Mentoring as a method for increasing the graduation rate of "at risk" students

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Lombardo, Thomas Anthony
Educational Leadership
thesis / dissertation description
The purpose of this project was to improve high school graduation rates for "at-risk" students by providing every "at-risk" 7th, 8th, and 9th grade student a mentor. By matching students who have been identified as "at-risk" of failing to graduate with an adult mentor from within Woodbury High School, this intern hypothesized that the students' grades would improve and that they would begin to feel as though they were an important part of the school community.This study attempted to measure the overall effectiveness of the mentoring program by examining Math and Language Arts grades of the mentees prior to the mentoring and then again after inception of the mentoring. The assumption being made in this study is that improved grades will lead to improved graduation rates as these 7th, 8th, and 9th graders progress towards completion of their high school requirements.The conclusion reached by this intern is that a school-based mentoring program has a modest positive effect on the academic achievement in language arts and math for at-risk students in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. Furthermore, if one assumes, as this intern did for the purposes of this study, that increased academic achievement will lead to increased graduation rates, then it can be said that a school-based mentoring program may have a modest positive effect on graduation rates for those students participating.