity or collection of activities of the institution that consumes resources (dollars, people, space, equipment and time)." Dickeson, R. (2010). Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services; San Francisco; Jossey-Bass.


Gallaudet University Program Prioritization Definition:
Academic Program: an organized and directed accumulation of resources (including courses) to accomplish specific educational objectives.

The following are examples from academic programs that will be reviewed by the PPTF that are directly associated with degree-granting departments:

  • Majors
  • Concentrations within Majors or Graduate programs if the department defines them as a different "program"
  • Minors
  • Certificate Programs
  • Masters degrees, with the exception of masters degrees that are embedded within a Specialist or Ph.D. program
  • Specialist degrees
  • Doctoral degrees
  • Developmental Programs (ASL, English and Math)

The following are examples of academic programs that will be reviewed by the PPTF that are not directly associated with degree-granting departments:

  • General Studies Requirements (GSR)
  • Honors Program
  • First Year Experience (FYE)
  • English Language Institute (CPSO)
  • Burstein Leadership Institute (CPSO)
     o  Association Leadership and Management Program
     o  Early Education Professional Development Leadership Program
     o  Educational Specialist (Ed.S) in Change Leadership in Education
     o  Entrepreneur Leadership Program

The reality of available data, time and resources means that "academic programs" are likely to be assessed at the lowest levels of aggregation for which institutional data can be obtained (departments or programs).

PPTF; March 1, 2010

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