Putting data collection systems in place can transform your counseling program! It sounds a little boring, I know, but tracking data can be really gratifying.

Data Collection Can Be a Struggle

Data collection is a struggle for many school counselors, whether you are brand new or have been counseling for decades. It's not really taught in grad school, so it’s up to you to make it happen. But this additional effort can bring an extra edge to your counseling program!

I realized the benefit of seeing what students learned early on, but when I first started tracking data I was only giving post-group assessments. It was cool to see students answering 'yes' to 'I know 5 self-control strategies.', but that's not entirely valuable information because they could have known that before the group!

Data Collection Tools to Get Started

You can get really thorough with your data collection strategies, but here are some basic tools you can start with. You may even be doing these already!

  • Pre and Post Self-Assessments (before and after individual students and groups)

  • Parent-Teacher Surveys (can use with both individual students and groups)

  • Behavior Monitoring Chart

  • End of the Year Report

Using these tools can help you see the huge impact you're having on kiddos, but remember your assessments may yield results that show your students are not improving. Don't stress! This is equally important information to gain. Perhaps you need to modify your program to fit their needs, adjust to their learning style, or refer to a different specialist.

It is a disservice to students if you're not collecting data and to find out how to best serve them.

counselor data collection

Why is it Important to Collect Data?

Data collection systems allow you to accomplish 3 things:

  • Increase your impact by knowing student needs and how to meet them

  • Advocate for your role as the school counselor

  • Get the recognition you deserve!

How Data Helps Advocate for your Role as the School Counselor

You may feel like your role is misunderstood on that you are on your own island if you’re the only counselor on campus, but data collection can solve these problems!

Data is the solution to gaining more clarity around your role.

Once your colleagues know what you do, you can start to get the recognition you deserve! When people question what you do as the counselor, data can back you up!

By showing the numbers you are demonstrating the literal impact that your counseling program has at the school. Teachers and parents are often reluctant for kids to miss instructional time to go to counseling, but the data results validate why they need to be in counseling and (hopefully!) show progress.

data collection

Data collection allows you to get tangible results and shows the need for your position as the counselor in the following ways:

  • Easily shows impact from services provided

  • Shows students improvement and growth

This may sound like a lot, but you are likely already collecting data. And if not, it's never too late to get started! Take a mental inventory of what information you are collecting. You can assess anything!

Download my Stress Free Data Collection Freebie and read this blog post for 5 data collection strategies you can start today!


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