Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Needs Assessment

When attending a conference like ASCA 2013, there is a lot to learn - including learning about a whole bunch of things that I "should" be doing that I'm not.  I welcome the growth opportunities....but at times I felt myself saying "where have I been?" Completing a needs assessment is one of those things that I "should be doing". I found myself asking why I never did one of these. Maybe it was because I felt like I was so involved in the school community that I had a handle on the needs of my student population and the needs of the staff I was working with daily. Maybe it was because I feel, at times, I'm doing as much as I possibly can on any given day. Maybe part of me was concerned about the response I would get (a scary place for a perfectionist to go). Whatever the reason, this year was going to be different.

After ASCA 2013, I began searching for some needs assessment examples and much to my delight, I came across an assessment created by Tabitha over at Scrapbook of a School Counselor. Thank you, Tabitha! You were my saving grace! I was so thankful that she shared her work - I didn't have to start from scratch! I loved the wording of her items so much that I combined her needs assessment and added my own questions to create what I ended up using with my staff. Click on her graphic to view her needs assessment!

I used the "Form" option in Google Drive to create my needs assessment/survey. It was so incredibly easy to do! 

  1. Go to Google Drive
  2. Click on Create (upper left) and choose Forms
  3. Pick the design you would like for the background
  4. Add a title for your needs assessment
  5. Add your items and responses. There are so many different item options to use when setting up your survey. Really, they are easy to enter, easy to view, and easy to edit.
  6. Click on "Response Destination" above your form to decide how you want responses to be collected. I chose the spreadsheet option.
  7. When you are finished creating, click Send Form (upper right). Copy the link to include in your email or correspondence to staff members.
Staff have until Friday to respond, but I am really learning a lot by reading their responses. I already have ideas brewing and some changes I would like to make just from the responses I have received thus far. 

To access my needs assessment to get some item and response ideas to create your own, click on the graphic to the right.

I highly encourage you to take some time to create one of these and to get it out there to your staff. I have received such valuable feedback through this technique. Once I got past the initial nerves of opening up the response spreadsheet, I have been validated, challenged, and comforted by the responses I was reading. You will too!



  1. I have done staff AND parent needs assessments and I agree - I get nervous before opening the results, too!

    1. Tanya , I couldn't help but notice your hands project logo immediately . Where are you located? In Oregon? I know Ann Kelly and have implemented the Hands Project . Nice to see others know about it too! Vangie

  2. Love, love love the needs assessment. I will definitely be using this!! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  3. This has been so very helpful! Appreciate your detailed instructions!

  4. This is such a great resource. I am looking forward to analyzing the data produced!

  5. How do you enter questions with multiple scales? Like the one on the third page of your form.