Mt Hood Community College Image Study & Community Needs Assessment

Aligning community college priorities with local needs

Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) serves a changing population within a changing economic landscape. To ensure the school’s priorities align with community needs, the college contracted HSRI to perform an image and needs assessment to capture the perspectives of parents, area residents, and business leaders.


Our needs and image assessment described stakeholder perspectives on the school and its academic and cultural offerings, illuminated needs of local residents, and offered recommendations on both improving MHCC’s image and increasing its value to the community. 

  • Image and Needs Assessment
  • Survey Development and Dissemination
  • Focus Groups

Collecting and analyzing the data

Our first step was working with MHCC leadership to define the context, goals, and direction of the study. Next, we worked with the MHCC Office of Analytics and Institutional Research to develop surveys for three key stakeholder groups: district residents, business stakeholders, and parents of high school students. We also conducted focus groups across the five district zones to add context and clarity to the survey data.

Once we had gathered perspectives from these important constituent groups, we analyzed the data. We used statistical software to process and analyze the quantitative survey data. Frequencies and crosstabs were used to compute findings, broken out where possible by location and survey respondent characteristics.

We analyzed the interview data and open-ended questions using a general deductive approach to condense the information into meaningful and categorical summaries or findings. We also used a constant comparison approach to better compare and contrast data from one focus group to the next —and to better reflect the contextual, cultural, and regional differences in our findings.

Featured projects image

Parents suggested that emphasis should be placed on wise use of taxpayer money, programs for low-income students, and modern facilities.

Making Recommendations

We provided several concrete recommendations for improving communication with community members and increasing alignment between MHCC priorities and community needs:

  • Increase MHCC visibility at business and community events
  • Make marketing more specific
  • Solidify community partnerships
  • Implement an “Adulting” (life and workplace skills) course

There needs to be a tight relationship between the school [MHCC] and the local businesses so those who earn a trade certificate, or an associate degree, can move straight into a job in the local community.

Community Focus Group Participant


Mt. Hood Community College

How can we help?

Let's talk