Program Development: Plan

Step 1. Recognize and define the needs for clientele change

How do you know when there is a community issue that can be addressed with an educational program?

Educators should use their community members as resources to help identify issues. While Extension relies heavily on the Texas Community Futures Forum, educators should also identify issues through other methods such as committees, coalitions, task forces, commodity groups, elected officials, and through state and national trends identified by subject matter specialists.

Not only should an educator identify the needs, but they should also and prioritize those needs. By prioritizing needs, educators can acknowledge all of the community issues, yet target the most important and relevant issue.

Using a needs assessment can help educators read the situation, gather needs of the audience, Needs assessments can justify the reasoning for a program to be developed and should be the first step educators take when developing a program. There are many methods that an educator can use to conduct a needs assessment, however, it is important that the educator know which method to use when conducting a needs assessment.


Step 2. Establish goals and objectives for change

It is very important for an educational program to have goals and objectives. Without them, the program might not reduce the issue and show a change. To establish goals and objectives, and educator should focus on the learning and application of the educational information and should follow the SMART method to create objectives.

the six types of clientele change (knowledge, skills, attitudes/beliefs, behavior, best practices, and new technology) These six types of clientele change are organized under two categories: learning and application.


Step 3. Diagnose relevant factors: target audience, current practices, current conditions

When beginning the program development process, it is important to identify your target audience. Before a program can be developed an educator needs to know who their audience is. The educator should know the details about the audience that justifies the need for an educational program. This can also include knowing their learning style preferences, which will assist the educator in Steps 4-6 of the change model.