VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Needs Assessment: A Key Evaluation Tool for Professional Counselors
Randall L. Astramovich
Needs assessment methods have been promoted by counseling researchers and practitioners for several decades (Cook, 1989; Erford, 2008; Newton, Angle, Schuette, & Ender, 1984). Information gathered through needs assessments may help professional counselors in various specialties to identify critical needs of the populations to whom they provide services. In today’s era of managed care and educational accountability, needs assessment data can play a central role in advocating for funding and resources to provide counseling services to clients (Astramovich & Hoskins, 2009). This article reviews basic needs assessment concepts and highlights a four stage needs assessment approach for use by professional counselors.