Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


Purpose and procedure. The purpose of this study was to provide a detailed analysis of needs assessment data regarding inservice training and accessing knowledge as perceived by parents, special education teachers, general education teachers, related services providers, and administrators in the state of North Dakota. These five groups were surveyed by the Bureau of Educational Services and Applied Research at the University of North Dakota. Resulting data were statistically analyzed utilizing frequency distributions and percentages to identify perceived needs for accessing knowledge or skills in special education and inservice training.

Conclusions and recommendations. Educators prioritized concerns over programming and instruction as the areas of highest need for knowledge and skills. Parents, on the other hand, perceived the areas of greatest need for knowledge and skills to be in accessing information from federal, state, and local education agencies on transition and learning how to help their child become more self-confident.

With regard to format for inservice training, educators preferred conference/workshop courses, while parents preferred workshops led by other parents or professionals in small group settings. Educators chose graduate level courses or university level programs as the most effective resources for providing training or information. Salary step credit or continuing education units were selected by educators as incentives for participation in inservice training, and one to three hours per month was the length of time they preferred to devote to inservice training outside of the regular work schedule.

Those planning statewide inservice training in the state of North Dakota should base their decisions regarding topics, format, resources, incentives, and timing upon the preferences indicated by the constituent groups in this study. In this process educators must collaborate with one another, share their expertise with parents, and empower parents to help their own children.

It is recommended that a qualitative follow-up study of parents of children with special needs in the state of North Dakota be conducted. The survey return rate for this constituent group was low; therefore, a qualitative study may well identify their perceived needs more effectively than was accomplished by this study.

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Psychology Commons