Faculty Mentor

Brooke Dolenc Nott


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Previous research on academic success shows a difference in achievement level between students who participated in school-based mentoring and those who did not receive mentoring. The purpose of the current study was to explore the effect that mentoring, and sex differences had on the perceptions of academic success in at-risk minority youth. It was predicted that participants would rate students with mentors as more likely to succeed academically in their future. It was also predicted that participants would rate female at-risk minority students higher in terms of future academic success compared to males if they had a mentor, as well as if they did not have a mentor. Participants (N = 29) were college students recruited at Western Oregon University through SONA. They were randomly assigned to read one of four scenarios of an at-risk minority youth’s life and rate their future academic success based on the resources that were provided to them. Results confirmed the prediction that at-risk minority students with a mentor would be perceived as significantly more likely to succeed academically in their future, but there was no significant difference in rating within the sex of the student. The implementation of the results in this study could positively influence parents, teachers, principals, representatives in school boards, etc., by giving them a message that all students can significantly benefit from mentoring independent of their sex. The finding that students who have a mentor are perceived as more successful is meaningful because research indicates that other’s expectations of individuals influences actual outcomes and behaviors. Past research suggests that youth may act as is expected for them to act. If at-risk minority youth are expected to be successful with a mentor, this indicates that the more mentoring provided for youth could be beneficial. Future research on the structure of mentoring programs that best fits the needs of at-risk minority youth, longer-term mentoring programs, and recruitment for more mentor volunteers is warranted.




Psychological Sciences


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