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Impact Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education Student Mentoring Program

Abstract

"The report, Impact Evaluation of the U. S. Department of Education's Student Mentoring Program compares outcomes of students in the fourth through eighth grades who were randomly assigned to either receive or not receive school-based mentoring from one of the U. S. Department of Education's mentoring grantees. Students were compared on seventeen measures across four domains: school engagement, academic achievement, delinquent behavior, and prosocial behavior. The evaluation found that for the full sample of students, the program did not lead to statistically significant impacts on any of the measures. In addition, the evaluation estimated impacts across five subgroups for each of the outcome measures, four of which were found to be statistically significant (i.e., increased self-reported scholastic efficacy and school bonding for girls, increased self-reported future orientation for boys, decreased truancy for students under age 12, and decreased self-reported prosocial behavior for boys). These impact findings are in the context of several key program delivery findings. Thirty-five percent of the students who were assigned to the no-mentoring group received mentoring services, primarily from other providers in the community. Also, 14 percent of the students assigned to the mentoring group never got matched with a mentor. Students assigned to the mentoring group and who did meet with their mentors met (on average) for 1.1 hours per meeting, 4.4 times per month for 5.8 months."

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