Every year millions of students drop out of school. Research indicates that student engagement is a major indicator of whether a student will or will not complete high school (Jackson, 2015). A student’s decision to drop out is not an instantaneous event, but one that occurs because of a developmental process of withdrawal (Finn, 1989). Student engagement is a student’s feelings of connectedness, belongingness, and valuing of school, developed early in a student’s academic career (Voelkl, 1997). Increased student engagement offers students a chance to increase their achievement in school. One measure of student engagement is increased participation in school (Finn, 1989). Staff members who take the time to build relationships foster a greater sense of connectedness to the school for the student. A greater sense of connectedness may increase the levels of participation in the school thus resulting in greater achievement. The current study found that the engagement levels of at-risk middle school students in grades six through eight with and without disabilities increased after a staff-led mentoring program. The current study used the Identification with School Questionnaire (Voelkl, 1996) to measure student engagement. In addition, the current study analyzed the staff-mentor perceptions of the mentoring program and found that the staff-mentors valued the relationships with the students, that they wanted to meet periodically to collaborate on ways to better reach the students, and that most of the staff contacted parents as a natural part of the mentoring process.
|Advisor:||Lee, Sharon, MacMillan, Dan|
|Commitee:||Dugger, Neil, Lee, Sharon, MacMillan, Dan, Spain, Carolyn|
|School:||Dallas Baptist University|
|Department:||Educational Leadership K-12|
|School Location:||United States -- Texas|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Middle School education, Educational psychology|
|Keywords:||At-risk, Connectedness, Dropout prevention, Mentoring program, Middle school, Student engagement|
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