Date of Award

Fall 9-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. John D. Long

Second Advisor

Dr. Graham Weir

Third Advisor

Dr. Beth Kania-Gosche


A pilot study on the effects of mentoring on ninth-grade at-risk African American males was completed with 25 students. This study was conducted during one calendar school year. The purpose was to use mentoring as an added intervention in support of some struggling students, males in particular, who were at-risk of dropping out of school before graduation. This study was meaningful, because these students were consistently failing, and the school was looking for innovative ways to academically encourage these at-risk students. The study was conducted at a ninth grade academy directly linked to the high school, in an urban city. This academy facilitated approximately 426 ninth-grade students. Ninety-nine percent of the students received free and reduced lunch. The overall research question was, does volunteer mentoring affect the educational success of ninth-grade at-risk African American male students? The research methodology was qualitative. The researcher used interviews and surveys to examine the students’ expectations of the mentoring program and the results. The mentoring program took place twice a month with four volunteer mentors. The qualitative data conveyed information on 25 African American ninth-grade male students’ grades, attendance rates, and number of discipline referrals they received. The outcomes revealed that the students, parents, and mentors perceived the pilot study of the mentoring program to help keep the students in school. However, the students and the mentors declared that the program was too short and needed more time during the sessions or more sessions. The students considered the mentors to be someone that they could talk to and look up to. The teachers were supportive of the program as an iii added intervention and were flexible in allowing the students to participate in the program. In conclusion, data revealed there was not a significant change in the students’ attendance, behavior, or grades as a result of the mentoring program. However, research disclosed that mentoring at-risk students does affect the educational success of students.


Copyright 2016