Impact of a college mentoring program on reading achievement in a rural south Mississippi elementary school

Gwendolyn Wood Miller


Mentoring has been established in the United States since the turn of the twentieth century (Freedman, 1999). Today, programs are still in existence, and research indicates that students benefit from assistance of mentors (Cutshall, 2001). Since college mentor programs are not as abundant, this research about the impact of college mentors will add to the literature base. This study researched the Standardized Testing for Assessment of Reading (STAR) achievement scores of mentored and non-mentored students using an ANOVA. In addition, a logistic regression was used to classify students as either mentored or non-mentored with STAR Reading 2.0 achievement posttest scores, absences, and discipline referrals as variables. To add depth to the study, a qualitative component consisting of two case studies was included in the research. The study's mentored students, grades one through five, attended a rural elementary school. The non-mentored students matched identically the mentored group according to reading instructional levels based on the STAR Reading 2.0 assessment. The total in both groups was 92 with 46 in the mentored group and the same number in the non-mentored group. The research findings revealed that mentored students grew in reading achievement as opposed to the non-mentored group. However, no statistically significant difference was found using the ANOVA. Also, the logistic regression statistically significant classified students as mentored or non-mentored on the basis of STAR Reading 2.0 scores, absences, and disciplinary referrals. The final research component included qualitative case studies of two mentor/mentee pairs, which exposed the true perceptions of the mentors and mentees about the mentor program. Positive relationships were established among the case study participants as a result of the mentor program and personal growth occurred over the time-span of the mentor program.