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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Group 3 - Needs Assessment

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Group 3 - Needs Assessment Data and Assessment Tools


The charge for this group was to gather and perform preliminary analyses of faculty and staff expressed needs and interests related to health and wellness.


The group created a health and wellness survey to be distributed electronically to faculty and staff during April 2006. This survey was created using as templates of other health and wellness surveys used by different US and Canadian groups wishing to gather similar information from various populations. The group developed the survey and distributed it to other members of the Task Force for comment before finalizing it. Institutional Review Board approval for the survey was applied for and granted in March 2006. The final version was given to Minnesota State University, Mankato, IT Services to transform into Zoomerang® format for electronic delivery. The appearance and delivery mechanisms for the survey were also carefully examined. By carefully editing the document and its appearance, the group hoped to elicit the highest possible response from the campus employees.

Incentives were provided for completion of the survey. These included 4 yearly passes to Minnesota State Parks, a fitness assessment courtesy of Campus Recreation, and a dietary assessment courtesy of Health Education. Respondents could opt to enter by providing their name and contact information. Names were selected at random from the list of those who entered.

The survey consisted of several sections as follows. Each section provided opportunity at the end for participants to make individual comments.

  • The first part requested self rated health of the individual (excellent, good, fair, poor) then asked respondents to identify their preference for obtaining healtheducation related information on a wide range of topics. Options for delivery of each included:
    • Web-based information
    • Seminar/class
    • Help group
    • “Ask an expert”
    • Telephone hotline
    • I am currently not interested in this topic
  • The next section asked respondents to indicate whether they would be likely to participate in a number of different health promotion activities if they were offered at the workplace over the next year. These included screening programs and health behavior change programs, A disclaimer indicating that not all activities could be offered and if they were, some individual employee expense would be involved. A simple “yes” or “no” response was requested for each topic.