Business News for the Mississippi Delta

Delta State Prepares Future Industry Leaders 

By William N. LaForge

To ensure that our Delta neighbors are aware of some of Delta State’s key and signature academic programs, I am pleased to provide a brief overview of a few of the disciplines that, in many cases, are exclusive to Delta State, and that attract a wide array of students from around the state and nation.  In almost all cases, these academic fields lead directly to jobs for our graduates.

Commercial Aviation

As the only university in the state offering an aviation curriculum, Delta State provides pathways for our graduates to careers in flight operations and piloting, aviation management, and logistics.  Flight operations students earn a degree and a pilot’s license, and can go to work immediately for an airline or industrial carrier.  Those graduates in aviation manage-ment find airport tower and related industry positions, and logistics graduates have an opportunity to land jobs that help solve the problems we are experiencing with product supply chain movement.  The university will soon add five new flight trainer aircraft to its fleet to help provide the flight slots necessary to meet an expected surge in pilot training and to address the demands of the airline industry as thousands of pilots retire over the next few years. 

Teacher Preparation

Since its founding nearly 100 years ago, Delta State has maintained a strong academic focus on the preparation of teachers, counselors, and administrators for careers in elementary and secondary education.  School systems throughout the state and elsewhere welcome our education majors because they know those graduates are well-prepared as future educators.

Delta Music Institute (DMI) 

Delta State’s entertainment industries programs, also one-of-a-kind in the state, prepare students for careers in the music and entertainment businesses, including audio engineering, music com-position, entrepreneurship, multimedia technology, and stage/event production.  Working together with Mississippi artists in residence—such as Steve Azar and Tricia Walker—prepares many of our graduates to land jobs in some of the country’s well-known entertainment venues and businesses. 

Digital Media Arts (DMA)

A joint venture involving Delta State’s Art Department and the Delta Music Institute, the DMA program provides a curriculum rich in graphics, digital art forms, and even animation—the latter serving as the only such program in the state. Our graduates can go on to careers in graphic design, and even creating video games.


Delta State’s well-known Robert E. Smith School of Nursing produces some of the state’s best nurses and Nurse Practitioners. Our graduates consistently achieve 98-100 percent passing rates on the state nursing licensure exams.  We just broke ground on a renovation of, and addition to, the existing nursing school facility, which will result in an enrollment capacity increase of 60-80 more students in the years ahead.  Delta State is making a major contribution to the Delta and the state in helping to mitigate the severe nursing shortage, not only with traditional four-year programs, but with our innovative on-line RN to BSN program.

Geospatial Information Technologies (GIT)

These academic programs, also unique to Delta State, encompass the use of geographic information systems, remote sensing, global positioning systems (GPS), and spatial analysis techniques to understand problems from a geographic perspective. Our students learn about mapping and other geospatial strategies that help inform weather forecasting and response, national defense and intelligence decision-making, and a wide array of business problem-solving.

Social Work

Delta State’s Social Work programs provide our students with the skills and experiences necessary to support a career in an important “helping profession” that is vital to businesses and organizations such as hospitals, home health agencies, hospice agencies, nursing homes, schools, community action agencies, correctional agencies, programs for the aging, recreation programs, mental health centers, mental retardation centers, juvenile courts, and child welfare agencies.  These caring professionals make major contributions to the Delta communities they serve.


Delta State’s Division of Mathematics and Sciences prepares students for careers in biology, chemistry, and environmental science, among others.  The university is well-known for its excellent preparation of students wishing to pursue graduate and professional school studies and careers in health related professional programs, including medicine, dentistry, medical laboratory sciences, dental hygiene, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, radiologic sciences, and veterinary medicine.


Delta State’s College of Business and Aviation includes a well-recognized program in accountancy that provides our students with the skills and knowledge to be successful accountants and business managers.  This program contributes significantly to businesses throughout the Delta by providing well-qualified accountants who wish to pursue their careers, and live, in the Mississippi Delta.

These and many other superb programs make up the core of Delta State’s curriculum and academic mission, and our outstanding faculty deliver on our promise to provide our students with the very best academic experience possible that prepares them for a rewarding career.

For more information about Delta State’s academic programs, please go to or call 1.800.GO.TO.DSU (1-800-468-4378). DBJ 

William N. LaForge is President of Delta State University.