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ERIC Number: ED402970
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jul
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Assessing Regional and Community Needs through the Use of Focus Groups.
Johnson, Mark; Brenton, Angela
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) and Little Rock's Pulaski Technical College (PTC) have both used the focus group process with key constituents to understand institutional needs and priorities and public expectations of their institutions. The model followed by both institutions consists of the following three phases: forming the group, considering the composition, locations, and scheduling; conducting the group, including issues related to defining the purpose, controlling discussion, and recording results; and using the results. When holding their focus groups, both colleges used a computerized decision support center located at UALR, providing individual computer terminals for all participants and allowing for both verbal interaction and simultaneous and anonymous responses to questions via the computers. The focus group participants at PTC represented employer groups reflecting the major areas of the college's occupational curriculum, while participants at UALR consisted of business leaders, educators, and parents. Benefits gained by PTC from the process included information that will help the college define strategic directions, the ability of the college president and staff to received direct feedback, and improved public relations. For UALR, the process revealed that constituents knew less about college programs than had been assumed, shed light on constituents' expectations, and increased their sense of identification with the college. (TGI)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A