USC: Continuing and Professional Education

Information for specific audiences:


Needs Based Assessment and Research


Needs assessment is a necessary tool for program development, evaluation, and essential for the grant writing process. In this intensive course, we will examine the necessary components of a successful Needs Assesment such as organizational capacity, availability of resources, research and statistics, unmet needs, and community partners. Participants will learn both practical and conceptual aspects that are important to the development process. Emphasis is given to research and relevant statistics.

The workshop format will feature both lecture sessions and group activities throughout the training. Participants will attend several group sessions enabling them to meet and interact with others who have similar interests and needs.  Class participants will assemble to discuss relevant issues and strategies with other professionals from similar disciplines (such as education, mental health, social service, health care, law enforcement, etc.).


Upcoming Sessions

 Course: PE16-2089: Needs Based Assessment and Research
 Dates: Friday: 04/29/16 - 04/29/16
 Times: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
 Fee: $295.00
 Session(s): 1
 Notes: Approximately one week before the course date, you will receive an email with course details (location, parking, etc).

 Course: PE16-2094: Needs Based Assessment and Research
 Dates: Tuesday: 07/12/16 - 07/12/16
 Times: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
 Fee: $295.00
 Session(s): 1
 Notes: Approximately one week before the course date, you will receive an email with course details (location, parking, etc).

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After this course you will be able to: 

  • Understand the definition of a Needs Based Assessment
  • Understand where to locate relevant statistical data
  • Facilitate a community based focus groups
  • Define the components of a comprehensive assessment

 Course Outline:

Lesson 1. What is a Needs Assessment?
Lesson 2. Why do a Needs Assessment?
Lesson 3. How to plan a comprehensive study
Lesson 4. How to facilitate a successful focus group
Lesson 5. How to compile a comprehensive assessment

About the Instructor:     Dr. Vanessa Nelson-Reed

Dr. Vanessa Nelson-Reed is the Director of the Education Support Services Unit at J.A. White & Associates, Inc. in Columbia, South Carolina.  She possesses over 15 years of experience in grants management, peer reviewing for grants, and request for proposals (RFP) development. 

She has a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Capella University, a Masters in Education in College Student Development from Virginia Tech, and a Bachelors in Journalism from the University of South Carolina.  She brings her practical experience, hands on experience to the Grant Writing courses.  She lives in Irmo with her husband Larry and their two children.


If you would prefer to register by phone, please contact us at (803) 777-9444.


Other important links:

Columbia, SC 29208 • 803-777-9444 • Contact Us