SCARS: School Counselor Activity Rating Scale

The reward of esteem, respect, and gratitude [is] due to those who devote their time and efforts to render the youths of every successive age fit governors for the next.” -Thomas Jefferson, 1810

The School Counselor Activity Rating Scale (SCARS) was developed to aid school counselors in the gathering of process data. Specifically, SCARS measures how school counselors actually spend their time and what job-related activities they would prefer to spend their time doing. Individual activities or the major interventions of a comprehensive developmental school counseling program (Counseling, Consultation, Curriculum, Coordination) may be examined. In addition, “other duties” commonly performed by school counselors may also be assessed. For information on instrument development and validity please see:

Scarborough, J. L. (2005). The School Counselor Activity Rating Scale: An instrument for gathering process data. Professional School Counseling, 8,3. 274-283.

The information obtained on the SCARS can be utilized in a variety of ways including:

  • As part of an overall program evaluation report
  • As a means to educate constituents about the role and functions of school counselors
  • As a method for educating school counselors-in-training about school counseling activities and how to approach differences between “ideal” and “reality”
  • To gather data in a research project designed to further understand variables related to school counselor practice or interventions designed to move school counselor practice to be more aligned with best practices

To date, school counseling professionals from across the Unites States, as well as Hamburg, Germany and Puerto Rico, have inquired about the SCARS as they:

  • Work to implement comprehensive school counseling programs in school districts
  • Conduct research examining teacher perceptions of school counselor effectiveness compared with school counselor performance
  • Attempt to advocate for adding a full-time school counseling position
  • Fulfill a request by the school administrator to conduct a task analysis
  • Conduct research examining the impact of supervision on school counselor self-efficacy and the school counselor’s work day
  • Prepare to speak to the school board about moving their high school program toward a comprehensive developmental school counseling program
  • Collect data to support the revision of a school guidance plan

You are welcome to use the School Counselor Activity Rating Scale.

Simply print the 2-page PDF document and copy into a two-sided pamphlet for your convenience. The directions are included for easy use.

As the developer of the instrument, I am VERY INTERESTED in hearing about how you use the instrument and any results that you find. I can be contacted at scarboro@syr.edu or (315) 443-2266.

Download the SCARS by clicking here – the SCARS is available as a two page PDF file, and is designed to be printed on both sides of a single page and folded in half. If you do not have a program to open PDF files, click HERE.

Page 1 – Front
Page 2 – Back

Fold in half to make a pamphlet when printing is complete.


About the Author:

Janna L. Scarborough, Ph.D., NCC, NCSC, ACS, Dr. Scarborough earned her doctoral degree in Counselor Education from the University of Virginia and has taught in the SU Counseling and Human Services Department since August, 2002. Prior to that she earned her master’s degree in School Counseling from Western Carolina University and was employed as a school counselor for 5 years. She has published empirical and conceptual articles related to school counselor professional identity development and practice, and working with students with disabilities.