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Needs Assessment

The term needs assessment is a systematic approach that gathers data by means of established procedures and methods through a defined series of phases. Needs assessment sets priorities and determines criteria for solutions, so that stakeholders can make informed decisions. It also sets criteria to determine the most effective method to use human capital, revenue, and other resources. This entry describes how needs assessment leads to action that will improve services, programs, operations, organizational structure, and the significance of needs assessment in education research, measurement, and evaluation.

A “need” is the gap between the current state (what is) and a desired state (what should be). Needs assessments are conducted to determine needs, study their nature and causes, and prioritize future action. Needs assessments are focused ...

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