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Child nutrition program managers' and directors' perceptions of managers' training needs differ

Child nutrition program managers' and directors' perceptions of managers' training needs differ

Journal of child nutrition and management 5(2): 96-100

We compared child nutrition program managers' and directors' perceptions of the managers' training needs within a Southeastern state by conducting surveys of each group. Due to a large difference in sample sizes between the two groups (88 directors and 1,071 managers), we used three statistical tests to measure differences in perceptions. We selected a random sample of 88 managers to use in the third statistical analysis. All three tests yielded similar results-managers perceived their need for training to be less than directors. Approximately one-third of the directors indicated their school system on the questionnaire. When we controlled for school system in this group, differences in perceived needs between directors and managers disappeared. If this finding holds true throughout the state, then statewide training may need to focus on new policies and/or technologies, allowing most of the training to occur at the district level. With the increased availability of Internet access and educational opportunities on the Internet, it may be more cost effective in the future to provide individualized training that meets the needs of managers through distance education. Competency-based tests with instructions could be made available on the Internet so managers could assess their training needs and complete appropriate training modules.

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