Planning Research & Assessment

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Focus Group Research

The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment is available to help colleges, departments, and other units conduct focus group research that supports planning and CQI efforts. Focus groups have long been an important tool for marketing research in the for-profit sector. Nonprofit organizations, including universities, also employ this group-interview technique to help with the planning of new programs and to help evaluate and improve existing programs. To an increasing extent, they are viewed as a practical way to obtain actionable information.

The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment has experience in:

  • Planning studies

  • Designing protocols

  • Moderating sessions, and

  • Writing brief reports of results.

Sample Reports

Because focus groups can contain a mix of both positive and negative feedback, this Office treats them confidentially. The reports below are shared with the permission of the units involved, as examples for others who may be considering this approach.

We Can Help You

Within the limits of staff availability and workload, the Office works in partnership with other Penn State units to conduct focus group research on topics consistent with the University’s improvement-oriented quality, planning, and assessment efforts. There is no charge for this service within Penn State.

For more information, contact the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment.

Learn more about our office services.