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Programs of Strategic Emphasis

Emphasizing and encouraging the development of academic programs with strategic significance is one of several tools used to better align the degree production goals of the State University System with the economic and workforce needs of Florida.  Periodically, the Board of Governors’ office conducts an environmental scan to identify labor market demand for university graduates.  A number of economic and workforce-related reports are reviewed during this process, and trends are identified to assist in updating the Board’s official list of academic Programs of Strategic Emphasis (PSE).  This process identifies occupational areas with high demand for postsecondary graduates and provides an opportunity to identify emerging and evolving business sectors and occupations.  Prior to the most recent update in October 2019, the Board last approved updates to the PSE list in 2013, and there were substantial changes in the economy and the job market between those updates.

The Board of Governors is now on its fourth iteration of this exercise, with each yielding categories and programs for the System upon which to strategically focus resources.  Although there is considerable overlap in actual programs from one iteration to the next, the nomenclature has changed over time.  The original methodology and program list were created as part of a 2001 Advisory Group on Emerging Technologies.  The first revision occurred in 2005 as part of the development of the SUS Strategic Plan and was referred to as the Targeted Program List.  The second revision was developed in 2008 and titled Areas of Programmatic Strategic Emphasis, which was also part of the Board of Governors’ Strategic Plan.  The third revision was carried out in November of 2013 as part of the Board’s Strategic Plan Alignment effort and became effective in the 2014-15 academic year.  The title was simplified to Programs of Strategic Emphasis or PSEs at that time.  The current iteration of the list was approved by the Board on October 30, 2019 and will take effect in the 2020-21 academic year.

Periodic update of the Programs of Strategic Emphasis is critical because the categories and associated program list are used in key Board planning documents including the annual Accountability Plans, Academic Program Coordination, and New Academic Program Approval.  PSEs have also become a component of Performance Based Funding.

This webpage provides historical as well as up-to-date information on degree programs associated with the categories of strategic emphasis that were approved by the Board of Governors to align the degree production goals of the State University System with the economic and workforce needs of Florida.

Current Programs of Strategic Emphasis (PSE) (effective 2020-21 academic year):

Previous Programs of Strategic Emphasis (PSE) (expired)

Historical Changes in the Categories of Strategic Emphasis

CURRENT (list approved in 2013, effective fall 2014 term)PREVIOUS (list approved in 2008, expired at the end of summer 2014 term)
1.Critical Workforce – Education1.Critical Needs – Education
2.Critical Workforce – Health2.Critical Needs – Health Professions
3.Critical Workforce – Gap Analysis3.Economic Development – Regional Workforce Demand
4.Economic Development – Global Competitiveness4.Economic Development – Globalization
5.Economic Development – STEM5.Science, Technology Engineering, and Math (STEM)
6.Critical Needs – Security and Emergency Services