Mentoring At-risk Youth: Improving Academic Achievement in Middle School Students
Research supports the implementation of mentoring programs as potentially successful approaches to meeting the needs of at-risk students. This study examined a mentoring program entitled: LISTEN (Linking Individual Students To Educational Needs). The LISTEN mentoring program was a district-sponsored, school-based program in which at-risk, middle school students were identified by the school system and mentors were recruited specifically to assist these students with school performance or related issues. Mentors, in this study, were classroom teachers, school counselors, administrators, custodians, librarians, teaching assistants, retired teachers, and cafeteria employees. Archival data from the 2003–04 and 2004–05 academic years were analyzed. A statistically significant difference was found for all three of the study’s criterion variables (GPAs, discipline referrals, and attendance records) between those measured in the 2003–04 academic year (pre-intervention) and those measured in the 2004–05 academic year (post-intervention). Forty-nine of the fifty-four LISTEN participants experienced academic achievement gains in all three areas of the study.
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