Program

Jan 12, 2011

OVERVIEW

The Department of Education Student Mentoring Program is a federal grant program
that supplies funding to schools and community and faith-based organizations to
establish school-based mentoring programs that aims to improve academic
achievement and engagement, interpersonal relationships and personal
responsibility and high-risk or delinquent behavior. An evaluation of the
program found that there were no impacts overall. However, subgroup analyses
revealed a positive impact for girls on scholastic efficacy and school bonding
and a positive impact for boys on future orientation. The program was also found
to decrease truancy for students under twelve. There was a negative impact on
prosocial behavior for boys.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
Children in grades 4 through 8

The Department of Education Student Mentoring Program is a federal grant program
that supplies funding to schools and community and faith-based organizations to
establish school-based mentoring programs. The grant program specifically
supports mentoring programs that are designed to improve interpersonal
relationships, increase personal responsibility and community involvement, deter
substance use and delinquency, decrease dropout rates, and increase academic
achievement.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Evaluated population:
The sample included 2,573 students from 32 varied grantee programs during the
2005-06 or 2006-07 school year. The average age of participants was 11 years.
The sample was 53 percent female and 47 percent male. Forty-one percent of the
participants were Black or African-American, and 31 percent were Hispanic. Sixty
percent of the sample was at risk academically, and 25 percent were at risk for
delinquency.

Approach:
Students were randomly assigned to receive mentoring services or to the control
condition. Students in the control condition were allowed to receive mentoring
services from other organizations. Data were collected at the beginning and end
of the school year on the domains of academic achievement and engagement,
interpersonal relationships and personal responsibility, and high-risk or
delinquent behavior. Students only received mentoring for five to six months.

Results:
Among students in the treatment group, 85 percent reported receiving mentoring
in the past year, compared with 35 percent of the control group who received
mentoring in the community. After accounting for multiple comparisons, there was
no impact on any of the outcome domains. Subgroup analysis by gender revealed
that the program increased scholastic efficacy and school bonding for girls, and
it increased future orientation for boys. However, it decreased prosocial
behavior for boys. Subgroup analysis also found that the program decreased
truancy for students under twelve.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Bernstein, L., Rappaport, C.D., Olsho, L., Hunt, D., Levin, M., Dyous, C.,
Klausner, M., McGarry, N., Luck, R., Rhodes, W., & Rice, J. (2009). Impact
evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education’s student mentoring program.

(NCEE 2009-4048). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.

KEYWORDS:
Children (3-11), Adolescents (12-17), Elementary, Middle School, Males and
Females (Co-ed), High-Risk, School-based, Mentoring, Attendance,
Reading/Literacy, Mathematics, Academic Achievement/Grades, Academic
Motivation/Self-Concept/Expectations/Engagement, Other Relationships,
Delinquency.

Program information last updated on 1/12/11.