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A case study of a mentoring program in an urban middle school

Robert Martin, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Across the country many mentoring programs are developing, which are designed to match interested adults with students who need help with getting through school, making career decisions and coming into young adulthood in the twenty-first century. Since the 1980's a significant number of mentoring programs have been eagerly received by educators, through businesses partnerships. But, there is much disagreement among the supporters of the mentoring movement about exactly what should constitute a mentoring relationship, how early in a student's life mentoring should begin, and whether these relationships can be developed on a large scale. Moreover, mentoring is more than a business partnership project. It is a series of complex relationships that often fail. Given the state of urban families and schools, coupled with the state and federal government's reluctance to fund more educational personnel, it becomes critical to find the best ways to take advantage of the largess of the business community in implementing urban mentoring programs. Therefore the study of an urban mentoring program was essential. This research looked for areas of success for others who wish to initiate urban middle school mentoring programs may be more successful.^ Within the context of the John W. McCormack Middle School-business partnership quantitative data was collected to discern what constitutes the profile of an ideal mentor for early adolescents. Further, this study identified which factors motivate an urban adolescent to become involved with an adult tutor/mentor.^ Lastly, the study identified which factors motivate working adults and their tutees to volunteer to work with one another in an urban middle school. This study's quantitative data was collected from participating adults and students. The results were supported by interviews. Furthermore the results confirm what was found in the evaluation reports of Career Beginnings and The Partners in Growth studies. The results of this study are very important because of the recent nationwide emphasis on school-business partnerships that involve using their human resources rather than direct financial philanthropy. ^

Subject Area

School counseling|Educational psychology|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Martin, Robert, "A case study of a mentoring program in an urban middle school" (1996). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9638997.