Comparison of two mentoring programs for at-risk black adolescents : a traditional one-to-one mentoring program and a school-to-work transitional program

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Welfare

First Advisor's Name

Eric Wagner

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nan Van Den Berg

Third Advisor's Name

John Lowe

Fourth Advisor's Name

Rosa Jones

Date of Defense



The purposes of this study were: (a) to compare the impact of One-to-One (OTO) mentoring interventions administered in the high school setting, and the workplace of the students who participated in the School-to-Work (STW) transitional program, and (b) to identify how the participants perceived their experience in the OTO mentoring program and the STW transitional program. A qualitative approach was used to identify how participants perceived their mentoring experiences with the STW and OTO mentoring programs by utilizing focus groups and content analysis. A quantitative approach was used to compare the statistical differences of outcomes between the STW and OTO mentoring programs, by utilizing descriptive statistics, independent samples Wests, chi- square analyses, and logistic regression. The sample was limited to participants in the STW and OTO mentoring programs resulting in 21 participants for the qualitative approach and 114 participants for the quantitative approach.

Results from the qualitative approach indicated that focus group participants in the STW program were satisfied with the program and the relationship with their mentors. They also suggested that the STW program be lengthened to include the entire academic year. Participants from the OTO focus group were dissatisfied with their program due to inadequate mentor involvement. Results from the quantitative approach showed that the increase in school attendance for the STW program’s at-risk Black male youth was statistically significant compared to the OTO program participants; the STW program participants displayed a better outlook for attending college that was statistically significant compared to those in the OTO program; and the OTO program participants displayed a better outlook for permanent employment compared to those in the STW program.

Therefore, this study finds that mentoring can contribute to reducing school absences and high school completion in order for at-risk Black adolescents to attend college. It is recommended that the OTO program be restructured to eliminate the disparity that exists regarding the administration of the STW program and the OTO program.



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