Browsing Tag

school counselors

An Honest Review of SCUTA Pro for Tracking School Counseling Time

SCUTA Pro

“Tracking school counseling time is my favorite task,” said no counselor ever. (especially not The Counseling Teacher!) I have to admit that keeping a time usage log makes me cringe.  From phone calls and emails, to every conversation in the hallway, we are always working towards meeting the recommended time usage percentages posted by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA). When I think of all of the things I could accomplish instead of this tedious task, I squirm.  Then I remind myself that this is not about me. This is about the students. This is about providing a data driven, research based, school counseling program for my amazing community. After struggling with spending too much time with various data collection methods, I knew that our current method wasn’t working.  Then one fine day, my fellow counselor, Mrs. Carla Christian and I stumbled upon a little gem called SCUTA Pro. To make it even sweeter, we were able to secure a grant to cover the yearly fee.  And we were off.

First things first, we do not get any financial gain from SCUTA Pro for this review. We’ve been using it for 2 years for tracking school counseling time and have no complaints. I really wanted to share our journey because it has helped us so much and I hope it will help others as well.  Overall, it has been a user-friendly way to analyze the effectiveness of our program.

 

Top 3 Reasons We Continue to Choose SCUTA Pro for Tracking School Counseling Time

Time Savings

The website is very easy to navigate. Whenever we couldn’t figure something out, we were able to get assistance right away through an email to customer service.  Sometimes the owner would email OR CALL us to make sure that we were comfortable with the program. My favorite feature that came out our second year of use is the “repeat” option that allows me to easily fill in a recurring activity that I do on a regular basis.  When entering data, categories are already filled so that you can easily choose from a drop down menu without typing it out. Finally, my counseling supervisor can look up my data in real time without asking me to send in a report.

ASCA Categories

The first thing that drew us to SCUTA was the fact that it followed the  ASCA National Model recommendations. The time categories come straight from ASCA. Carla and I are sure that our SCUTA reports were critical in helping us prepare for and obtain RAMP certification for our middle school. After winning RAMP, our district decided to pick up the tab on our SCUTA fees and provide the service to all of the schools in our district.

Detailed Reports

Colorful, visual graphs help us keep track of percentages for our use of time based on ASCA recommendations. With a quick glance at the colors on the calendar pages, it’s pretty clear instantly if we are making our goals. We use this data to self-reflect and plan our time in a way that helps us maximize the effectiveness of our program. We also use these reports to share our progress with stakeholders. I can look up by student name or type of activity. I can also choose a time period which is helpful when I’m analyzing each quarter.

Week at a Glance Calendar View

Advice for First Time Users

One thing I learned from the first two years of using SCUTA Pro is that it would be a good idea to spend some time reading over the categories and subcategories and deciding how to best label certain activities. For instance, some duties that may seem like non-counseling related tasks are actually counseling tasks. If you look at how you perform your daily duties, you could easily turn meaningless tasks into meaningFUL tasks.  For instance, early morning car duty could be used as a time when you warmly greet families which falls under the PBIS counseling task.

Finally, I love how the owners are continually getting feedback from counselors to keep the program up to date and as helpful as possible. I’m excited to see next year’s version. I know they are constantly improving and making time-saving additions.  If you still have questions, you can leave a comment or contact me directly.

This is an honest review of SCUTA Pro and three reasons why we use it for tracking school counseling time to evaluate our school counseling program.

 

Product Review

Preventing Bullying: Tips for School Counselors

blog-preventing-bullying-tips

School counselors work each day to help students develop the social skills to not bully, to help when they see bullying, and feel confident in dealing with a bully themselves. Here are tips and resources from your favorite Confident Counselors.

Mrs. Bell The Crafty Counselor“I like to teach bully prevention to all classes. Instead of focusing on the word bullying too heavily, I like to focus on how we can be nice to one another and how being unfriendly makes others feel.” Mrs. Bell, The Crafty Counselor

Read More »

Bullying, Monthly CCC Tips

Responding to Bullying: Tips and Resources for School Counselors

blog-responding-to-bullyingEvery day school counselors are dealing with potential bullying incidents, as well as behaviors that are misidentified as bullying. Check out how these Confident Counselors address bullying and our favorite resources.

Counselor Up“When a student is referred for bullying behavior, work with them to make a solution-focused goal and then check in with them weekly to see how they are doing with their goal. Help them build their skills so they don’t rely on bullying to get what they need.” – Rebecca at Counselor Up

Read More »

Bullying, Monthly CCC Tips

10 Back to School Tips for School Counselors

Back to School Tips for School Counselors

Once we have forgotten how great sleeping in feels, we definitely believe this is the best time of year. The slate is wiped clean. We get to start another year, more experienced and more confident.

So hold your head high, bring those shoulders back, and bookmark these 10 tips with comments from your favorite Confident Counselors.

Start with the Foundation

Meet with your administration and counselors to fill out and sign ASCA’s Annual Agreement — Stephanie, Bilingual Learner

Conduct a Needs Assessment. Your entire program should be built off of the needs of your students, teachers, and parent— Heather, The Helpful Counselor

Set Goals, S.M.A.R.T. Ones

Make a plan for the year and write it down— Rebecca, Counselor Up

Get in the habit of keeping to a schedule. Time can slip away, so be sure to budget your time wisely! Prioritize! — Counselor Traci R. Brown

Everything Has Its Place

Print, laminate, and organize all materials you think you will need during the first semester. When things get hectic, you’ll feel prepared knowing those materials are ready to go! — Keri, Counselor Keri 

As much as I hate spending a summer day (or two) at school prepping, I always feel better starting the year with all of my new supplies & office in order. Permission slips and bulletin boards for new students groups are done before the kids start. Being organized allows me to be available for student issues those first few days — Gretchen, Speckled Moose Counseling

Create caseload list and “frequent fliers”. Organize it by grade/class and issue (e.g., emotional regulation, anxiety, study skills, social skills). This is your jumping off point for creating your first round of counseling groups — Laurie Mendoza,  School Counseling Files

I have craft activities that go along with lessons, but it is a ton of prep work. I have found kids LOVE to help, especially 6th grade girls! Kids sign up to be on the The Helper Squad. They are eager to help and it makes them feel good doing a service for others. Some of my favorite times are being with these kids helping me prepare something fun to add to my lesson — Jodi, The School Counselor Is In

 

Read More »

Monthly CCC Tips