How effective are Counseling Services?
The impact of services received at university counseling centers nationwide has been the focus of recent research. Existing studies suggest that counseling centers are effective in improving client mental health and academic functioning.
The UW system has recently studied the impact of our system counseling centers. Over the course of 2 semesters (2011-2012), sixteen UW system institutions participated in a pilot of the Learning Outcomes and Satisfaction Survey (LOS). This survey is a 48 item self report which measures the extent to which student clients believe that counseling is helping them learn interpersonal skills and improve academically. It also measures student client’s satisfaction with counseling experiences.
The following are some statistics from this study.
UW-Platteville Counseling Services Interpersonal Learning Outcomes
85% of respondents strongly agreed they made improvements on the specific issues for which they sought counseling.
82% strongly agreed that they are better able to recognize and express their emotions.
76% strongly agreed that they started to live a healthier lifestyle in at least one area (e.g., sleep, diet, exercise, alcohol/drug use).
76% strongly agreed that they are better prepared to work through future concerns and achieve their goals.
76% strongly agreed that counseling helped them increase their ability to think clearly and critically about their problems.
73% strongly agreed that they improved their ability to manage stress.
Academic Success and Performance
83% strongly agreed that counseling helped them focus better on their academics.
75% strongly agreed that counseling helped with their academic performance.
71% strongly agreed that counseling helped them stay at school.
67% strongly agreed that counseling increased their academic motivation and/or attendance.
Reported Changes in Personal Well-being
79% reported improvement in well being since the start of counseling.
Campus Client Satisfaction
91% strongly agreed it is important to have counseling services located on campus.
91% strongly agreed that the counseling center seems committed to helping students succeed.
88% strongly agreed that the counseling center displayed sensitivity/acceptance to individual differences (e.g., culture, gender, ethnicity, etc.).
88% strongly agreed they would return to the counseling center again.
70% reported the quality of services received were very good/excellent.
Source: Annual Report 2011-2012 Pilot of the Learning Outcomes and Satisfaction Survey. University of Wisconsin System Counseling Impact Assessment Subcommittee July 5, 2012.
Student Needs Survey
During the Fall semester 2009 we surveyed individual students at UW-Platteville and asked them what topics are of most importance to them in terms of counseling and mental health.
This survey is sent out to our students every four years and is designed to help us understand the needs of our students so that we can better serve them.
Top 10 most important needs as identified by the Student Needs Survey for Fall, 2009:
(929 responses, % marked "Important" and/or "Very Important")
Healthy Relationships-852, 92%
Develop Positive Attitude-843, 91%
Adjusting to Change-699, 75%
Effective Communication-640, 69%
Time Management-639, 69%
Test Performance-636, 68%