An Evaluation of School-Based Mentoring

Are school-based mentoring (SBM) programs effective in fostering school performance and socio-emotional development?

Working with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBS), the investigators are conducting an experimental evaluation and a cost analysis of SBM. In contrast to the more typical community-based mentoring model (CBM), in SBM, mentors/volunteers are placed in schools. Six large and two small well-established BBBS sites (cities) scattered throughout the nation are participating in this evaluation. In each of the six large agencies, 220 youth ages 9-14 will take part in the research study, one-half of whom will be randomly assigned to SBM and the other half to a control condition. In the two smaller agencies, 150 youth will be assigned to either the experimental or control condition. The researchers are using surveys (student, teacher, and mentor), school records, 12- and 15-month assessments of social, behavioral, and academic outcomes, and teacher, peer, and parent relationship measures to assess outcomes. Particular interest is in the role of the mentor-mentee match, its quality, and its duration.