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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Creating connections: An implementation study of promising practices for mentoring in California charter schools
by Maxwell, Melanie Sue, Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2009, 250; 3355454
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of the present study was to uncover promising practices in the area of mentoring, specifically implementation of one-on-one adult mentoring with students within the California charter school setting. A case study approach formed the theoretical framework for this study. Research questions guiding the study included: How do charter schools use adult mentoring to improve student achievement? How are resources used to implement adult mentoring for students successfully? What challenges have charter schools faced when implementing adult mentoring and how were the challenges addressed? How do key adults perceive the impact of the mentoring program on mentees and mentors? What other evidence exists to support these perceptions?

This study was conducted using a selected sample of two mentoring programs within California charter schools. The selection process utilized the following criteria: the mentoring program must have been implemented for more than one year; it should demonstrate innovativeness; it should show evidence of a positive change for student outcomes; and it should contain a potential for replicability. Data sources, which were qualitative in nature, included interviews with charter school administrators and mentors, a document analysis, and mentoring session observations.

The study results showed similarities and differences in the promising practice each charter school performed. A promising practice was defined as a strategy demonstrating the promise, or potential, of improved student achievement. The research provided evidence that one-on-one adult mentoring has the potential to increase student achievement through improving student attendance, grade-to-grade promotion, and decreased discipline referrals.

This study’s findings and conclusions offer meaningful information regarding implementation of school-based mentoring programs. By publicizing these findings and conclusions through USC’s web-based Compendium of Promising Practices, this information has the potential to inspire and guide educators to implement mentoring programs that connect students to school and lead to improved student achievement.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wohlstetter, Priscilla
Commitee: Gothold, Dr. Stuart E., Kliewer, Dr. Jennifer
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education(Leadership)
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational psychology, Secondary education
Keywords: California, Charter schools, High schools, Mentoring, One-on-one adult mentoring, Promising practices
Publication Number: 3355454
ISBN: 978-1-109-14052-1
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