State Activities: Needs Assessment

The State Plan included in the application for a State Professional Development Grant (SPDG) must include a needs assessment "that identifies critical aspects and areas in need of improvement related to the preparation, ongoing training, and professional development of personnel who serve infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and children with disabilities within the State, including–

  • Current and anticipated personnel vacancies and shortage
  • The number of preserve and inservice programs"

National Projects

SPeNSE Reports (Study of Personnel Needs in Special Education)
Key findings of the work of the SPeNSE Project are presented in reports and fact sheets.

A National Assessment of Staff Development Needs Related to the Education of Students with Disabilities. Focus on Exceptional Children, (April 2003) by Meyen, Edward L, Ramp, Eugene, Harrod, Cheryl A, Bui, Yvonne N. Includes description of method and lessons learned in national study to determine high priority needs for staff development.

State Examples

Teacher Supply and Demand in the State of Colorado
Produced by the Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory, 2003.This 74 page report describes the Colorado teacher workforce from 1999 through 2001. It also contains detailed information on the special education teacher workforce in Appendix H (pdf ).

South Dakota
Seeking more information to guide and coordinate future CSPD activities among various agencies, stakeholders and institutions of higher learning South Dakota produced a Needs Assessment Report in preparation for their application for a SIG in 2003. Items in the survey originated from model standards for licensing general education and special education teachers developed in 2002 by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC)

Statewide Study of Special Education Professionals’ Personnel Needs (2001) produced by Texas Educational Research.
This two-phase study used a comprehensive needs assessment to explore special education personnel needs in Texas. The 66 page report effectively presents conclusions drawn from data gathered from a wide variety of resources.