USF Libraries
USF Digital Collections

Determining the quality and impact of an e-mentoring model on at-risk youth

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Determining the quality and impact of an e-mentoring model on at-risk youth
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Culpepper, Diane W
Publisher:
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
High school dropouts
Online mentoring
Self-esteem
National Mentoring Partnership
GED Exit Option
Dissertations, Academic -- Adult/Career and Higher Ed -- Doctoral -- USF   ( lcsh )
Genre:
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research was twofold. Since e-mentoring is relatively new, there have been very few studies that have explored the impact of an e-mentoring program on both the academic and psychological outcomes of its participants. In addition, there is little research on the quality of implementing, or what we will call the working quality, of an e-mentoring model. This study addressed both. First, the study examined whether or not e-mentoring had an academic and psychological impact on 32 high school students who were at-risk of dropping out of school. The students were enrolled in a GED Exit Option program at two technical centers in a large urban school district in Florida. Each student was matched with a mentor who was a business partner and involved with one or both of the technical centers in an advisory capacity. The students and mentors were randomly matched and never met face-to-face during the program.All of their communication and mentoring was done online using a secure e-mail program. Second, the working quality of the e-mentoring model was addressed. By using the design experiment methodology during the course of the study and examining the quality of each component of the e-mentoring model as it was being implemented, revisions were made as problems were identified during each component of the e-mentoring program. The structured e-mentoring model used was based on a review of the literature and specifically on the research of Single and Muller (1999). The students, mentors, and instructors who participated were co-participants in the design and analysis and provided input using surveys and focus groups at several intervals throughout the e-mentoring program.The design experiment approach was intended to help researchers deal with and learn from events in classrooms where it is impossible to control many variables and where the objective of the research is to refine a system (e.g., an e-mentoring program) or a curriculum. Analysis of the data showed there were no significant differences between the participants and the non-participants in the program as it related to self-esteem, career indecision, attendance, and academic achievement. However, the rich dialogue that occurred throughout the program allowed the researcher to examine the working quality of the program in progress. The modifications and improvements made to the e-mentoring process will provide an excellent foundation for future e-mentoring programs.
Thesis:
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Diane W. Culpepper.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 268 pages.
General Note:
Includes vita.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002000952
oclc - 319167563
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0002517
usfldc handle - e14.2517
System ID:
SFS0026834:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

Determining the Quality and Impact of an E-Mentoring Model on At-Risk Youth by Diane W. Culpepper A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Adult, Career and Higher Education College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: William E. Blank, Ph.D. Robert F. Dedrick, Ph.D. Victor M. Hernandez, Ph.D. Janet Scaglione, Ph.D. June 16, 2008 Keywords: high school dropouts, online ment oring, self-esteem, National Mentoring Partnership, GED Exit Option Copyright 2008, Diane W. Culpepper

PAGE 2

Dedication I wish to dedicate this dissert ation to the mentors in my lif e: my parents, who taught me to always believe in myself; to Richard Mi glorie who taught me wh at it means to be a servant leader; to Bill Blank who taught me patience and perseverance; and to my husband who taught me to take risks and enjoy. I am forever grateful.

PAGE 3

Acknowledgments I would like acknowledge several individuals On a personal note, I want to thank God for all the blessings that He provided so that I could complete this journey. I thank my husband Blake, my children, my parents, my friends and work colleagues for their encouragement and support thr oughout the last several years. You all were the motivation I needed to finish! I would also like to thank the members of my dissertation committee for their ongoing assistance and belief in me throughout th is experience: Drs. Victor Hernandez, Janet Scaglione, and Robert Dedrick. I am es pecially grateful to Dr. William Blank who encouraged me, guided me, and prodded me along the way. In addition, I want to thank Betty, Bert, Tonya and Elayne for their as sistance and support as I was writing this dissertation. Special recognition goes to the mentors and mentees that participated in this study. You said Yes when I asked you to be a part of the study. You were eager contributors to the process and an inspirati on to each other. You completed surveys and answered questions when I asked you to I could not have done this without you! You truly were the co-participants of my design.

PAGE 4

i Table of Contents List of Tables.......................................................................................................................v List of Figures.................................................................................................................. viii Abstract....................................................................................................................... ....... ix Chapter 1 Introduction........................................................................................................ 1 Statement of the Problem......................................................................................... 5 Purpose of the Study................................................................................................ 6 Research Questions.................................................................................................. 6 Definition of Terms..................................................................................................7 Assumptions............................................................................................................. 8 Limitations............................................................................................................... 8 Organization of the Study......................................................................................10 Chapter 2 Literature Review............................................................................................. 11 Consequences of Dropping Out.............................................................................13 Why Students Dropout of High School................................................................. 14 Background Characteristics and Dropping Out.........................................15 Academic Performance and Dropping Out................................................ 16 Truancy, Tardiness, and Dropping Out...................................................... 17 Self-Esteem and Dropping Out..................................................................17 Career Indecision and Dropping Out .........................................................19 Dropout Prevention Strategies...............................................................................20 Modifying the Instructional Environment.................................................21 Sense of Membership................................................................................. 21 Relationships..............................................................................................22 Counseling.................................................................................................23 Mentoring as a Solution.........................................................................................24 Historical Perspective of Mentoring.......................................................... 24 Mentoring in the Workplace...................................................................... 25 Mentoring in School..................................................................................26 Successful Mentoring Programs................................................................27 Limitations of Trad ition al Mentoring........................................................ 30 Electronic Mentoring............................................................................................. 31 E-Mentoring Projects.................................................................................32 Advantages of E-Mentoring....................................................................... 35 Disadvantages of E-Mentoring.................................................................. 37

PAGE 5

ii One Structured E-Mentoring Model......................................................................38 Planning.....................................................................................................40 Recruitment.................................................................................... 41 Managing Expectations..................................................................43 Matching........................................................................................43 Program Structure...................................................................................... 44 Training.......................................................................................... 44 Coaching........................................................................................46 Community Building..................................................................... 47 Assessment.................................................................................................47 Involvement, Formative, and Summative Data............................. 48 Conceptual Framework for E-Mentoring............................................................... 48 Positively Affected Outcomes................................................................... 51 Program Design Concepts..........................................................................52 Mentoring Model....................................................................................... 53 Summary................................................................................................................56 Chapter 3 Method..............................................................................................................58 Research Design.....................................................................................................58 Rationale for Use of Methodology............................................................61 Pilot........................................................................................................................62 Sample for the Main Study.................................................................................... 64 Measures................................................................................................................64 Self-Esteem................................................................................................ 65 Attendance................................................................................................. 67 Academic Achievement............................................................................. 67 Quality of Implementation......................................................................... 68 Ease of Implementation............................................................................. 69 Impact of Technology................................................................................70 Flexible Design Revision...........................................................................71 Online Surveys...............................................................................71 Focus Groups.................................................................................72 Implications for Design Changes............................................................... 73 Procedures and Data Collection............................................................................. 73 E-mail Software.........................................................................................74 Planning the Program.................................................................................74 Recruitment of the Instructors....................................................... 75 Recruitment of Mentors................................................................. 76 Recruitment of Mentees................................................................. 76 Managing Expectations.............................................................................. 77 Matching........................................................................................78 Program Structure...................................................................................... 78 Training.......................................................................................... 78 Coaching........................................................................................80 Community Building..................................................................... 81

PAGE 6

iii Assessment.................................................................................................82 Involvement Data........................................................................... 83 Formative Data............................................................................... 83 Summative Data............................................................................. 84 Data Analyses........................................................................................................85 Chapter 4 Results.............................................................................................................. .88 Study Participants.................................................................................................. 89 Impact of Structured E-Mentoring Model............................................................. 90 Self-Esteem................................................................................................ 90 Career Decision..........................................................................................93 Attendance................................................................................................. 97 Academic Success...................................................................................... 98 Anecdotal Stories................................................................................................. 113 Gina and Kathleen....................................................................................114 Karen and Sue..........................................................................................115 Cyrie and Monica..................................................................................... 117 Jose and Art..............................................................................................117 Herberto and Julie.................................................................................... 118 Deidra and Beverly.................................................................................. 119 E-Mail Conversations.............................................................................. 120 Cyrie and Monica It Was a Rough Day............................................ 121 Tara and Sally Hey, Hows It Going....................................................123 Sophia and Connie Hows the Weather Here....................................... 124 Working Quality of the E-Mentoring Model....................................................... 125 Recruiting.................................................................................................127 Managing Expectations............................................................................ 129 Training.................................................................................................... 131 Coaching..................................................................................................133 Community Building............................................................................... 136 Summative Results................................................................................... 136 Ease of Use..............................................................................................140 Impact of Technology.............................................................................. 141 Implications for Design Changes......................................................................... 142 E-mail Software.......................................................................................143 Student Accountability............................................................................. 144 Gaggle.Net...............................................................................................145 Communication between Ment ors and Instructors .................................. 146 Community Building............................................................................... 146 Information about GED Tests.................................................................. 147 Chapter 5 Summary, Conclusions, and R ecommendations for Further Research .......... 149 Summary..............................................................................................................149 Conclusions..........................................................................................................151 Impact on Self-Esteem and Career Decision........................................... 151

PAGE 7

iv Impact on Academic Achievement and Attendance................................ 153 The Anecdotal Story................................................................................ 154 Working Quality of the E-Mentoring Model........................................... 155 Implications for a Structured EMentoring Model............................................. 160 Recommendations and Theoretical Concepts......................................................165 Recommendations for Future Research...............................................................167 Researchers Final Thoughts................................................................................ 170 References........................................................................................................................171 Appendices.......................................................................................................................190 Appendix A The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale.................................................. 191 Appendix B The Career Decision Scale.............................................................. 192 Appendix C Measuring the Quality of Implementation Chart............................ 193 Appendix D National Mentoring Partnership Application .................................. 195 Appendix E Design Revisions.............................................................................204 Appendix F Implementation Timeline................................................................. 213 Appendix G Mentor Application Form................................................................217 Appendix H Mentee Application Form...............................................................219 Appendix I Informed Consent for an Adult........................................................ 220 Appendix J Parental Informed Consent.............................................................. 226 Appendix K Assent to Participate in Research.................................................... 232 Appendix L Discussion Starters........................................................................... 235 Appendix M Mentor Survey 1............................................................................. 238 Appendix N Mentee Survey 1..............................................................................240 Appendix O Instructor Survey 1.......................................................................... 242 Appendix P Mentor Survey 2..............................................................................244 Appendix Q Mentee Survey 2..............................................................................247 Appendix R Instructor Survey 2.......................................................................... 250 Appendix S Mentor Survey 3..............................................................................253 Appendix T Mentee Survey 3..............................................................................256 Appendix U Instructor Survey 3.......................................................................... 259 Appendix V Mentor Focus Group Questions......................................................261 Appendix W Mentee Focus Group Questions..................................................... 264 Appendix X Instructor Focus Group Questions................................................... 267 About the Author ...................................................................................................End Page

PAGE 8

v List of Tables Table 1 Comparing Psychological E xperimentation and Design-Based Research Methods Table 2 Cronbachs Alpha Internal Cons istency Reliability Estimates for Self-Esteem and Career Deci sion Scales, Pre and Post...................................66 Table 3 Measuring the Quality of Implem entation of the E-Mentoring Model............69 Table 4 Sample Design Re vision Tracking Chart ........................................................73 Table 5 Timeline for Data Collection...........................................................................83 Table 6 Gender and Race Distribution for Students Enrolled in the GED Exit Option Program........................................................................................90 Table 7 Descriptive Statistics for Ro senberg Self-Esteem Scale, Pretest and Posttest Results .........................................................................................92 Table 8 Descriptive Statistics for Career Decision Scale, Pretest and Posttest Results, Positive Questions Measuring Certainty about a Career....................94 Table 9 Descriptive Statistics for Career Decision Scale, Pretest and Posttest Results, Negative Questions M easuring Career Indecision.............................95 Table 10 Average Number of Days Absent from School During Program....................97 Table 11 Average Number of Days Absent from School During Program....................98 Table 12 Pre GED Results by Group..............................................................................99 Table 13 Post GED Results by Group .........................................................................100 Table 14 F-Ratios of Repeated Meas ures ANOVA, Students Who Took both Pre GED and Post GED ................................................................................104 Table 15 F-Ratios of Repeated M easures ANOVA, Students Who Took both Pre GED and Post GED.................................................................................105

PAGE 9

vi Table 16 Pre GED Subtests and Total Pr e GED Tests, Students Who Stayed in School versus Those Who Dropped Out....................................................106 Table 17 Pearson Product Moment Correlation between Study Variables at Pretest, Control Group...................................................................................108 Table 18 Pearson Product Moment Co rrelation between Study Variables at Posttest, Control Group..................................................................................109 Table 19 Pearson Product Moment Correlation between Study Variables Pretest to Posttest, Control Group..................................................................110 Table 20 Pearson Product Moment Co rrelation between Study Variables at Pretest, Mentored Group................................................................................111 Table 21 Pearson Product Moment Co rrelation between Study Variables at Posttest, Mentored Group..............................................................................112 Table 22 Pearson Product Moment Correlation between Study Variables Pretest to Posttest, Mentored Group..............................................................113 Table 23 Mentor Satisfaction Survey 1, Recruiting......................................................128 Table 24 Mentee Satisfaction Survey 1, Recruiting.....................................................128 Table 25 Instructor Satisfa ction Survey 1, Recruiting..................................................129 Table 26 Mentor Satisfaction Surv ey 1, Managing Expectations ...............................130 Table 27 Mentee Satisfaction Surv ey 1, Managing Expectations ..............................130 Table 28 Instructor Satisfaction Su rvey 1, Managing Expectations ...........................131 Table 29 Mentor Satisfaction Survey 2, Training.........................................................132 Table 30 Mentee Satisfaction Survey 2, Training.........................................................133 Table 31 Mentor Satisfaction Survey 2, Coaching.......................................................134 Table 32 Mentee Satisfaction Survey 2, Coaching .....................................................135 Table 33 Instructor Satisfaction Survey 2, Coaching .................................................135 Table 34 Cronbach Alpha Internal Cons istency Reliability Estimates for Satisfaction Survey 3, Mentors and Mentees.................................................137

PAGE 10

vii Table 35 Descriptive Statistics for Satisfaction Survey 3, Mentors and Mentees..................................................................................................138 Table 36 Ease of Use Questions Answ ered Strongly Agree or Agree by Mentors and Mentees.....................................................................................141 Table 37 Recommendations Connect ed to Theoretical Concepts................................166

PAGE 11

viii List of Figures Figure 1 One Structured E-Mentoring Model................................................................40 Figure 2 Theoretical Conceptual Fr amework for E-Mentoring Program.......................50 Figure 3 Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Pretest and Posttest Results............................92 Figure 4 Career Decision Scale, Pretest and Posttest Results for Positive Questions, Measuring Cert ainty about a Career..............................................95 Figure 5 Career Decision Scale, Pretes t and Posttest Results for Negative Questions, Measuring Career Indecision.........................................................96 Figure 6 Mean GED Science Sc ores, Pretest and Posttest...........................................101 Figure 7 Mean GED Social Studie s Scores, Pretest and Posttest.................................101 Figure 8 Mean GED Reading Sc ores, Pretest and Posttest..........................................102 Figure 9 Mean GED Mathematics Scores, Pretest and Posttest...................................102 Figure 10 Mean GED Writing Sc ores, Pretest and Posttest...........................................103 Figure 11 Mean GED Total Scores, Pretest and Posttest...............................................103

PAGE 12

ix Determining the Quality and Impact of an E-Mentoring Program on At-Risk Youth Diane W. Culpepper Abstract The purpose of this research was twofold. Since e-mentoring is relatively new, there have been very few studies that have explored the impact of an e-mentoring program on both the academic and psychologi cal outcomes of its participants. In addition, there is little resear ch on the quality of implemen ting, or what we will call the working quality, of an e-mentoring model. This study addressed both. First, the study examined whether or not e-mentoring had an academic and psychological impact on 32 high school students who were at-risk of dropping out of school. The students were enrolled in a GED Exit Option program at two technical centers in a large urban school district in Florida. Each student was matched with a mentor who was a business partner and involved with one or both of the technical centers in an advisory capacity. The students and mentors were randomly matched and never met face-to-face during the program. All of th eir communication and mentoring was done online using a secure e-mail program. Second, the working quality of the e-mentoring model was addressed. By using the design experiment methodology during the course of the study and examining the quality of each component of the e-ment oring model as it was being implemented,

PAGE 13

x revisions were made as problems were id entified during each component of the ementoring program. The structured e-mentoring model used was based on a review of the literature and specifically on the research of Single a nd Muller (1999). The students, mentors, and instructors who participated were co-participa nts in the design and analysis and provided input using surveys and focus groups at se veral intervals throughout the e-mentoring program. The design experiment approach was intended to help researchers deal with and learn from events in classrooms where it is impossible to contro l many variables and where the objective of the research is to re fine a system (e.g., an e-mentoring program) or a curriculum. Analysis of the data showed there were no significant differences between the participants and the non-partic ipants in the program as it related to self-esteem, career indecision, attendance, and academic achievement. However, the rich dialogue that occurred throughout the program allowed the researcher to examine the working quality of the program in progress. The modifications and improvements made to the ementoring process will provide an excellent foundation for fu ture e-mentoring programs.

PAGE 14

1 Chapter 1 Introduction The problem of students leaving school befo re graduation is a national crisis. The National Center for Education Statistics re ported that in 2005 approximately 3.5 million 16through 24-year-olds were not enrolled in high school and had not earned a high school diploma or alternative credential such as a GED. These individuals accounted for 9.4 percent of the 36.8 million 16-through 24-y ear-olds in the United States in 2005. Research reveals that although the dropout ra te has declined between 1972 (14.6%) and 2005 (9.4%) (NCES, 2007), leavi ng school without a diploma continues to pose a serious problem to the social and economic health of the country as well as to the individual dropout (Lehr, 2004). Parents, high school counselors, teach ers, and administrators, along with employers and the business community, worry about the fate of high school dropouts. As the United States moves towards a higher-ski lled labor force, hi gh school dropouts will have a more difficult time surviving economi cally (Beatty, Neisser, Trent, & Heubert, 2001; Hull & Grevelle, 1998; Swanson, 2007). Those who drop out of high school can expect to earn considerably less money, expect to experience difficulties with mental and physical health, and will most likely have less than adequate academic skills than high school graduates (Bridgela nd, Dilulio, & Morison, 2006; Catterall, 1985; Edmondson & White, 1998; Harlow, 2003; Rumberger, 1987) For example, in 2005 the unemployment

PAGE 15

2 rate for dropouts was 32.9%. Further, the earnings of a high school dropout over a 40 year period is approximately $350,000 less than those of a high school graduate over a lifetime of working (Spotlight on Statistics, 2007). Dropping out not only makes an impact on the readiness of the workforce in the 21st century global economy, but it is also intertwined with othe r issues impacting Americas so cial structure. Poverty, teen pregnancy, child abuse, drug abuse, and criminal activity are often the result of a lack of education and training necessary to succeed in todays workplace. Until the beginning of the 20th century, dropping out of high school was not perceived as a problem in society because ve ry few students enroll ed in high school in the first place. As the United States moved from a rural economy to an urban one, more and more students enrolled in and gradua ted from high school. However, there were plenty of jobs still available for adults without high school diplomas. Today, this is simply not the case. American competitivene ss and worker prosperity are tied tightly to the education attainment and skill development of the workforce (Swanson, 2007; U.S. Department of Commerce, 2004). Only recently have educators begun placing greater attention on dropout prevention in this country (Boniilla, as cited in Lunenburg, 2000; Hammond, Smink, & Drew, 2007). In 1986, Florida passed the Dropo ut Prevention Act which authorized and encouraged district school boards to establish comprehensive dropout prevention programs. Since that time, various programs a nd strategies have been developed to help keep students in school including modifying th e instructional envir onment, strengthening school membership, developing relationships with students, counseling, and mentoring (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000; Lunenburg & Irby, 1999; Stanard, 2003).

PAGE 16

3 Unfortunately, many of these programs rarely constitute a major effort to hold youth in school. They are often too small, poorly funded, and isolated to really make a dent in the dropout problem (Dorn, 1996). During the last decade and a half, mentor ing has been rapidly gaining momentum in the school environment. Approximately five million youth are involved in school and community-based mentoring programs nationwide (McLearn, Colasanto, Schoen, & Shapiro, 1999). Mentoring can be found in programs that address the needs of youth at risk for educational failure, teen pregnancy, delinquency a nd substance abuse. Mentoring can also be found in career exploration and preparation programs both at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Mentoring is also often implemented as part of a dropout prevention program. According to the National Mentoring Partnership (n.d.), approximately 15 million young Americans are waiting to be matched with a mentor. Scarcity of resources, lack of time, and a limited number of available adults have hindered the successful implementation of many mentoring programs. Although the research indicates mentoring is an extremely effective way to promote student success and decrease the high school dropout rate, like many other inte rvention strategies, mentoring has not become a major component in the American education model. One reason mentoring has not been fully implemented throughout the education world is that the demand for mentors far out weighs the available supply. Volunteers are scarce. People who otherwise might wish to become mentors are leading very busy and hectic lives (Furano, Roaf, Styles, & Branch, 1993). Many people who might make excellent role models for at-risk youth feel they are unable to commit the required time

PAGE 17

4 necessary. Retirees might have time to serve as mentors but often lack the ability to do so due to financial or transportation issues. Colle ge students might have the interest in the students but might find it difficult to make a long-term relationship considered so important. Some potential mentors might be af raid to go into the neighborhoods that are most in need of positive role models for youth. Practitioners have begun to search for alternative forms of ment oring. One of these altern atives is e-mentoring. E-mentoring is the telecomm unications version of ment oring. Using the Internet, mentors are connected to their mentees. Many mentors cannot or do not have the time or ability to go to a classroom, but they can become involved w ith students via the Internet. Usually, the interaction between the mentor and mentee occu rs via e-mail, but it could also entail instant messaging, audio and vide o conferencing, and online discussion boards both synchronously and asynchronously (Guy, 20 02; Single & Muller, 1999). Currently, there is a great deal of excitement about e-mentoring, and as access to technology and the Internet has become more common in homes and schools across the country, it has become easier to develop e-mentoring program s. Some of the programs focus on career or school outcomes, while others focus on much broader developmental goals. Currently, the most common form of e-me ntoring is the askan-expert model. This model of connecting subject matter experts with students who are studying or researching a particular topi c is easier to integrate into the classroom than more traditional mentoring programs. Two successf ul e-mentoring ask-an-expert projects currently underway in the United States are the International Telementor Project (ITP) and the Electronic Emissary Project (EEP ). ITP creates matches between industry professionals and students. Since 1995, over 28,000 students have been served

PAGE 18

5 throughout nine countries (Lewis, 2005). EEP which has been in existence since 1993, is designed to match students with subj ect matter experts from around the world via e-mail to provide assistance in curricul um-based projects. To date, over 400 teams of students, teachers, facilitators, and subjec t matter experts have participated in an EEP project. Other e-models are just emerging. The literature is full of numerous mentor ing projects that have been studied and researched; however, there is very little theoretical perspective for mentoring. Bozeman & Feeney (2007) suggest that there has b een much emphasis placed on the nature of effective mentoring, the benefits of mentori ng, and the impact of mentoring on a specific population, but there has been very little at tention paid to the core concepts and theoretical foundation of mentoring. In addition, the descriptions of mentor ing programs are so diverse and the empirical studies so broad that the cumulativ e knowledge gained through the research is often inconsistent and sometimes opposing. A nother problem is the lack of a common operational definition of mentoring (Bozeman & Feeney, 2007; Healy & Welchert, 1990; Jacobi, 1991). For the purposes of this st udy, the definition of mentoring was adapted from the National Mentoring Partnership ( n.d.) and reads as follows: Mentoring is a structured and trusting rela tionship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support a nd encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentee . Statement of the Problem There were two problems that were investigated in this dissertation study. Since e-mentoring is relatively new, there are very few studies that expl ore the impact of an

PAGE 19

6 e-mentoring program on both the academic and psychological outcomes of its participants. There is also little research on the quality of implementing, or what we have called the working quality, of an e-mentoring model. This study addressed both. First, the study helped determine whether e-mentoring had an academic and psychological impact on high school students who were at-risk of dropping out of school. Second, the working quality of the e-mentoring model was a ddressed. By using a design experiment methodology during the course of the study and examining the quality of each component of the e-mentoring model as it wasbeing implemented, problems were identified and corrected or improved upon if appropriate as they arose during each individual phase of the e-mentoring program. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was twofold. The first purpose was to determine the impact of an e-mentoring program on at-r isk students self-esteem, career indecision, attendance, and academic achievement. The students participating in the study were enrolled in the GED Exit Option pr ogram during the 2006-2007 school year. Second, the study examined the working quality of each co mponent of the structured e-mentoring program model and ev aluated each as it was being implemented in order to determine the implication for design changes needed to improve the model while the program was underway and in future programs. Research Questions Three research questions were posed: 1. What is the impact of the structured ementoring model on at-risk students selfesteem, career indecision, attendance and academic achievement?

PAGE 20

7 2. What is the working quality of each of the design com ponents of the structured e-mentoring model? 3. What are the implications for design changes needed to improve the model during the study and in subsequent studies? Definition of Terms For the purpose of this study, the definitions of terms are as follows: At risk students Students who are in danger of dropping out of school before graduation. Career indecision The degree of certainty a pe rson feels about his/her decision regarding a college major and/or a career. E-mentoring The telecommunications version of mentoring. Using the Internet, mentors are connected to their mentees. GED Tests General Education Development Tests that measure the outcome of a high school education. GED Exit Option An option that states have to administer the GED Tests to students currently enrolled in high sc hools in order to avoid the indu cement of students to leave school before graduating (GED Exit Op tion Model Procedures Manual, 2003). Mentee The student being mentored or guided by the mentor. Mentor An individual who is a trusted guide; an adult who develops a relationship with a younger person in order to teach, lead, or coach. Mentoring Generally, a one-on-one relationshi p between an adult and youth that continues over time and is focu sed on the youths development. Self-esteem Self-worth; the value someone gives to his or her life and accomplishments.

PAGE 21

8 Working quality Quality of implementation; the quality of how the e-mentoring model actually works. Assumptions The researcher assumed that there was uniformity in understanding and implementing the mentoring program by the mentors, mentees, and teachers. It was assumed that all the participants responded honestly on the survey instruments that they are asked to complete. It was also assumed that the mentors and mentees were able to develop a relationship during the tim e period of five months. Three teachers and six classes participated. The curriculum fo r the GED Exit Option program is standard between classes and schools, and it was assu med that all students received comparable instruction. It was also assumed that all stud ents were able to utilize the hardware and software necessary to communicate online. Limitations 1. The random assignment of research particip ants to an experimental study greatly enhanced the validity of the study. Howe ver, in this study, students who were participating in the GED Exit Option program were not randomly assigned to the class. The students in the program met specific eligibility requirements and therefore had similar characteristics. Howe ver, they were assigned to the classes based only on their geographic lo cation in the school district. 2. The use of self-report measures might have been problematic. The participants may have responded in a socially desi rable manner instead of honestly. Students were assured of anonymity and confidentiality and were encouraged to answer truthfully.

PAGE 22

9 3. The mentors were volunteers from the Central Florida business community. In order to meet the school districts re quirements for mentors who work with students, it was necessary to follow specific policies that were already in place in the district. The Central Florida busin ess community might not have been representative of the pot ential mentor population in the Central Florida area. 4. Both the research participants and the mentors lacked experience with developing and sustaining relationships online. 5. Since students in the rand omly selected mentored classes were allowed to choose whether or not they wished to have a mentor, mentored students and nonmentored students in the same class might have discussed the project with each other. 6. Three teachers participated in the program, and each teacher might have interpreted the implementation of the program differently. 7. Confounding variables such as other activities taking pl ace in the classroom and at home might have had an impact on the results. As with any study, there are unknown fact ors that may affect outcomes. For example, the general classroom environment or the relationship the student developed with the teacher might have had more influe nce on the students achievement and selfesteem than the e-mentoring program had on them.

PAGE 23

10 Organization of the Study The purpose of the Chapter 2, the Literature Review, is to present an overview of the significant research and theory surrounding four main topics: high school dropouts, mentoring as a possible solution to the dropout problem, a framework of one structured electronic mentoring model, a nd the conceptual framework of a mentoring program, as a way to successfully provide mentoring to mo re students across the nation. The key issues and challenges are highlighted in the revi ew. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the methodology that was utilized in the study in cluding the research design, the population and sample, the instruments and surveys used, the procedures that were followed, and the data analyses that were used. Chapter 4 pr ovides an overview of the quantitative findings and results from the qualitative phases of the study. Chapter 5 provides a summary and conclusions of the results as well as recommendations for future research.

PAGE 24

11 Chapter 2 Literature Review Although often difficult to determine the ex act percentage, students continue to drop out of high school at an alarming rate. Th e Editorial Projects in Education Research Center (2007) reported that about 30% of the class of 2007 will fail to graduate with their peers. In February, 2005, the Manhattan Instit ute for Policy Research reported that the nationwide graduation rate in 2002 was 71%, while the United States Department of Educations National Center for Education St atistics reported the graduation rate for the same year was 86.5%. Mather and Rivers (2003) through the Population Reference Bureau, conducted a report on the 2000 Census and concluded that approximately 10% of teens ages 16-19 were high school dropouts. Calculating a precise dropout rate is almost impossible because schools, districts, and states differ in their definition of a dr opout, their counting methods, their methods of following a student who drops and reenters, and also of following those who leave the district and reenter another one. Some statis tics include earning e quivalent credentials such as the GED while others do not. Some of the states include students who quit school and then return while others do not. Dropout rates are calculated two ways event and status. Event rates describe the proportion of students who leave school each year while status rates provide cumula tive data on dropouts among a gr oup of student within a specified age range. Sometimes institutions report rates as event and sometimes as status.

PAGE 25

12 However, whether the number is 10% or 26%, dropping out of high school is a problem in the United States. The statistics in Florid a are just as disturbing. Education Week (2007) reported that Florida, based on 2004 data, ha s a 60.5% graduation rate, ranking it 45th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Manhattan Instit ute (2005) analyzed graduation numbers for the state of Floridas class of 2002 and concluded that 59% of Florida's students graduated in the trad itional four years. Although the event dropout rate has steadily decreased in Florida during the past five years from a high of 4.6% in 1999-00 to 3.0% in 2004-05, 27,784 dropouts were reported for grades 9 -12. In Orange County, Florida, the 11th largest school district in the nation, the event dropout rate was 2.0% in 2004-05, well above the state aver age. The graduation rate in Orange County was 73.8% for the same year (Florida Department of Education, 2007). As the median income and the cost of livi ng continue to rise in Central Florida, dropouts face bleak economic prospects in this community. The 2006 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Ce nsus Bureau reported that the average family income in Orlando was $40,143. Although hospitality is considered the number one employment sector in Central Flor ida, advanced manufacturing, aviation and aerospace, digital media, simulation and training, and biotechnology are quickly emerging as the industry sectors of the futu re. Adults without a high school diploma will be unable to compete in the Central Florida job market and may face a life of unfulfilled potential. In addition to the adverse economic consequences for those who drop out of school, the disaffiliation from society th at occurs merits public attention.

PAGE 26

13 Consequences of Dropping Out The consequences of dropping out of hi gh school have serious economic, social, and individual outcomes. Those who drop out of high school can expect to earn considerably less money, experience difficultie s with mental and physical health, and have weaker academic skills than high school graduates. The U.S. Department of Labor (2005) reported that of the 18.9 million new jobs projected by 2014, 87% are expected to be filled by workers with at least some post-secondary education. If high school dropouts are working, they earn considerably less m oney than high school graduates. The average annual income for a high school dropout in 2005 was $17, 018. The average annual income for a high school graduate during the same year was $26, 933 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006). Each years class of dropouts wi ll cost the country billions of dollars during their lifetimes in lost earnings and unr ealized tax revenue (B ridgeland et al., 2006; Catterall, 1985; Edmondson & White, 1998; Mann, 1986). Other dropout statistics are equally alarming: 1. In the class of 2002, about 22% of white students dropped out of high school compared to 44% of African-Ameri can students and 48% of Hispanic students (Green & Winters, 2005). 2. The unemployment rate of young black dr opouts is twice that of black high school graduates in the age group of 18 24; 35.8% for the dropouts and 18.3% for the graduates. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2004). 3. Of the 496,000 dropouts from the class of 2003-04, 39.9% were not employed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2004).

PAGE 27

14 4. In 2004, approximately 34.7% of high school dropouts were living at or below the poverty level (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2004). 5. Seventy-five percent of Americas state prison inmates are high school dropouts while 59% of the federal pris on inmates did not finish high school (Harlow, 2003). 6. High school dropouts are less li kely to vote than are hi gh school graduates. (U.S. Bureau of Census, 2004). The seriousness of the dropout problem in the United States can only get worse. As the country moves towards a higher-ski lled labor force, high school dropouts will have an increasingly difficult time financially because they will not be able to compete in the global marketplace. As the number of students from low-income and immigrant families entering the public school system incr eases, the number of students at risk of dropping out will increase. The continued move ment towards high school exit exams and the end of social promotion could also increase the number of students who do not complete high school (Rumberger, 2001). Why Students Dropout of High School There are probably as many reasons for dr opping out of high school as there are high school dropouts. Dropping out is a process, not an event, and while it occurs at a specific moment, the process begins long befo re the decision to leave school is made (Bridgeland et al., 2006; Fasko & Flint, 1990; Gerics & Westheimer, 1988; Stanard, 2003). Dropping out is a combination of influences that are often multifaceted and interrelated. Poor academic performance, lack of goals for the future, substance abuse,

PAGE 28

15 pregnancy, legal problems, truancy, tardiness, suspension, lack of family support, single parent households, primary language other than English, and poverty are almost always characteristics of dropouts (Horn, 1992; Woods, 1995). Dropouts from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 reported a variety of reasons for leaving school earl y. Seventy-seven percent mentioned schoolrelated reasons like did not like school, failing school, and could not get along with teachers. Family-related reasons were men tioned by 34% while work-related reasons were mentioned by 32% of those in the st udy (Berktold, Geis, & Kaufman, 1988, as cited in Rumberger, 2001). Bridgeland et al (2006) reported that the major factors influencing dropping out of high school included classes were not interesting, missed too many days and could not catch up, and was failing in school. Background Characteristics and Dropping Out The literature seems to rev eal that there are two bac kground characteristics that are strong predictors of dr opping out of high school. Thes e two characteristics are socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity. Stude nts of lower socioeconomic status tend to have higher dropout rates (Ekstrom, Goer tz, Pollack, & Rock, 1986; Swanson, 2007; Woods, 1995). Dropping out occurs more of ten among Hispanics than among blacks, and more often among blacks than whites (Gr een & Winters, 2006; Jordan, Lara & McPartland, 1996; Swanson, 2007). Other back ground factors associated with dropping out include being raised by a single parent, coming from a large family, living in the South or living in a large city (Barro & Kolstad, 1987; Mather & Rivers, 2003). Students who leave school do so primarily for economic reasons, for reasons tied to their failure,

PAGE 29

16 real or imagined, or because they do not fit in academically and/or socially (Catterall, 1986; Roderick, 1993; Rumberger, 2001). During 2003 in the largest urban school dist rict in Central Florida, the per capita income was $20,916 with 16.3% of the populat ion under age 18 living below the poverty line. During the 2006-07 school year, 47.3% of th e student population in this district received reduced-price or free lunch (Florida Department of Education, 2007). The racial makeup of the student population in this district was 34.84% wh ite, 27.63% black, and 30.55% Hispanic. Only 47% of the families in this county were made up of married couples living together. The rest were single parent families, non-families living together, or individuals living alone. Once these sta tistics were analyzed, it seems understandable that the dropout rate in this urban school district is so high. Academic Performance and Dropping Out Poor academic performance is cited most often as a reason for dropping out of high school. Repeated failure in school leads to more failure and eventually to dropping out of school (Bridgeland, et al., 2006; Edmondson & White, 1998). Poor grades and low test scores increase a students frustration and reduce the motivati on to stay in school (Bryk & Thum, 1989; Hale & Canter, 2000). One of the most thorough studies on why students drop out of high school was conducte d by Ekstrom et al. (1986) who found that high school dropouts had lower scho ol grades and test scores, spent less time reading and did less homework than their counterparts who stayed in school. They also reported that dropouts had an extended histor y of discipline problems incl uding truancy and tardiness.

PAGE 30

17 Truancy, Tardiness, and Dropping Out High school dropouts have highe r rates of chronic trua ncy and tardiness than those who stay in school. Atte ndance problems can be an early signal that the student is disengaging from the schooling process; daily school attendance reflects both student motivation and parental suppor t (Ekstrom et al., 1986; Hale & Canter, 2000; Lee & Burkam, 1992). As students are disengagi ng, their academic achievement obviously suffers. The opposite is true as well. As academ ic achievement begins to suffer, students do not want their peers or teachers to know the extent of their academic problems. Students begin missing classes or skippi ng school to avoid frustration and embarrassment. Either way, students miss sc hool, and many eventually drop out or are suspended for lack of attendance (Ekstrom, et al., 1986). Deeper issues are often at the root of truancy including drug abuse, a troubled home, fear of bullies, and a need to work and help support the family. Th ese same issues often impact students self-esteem and are intertwined as reasons for even tually dropping out of school. Self-Esteem and Dropping Out Self-esteem, or the feeling one has to ward oneself, is often believed to be necessary for success in school. Educators ge nerally agree that unproductive behavior resulting in dropping out of school is associated with low self-esteem and underachievement (Beck & Muia, 1980; Brodinsky & Keough, 1989). Self-esteem is defined by the perceptions that a person holds about him or herself. These perceptions vary in clarity, precision, and importance, and the value placed on these perceptions,

PAGE 31

18 whether positive or negative, makes up ones self-esteem. Students with poor self-esteem often see themselves to be poor learners (Weaver & Matthews, 1993). Many programs that focus on improvi ng at-risk student achievement and behaviors emphasize self-esteem. The research regarding this concept is inconsistent, however. Ekstrom et al. (1986) reported that dropouts were significan tly more likely than their peers who stayed in school to show lowe r self-concept. Other st udies, including the High School and Beyond Survey which focused on sophomores, found no difference in self-esteem between those w ho graduated and those who di d not (Fasko & Flint, 1990; Royse, 1998). Many adolescents, by the time they drop out have lost all co nfidence in their ability to succeed in school and have developed low self-estee m and feelings of inferiority (Cairns, Cairns, & Neckerma n, 1989; Colardarci, McCaul, Donaldson, & Davis, 1992). Students who drop out are more li kely to perceive th e school setting as nonsupportive and/or irrelevant. Some re searchers suggest that the students psychological attachment to school and investme nt in learning are keys to academic and social success (Hale & Canter, 2000). High school dropouts appear to feel alienated from school life and have lower levels of particip ation in extracurricular activities, especially in athletics (Ekstrom et al., 1986). Both ethnographic and survey-based studies indicate that students who leave school before graduation cite a lack of so cial and academic support as one reason for doing so. They feel disconnected from teachers and complain that their teachers do

PAGE 32

19 not care about them and are not interested in how well they do in school (Croninger & Lee, 2001). Many dropouts report that they have fewer positive social interactions and less access to assistance from teachers than their peers. Career Indecision and Dropping Out Thousands of high school students graduate every year without a primary interest to pursue or a plan to pursue it (D. Neils, personal communication, March 19, 2004). Many students do not have an understanding of th eir future plans or even how to think about the future, particularly those stude nts who are not doing well academically in school. They are unfocused and do not understand the reasons they ar e in school or the impact that education can have for their fu ture. Many students do not connect what they are learning in school and what happens to them outside of school (Wakefield, Sage, & Coy, 2003). In many cases, career guidance programs are few and far between in American high schools. According to the American School Counselor Association (2007), school counselors have an average load of 479 student s. With numbers this high, it is difficult for counselors to provide substantive car eer guidance activities for all students. Unfortunately, most students receive little career guidan ce and educational planning while in school. Research indicates that when students have unclear goals or ambitions, they begin to choose what gives them an i mmediate solution instead of considering a variety of options or seeki ng advice from others. These students demonstrate limited decision-making ability and make choices too soon without considering all the alternatives. When disengaged, unfocused st udents come to high school and when they

PAGE 33

20 face new academic challenges, they often choose to withdraw from the public school system (Kemple & Snipes, 2000, as cite d in Wakefield, 2003; Wakefield, 2003). In 2004, the State of Florida conduc ted a study through the Council for Education Policy, Research and Improvement (CEPRI) and found that helping students clarify career goals, understanding the worl d of work, and receiving personal advice regarding career planning would assist in improving Floridas graduation rate. CEPRI recommended that every student in Florida sh all be made aware of career options by the start of high school and be provided with ex tensive guidance in order to plan their coursework in accordance with their career as piration, has just begun to be implemented and indicates the importance of career gui dance in keeping students in school. Dropout Prevention Strategies Unfortunately, there is no one answer to preventing students from dropping out of high school. The problem is complex and the varied demographic and social characteristics of at-risk students make it difficult to design one type of program or strategy that will work with all students. The key, however, to reducing the dropout rate is helping young people overcome their sens e of disconnectedness or alienation from school and the community (Woods, 1995). Th e research revealed numerous dropout prevention programs and strategies being implemented across the na tion and in Florida including modifying the inst ructional environment, stre ngthening school membership, developing relationships with students, and counseling and mentoring (Lunenburg & Irby as cited in Lunenburg, 2000; Stanard, 2003).

PAGE 34

21 Modifying the Instructional Environment Students at risk of dropping out perceive they are trea ted differently from highachieving students. Teachers often have lowe r expectations for the at-risk students ability to learn. At-risk students sense the te achers lower regard for their personal worth as learners and then live up to the low exp ectations. When the inst ructional environment is modified and teacher expectations rise, students seem to achieve (Acheson & Gall, 1998; Lee & Smith, 1994; Lunenburg & Irby, 1999). Many programs which strive to modify the instructional environment have b een designed as dropout prevention strategies and exist in many urban school districts. So me of these programs include alternative credit programs, teen pregnancy programs, second chance programs, discipline programs, and school-to-work programs. However, they are limited in scope and are unable to meet the growing population of at-risk students. Sense of Membership Wehlage, Rutter, Smith, Lesko, & Fern andez (1989) studied schools with low dropout rates and determined that schools that created a sense of membership for at-risk students were more successful in keeping students in school than those that do not. Membership depends on social bonding and th e development of relationships between the students and their teachers, peers or the school itself (Lune nburg, 2000). Organizing schools into small learning communities affo rds students more opportunities to build interpersonal relationships that are significant, to become engaged in their learning, to feel like they belong to a smaller group, and to become more aware of how their behavior affects others (Jekielek, Moore, Hair, & Scarupa, 2002). Smaller learning communities,

PAGE 35

22 schools within a school, career academies, and belonging to school clubs create the opportunity for students to develop a sense of membership. Unfortunately, these programs are again very limited in size and sc ope across the United States, in Florida, and in Central Florida. Relationships All children need concerned adults in th eir lives. Positive, nurturing relationships with parents represent a critical resource for children. Other adults can also provide support that is similar to the support provi ded by parents. The ot her adult can often provide emotional support, advice, and guidan ce about subjects that adolescents do not feel comfortable discussing with their parents (Allen, Aber, & Leadbeater, 1990). Such involvement is especially important for at-r isk youth who are often from single-parent families living in neighborhoods that often ha ve a limited number of positive role models (Jekielek et al., 2002; Petersmeyer, 1989). Youth are growing up in families where parents are coping with financial stress a nd their own personal problems. With the decline in the social and family structure in th e United States over the past fifty years, the institutions on which young people rely for supp ort and guidance, like families, churches, community groups, and educational organizations are less effective than they have been in the past (Croninger & Lee, 2001). Support ne tworks are needed to fill the emptiness left by busy or non-existent parents. Positive relationships can create powerful incentives to attend school. These relationships provide students with the em otional support, encouragement, and actual assistance when an academic or personal problem threatens to overwhelm them. Positive

PAGE 36

23 relationships help teens cope with their problems. Adolescence is also a time for loosening home ties, explor ing the world outside the fa mily, and learning to be independent (Sipe & Roder, 1999; Wakefield et al., 2003). During these difficult years, the relationships teens have with adults can make a difference to their success or failure in school and in life. Counseling Counselors play a crucial role in und erstanding the problem of school dropouts and developing relationships with the potential dropouts they serve. Counselors are often the key people who are able to identify students at-risk and coordinate effective interventions. Successful dropout prevention programs include counseling for not only academic guidance, but also to focus on the me ntal, social, and career planning aspects of the students lives (Lunenburg & Irby as cited in Lunenburg, 2000; Stanard, 2003). Unfortunately, counselors often have an extr emely busy schedule in todays high schools. Their duties include providing academic s upport to teachers a nd students; helping students with goal setting, postsecondary planning, and college applications; working with students in areas of substance abuse, conflict resolution, and ot her emotional/social issues; making recommendations for courses; reviewing transcripts; and handling the requirements of federal, state, and district rules and policies. In Florida, the average student to counselor rati o is 449 to 1 which allows very li ttle time for individual attention for at-risk students. In Cent ral Florida, guidance and stude nt support spending is $240 per student while the state average is $330 (Flori da Monitor, 2005). There does not seem to be enough time or money to provide effective counseling strategies for at-risk students.

PAGE 37

24 Mentoring as a Solution Mentoring is a one-to-one supportive re lationship between a mentor and mentee that is based on trust, personalized atte ntion, and care (Flaxman, Asher & Harrington, 1998). Supportive relationships w ith adults can influence the course and quality of a young persons life. Mentoring programs acro ss the country have been developed to help students focus on their academics, expl ore careers, modify social behaviors, and develop parenting skills and are often part of a dropout pr evention program. Mentoring is a popular intervention strategy because it appears simple and cheap, is positively perceived, and is seen as a legitimate way fo r adults to participate in the lives of youth in a direct way. In addition, mentori ng speaks to the American traditions of achievement, optimism, improved workfor ce competitiveness, and community values (Freedman, 1991). Historical Perspective of Mentoring The concept of mentoring has been around since the first telli ng of the mythical legend of Mentor in 800 B.C. Mentor was a friend and counselor of King Odysseus who was entrusted with the educa tion of Odysseus son Telemac hus (Adams & Scott, 1997). Mentor was responsible for all facets of th e sons life, including physical, intellectual, spiritual, social, and administrative developmen t. Mentors main role was to make sure that Telamachus would be a competent succe ssor to the kingdom. Th e process also taught Telemachus how to think and act for himself (Crow & Matthews, 1998). It was customary in ancient Greece for young males to be paired with older males in hopes that each boy would learn the values and culture of his mentor and society. This tradition

PAGE 38

25 continued throughout the Middle Ages as young boys served as apprentices in order to learn skills and master a trade. Trusted advisors have been influencing the aspirations of mentees ever since that time. Mentoring can o ccur in any aspect of ones daily life on a formal or informal basis. Mentoring can occur at home, work, school, church, or any other place where people gather. Mentoring in the Workplace Over the past 40 years, mentoring in the workplace has become quite commonplace. Studies report that successful executives usually had someone in the organization guiding their way (Bierema & Merriam, 2002; Eby, 1997; Freedman, 1991; Kantor, 1977; Levinson, Darrow, Klien, Levinson, & McKee, 1978; Roche, 1979). Historically, mentoring has focused on career development and psychosocial functions within the boundaries of the organization. The relationships that develop through the mentoring process contribute to the growth and career development of the individual (Kram, 1985). Typically, workplace mentoring occu rs between senior and junior levels in the organization. Career development aspect s of the mentoring relationship include sponsorship, exposure and visibility, coach ing, protection and pr oviding challenging assignments. Psychosocial functions include role modeling, accep tance, confirmation, counseling and friendship (Allen & Poteet 1999; Kram, 1985; McManus & Russell, 1997; Scandura, 1998). Mentoring in the corporate world is often the key to career success and has been the topic of much interest in the career development literature. Mentorships can facilitate the development of skills and competencies that enhance performance and career

PAGE 39

26 development. Individuals who are mentored report higher le vels of compensation, career advancement and satisfaction (Dreher & Ash, 1990; Scandura, 1998; Simonetti, 1999). During the past 25 years, mentoring in th e workplace has evolved at times into a process to provide employees w ith a diversified set of skills to function in the midst of technological innovation and economic globalization (Allen & Poteet, 1999; Eby, 1997; Murray, 2001). Mentoring also has become a valuable tool to help socialize new employees or resocialize employees who ha ve experienced dramatic organizational changes like restructuring or downsizing. Mentoring in School During the last 20 years, the structur ed mentoring programs from the business world have spread to the education and youth service arenas. Mentoring is often seen as an inexpensive way to improve the situa tion for disadvantaged youth. Mentoring has been noted for its potential to match cari ng adults who can provide encouragement and impart skills and values that are necessary for success in school and in work with youth in need of this support. Mentoring programs can provide students, especially at-risk students, with encouragement, emotional support, positive role models, and friendship that are not available anyw here else. Providing youth w ith consistent adult support through well-supervised mentoring programs th at include frequent meetings and the development of a long term relationship impr oves grades and family relationships and helps prevent initiation of dr ug and alcohol use (Jekielek et al., 2002; Tierney, Grossman, & Resch, 1995). If caring con cerned adults are available to support young people, these youth will be more likely to become su ccessful adults (Scales & Gibbons, 1996).

PAGE 40

27 A mentor is someone the young person can trust. The mentor must have competence, know something that the youth doe s not know, and be able to share that knowledge (Beier, Rosenfled, Spitalny, Za nsky, & Bontempo, 2000). Young people who perceive high-quality relationships with their mentors experien ce the best results. The key to creating valuable mentoring relationshi ps seems to be the development of trust between two unfamiliar people of different ages (Sipe, 1996). Without trust, mentors can never support the youth with wh om they interact. Learning to trust, especially for youth who have been disappointed by significant adults before, requires time and effort. Mentors who follow a gradual path in buildi ng trust find that once this relationship is built, the support they offer is meaningf ul. Overall, young people who are the most disadvantaged or at-risk seem to benefit the most from mentoring when compared to regular students (Jek ielek et al., 2002). Successful Mentoring Programs Probably the largest, most comprehensive mentoring program in the United States is the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Amer ica (BBBSA) program with approximately 100,000 participants. BBBSA, founded in 1904, pairs unrelated adults with youth from single-parent families in over 500 programs throughout the United States (Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, 2003). BBBSA is designe d to provide youth with an adult friend who can help promote positive youth development. The BBBSA mentor and youth mentee agree to meet two to four times per month for at least one year. Several evaluation studies of the BBBSA programs have been conducted over the

PAGE 41

28 years. In an 18-month study of the program which sampled 959 students, Tierney et al. (1995) found that high-intensity mentoring pr ograms could work especially when the relationship includes one-on-one contact and m eeting at least three times per month for an average of four hours per meeting. The re sults indicated 46% of the youth were less likely to use drugs, 52% were less likely to skip a day of school, and 37% less likely to skip a class. Students also felt slightly better about how they would perform in school (4% better). Overall, the researchers concluded that me ntored youth make measurable gains in school achievement and attendance and in relations with peers and parents. Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), an inde pendent research fi rm, studied the BBBSA program again in 2000. P/PV found that well -run, school-based mentoring programs like BBBSA are likely to be a powerful inte rvention for many disadvantage youth. In 1999, BBBSA researchers studied five of their own school-based mentoring programs BBBS of Greater Fairbanks Area, Fairbanks, Alaska; BBBS of Delaware, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware; BBBS of Tamp a Bay, Inc., Tampa, Florida; BBBS of Bartholomew County, Inc., Columbus, Indi ana; and BBBS of Forsyth County, Inc., Winston Salem, North Carolina. The program s showed that children involved in BBBSA school-based mentoring programs devel oped improved attitudes towards school, achieved higher grades, and improved their re lationships with adults and their peers. According to the teachers who referred all of the students in the study to the programs: 64% of the students developed more positive at titudes about school; 58% achieved higher grades in social studies, languages and math ematics; 60% improved relationships with adults; 56% improved relationships with peer s; 55% were better ab le to express their

PAGE 42

29 feelings; 64% developed higher levels of self confidence; and 62% were more likely to trust their teachers (Curtis & Hansen-Schwoebel, 1999). The Office of Juvenile Justice a nd Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has supported mentoring through a program called the Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP). Over 41 JUMP programs provide one-on-one me ntoring for youth at risk of delinquency, gang involvement, educational failure, or dr opping out of school. A national evaluation of the JUMP programs in the United States (Novotney, Mertinko, Lange, & Baker, 2000) revealed that there were 7,422 youth enrolled, and of those, 5,425 had been matched with a mentor. Many of the projects reported ha ving difficulty recruiting mentors to serve enrolled youth. Program directors are often able to recruit youth faster than they can recruit mentors. According to the OJJDP, youth who participated in a mentoring program for at least a year were 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol, 53% less likely to skip school, 37% less likely to skip a class, and 33% less likely to hit someone. Jekielek et al. (2002) re viewed studies of 10 youth mentoring programs, both nationally and locally based. Th e researchers looked at the pr ograms to assess the effects of mentoring in three major areas: educational achievement; health and safety; and social and emotional development. The evaluations of these programs revealed that overall, youth participating in mentoring relationships experienced positive outcomes including better attendance, a be tter chance of going on to higher education, and better attitudes toward school. Generally, the impact of mentoring on grade improvement was not as significant. The evaluations revealed that me ntoring shows promise in the prevention of

PAGE 43

30 substance abuse and in reducing some negativ e youth behaviors rela ted to delinquency. This researcher discovered that mentoring promotes positive social attitudes and relationships but does not consistently improve youths perceptions of their own worth. Some researchers suggest, however, th at while there are numerous mentoring programs connecting adults with at-risk adolescents, there is little data to show that mentorship really makes a difference (Bei er et al., 2000; Keating, Tomishima, Foster, & Alessandri, 2002). One problem may be that the mentorship program is often just a component of a larger intervention program for at-risk students and, therefore, it is difficult to determine the effect of mentori ng alone. The inconsistent results may be attributed to the fact that me ntoring is still in its infancy and research in this area is relatively new. Often the research studies rely on self-reported data, volunteers, and donations (Keating et al., 2002). Royse (1998) f ound statistically insi gnificant results on a mentoring program called the Brothers Pr oject, specifically de signed for high-risk African American adolescents. Youth were me ntored for a minimum of six months with the median time period being 15 months. Self-esteem, attitude towards drugs, grades, attendance and disciplinary infractions were measured, and the study found no quantitative evidence that mentors ha d a beneficial impact upon mentees. Limitations of Tradi tional Mentoring It is estimated that there are about 350,000 mentors in the United States and at least several million youth who would benefit from being matched with an adult mentor (Sipe, 1996). In 2004, BBBSA served 225,000 youth, and while that number is very large, it does not come close to the number of youth waiting to be matched with a

PAGE 44

31 mentor. Adults are busy and many studies report that time is a major concern for mentors. In addition to the actual time spent with th e mentees, mentors have to spend additional time going to and from the school site. For ment oring to really make a difference in the lives of at-risk students in this countr y, the supply of mentors must match the potential demand. Electronic Mentoring Electronic mentoring may be the solution fo r recruiting larger numbers of mentors who would be able to build relationships with youth. In the literature, electronic mentoring is also called e-mentoring, cybermentoring, virtual mentoring, or telementoring. E-mentoring can be defined as a process that combines the practice of mentoring with the speed a nd ease of electronic communicat ion. Usually, the interaction between the mentor and mentee occurs via e-mail, but it could also involve instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, and online discussion boards both synchronously and asynchronously with particip ants who could be widely distributed geographically (Guy, 2002; Harris, Rotenberg, & OBryan, 1997). E-mentoring has the potential to allow busy people to make significant connections with students. Many adults find it more practical to share their expertise online than by visiting schools in person. E-mentor ing is a practical way to give students and teachers expanded opportunities to work t ogether as partners beyond the walls of the classroom (ONeill, 2000). Busy adults find it easier to communicate online with students instead of driving to the school, meeting with the mentees, and then returning to work several times a month. Retirees, who may have the time to be a mentor but no longer

PAGE 45

32 drive, can still participate as mentors. Co mmunicating via e-mail provides an opportunity for people to mentor who never before thought they would have the time. In 1994, e-mentoring was relatively ne w and experimental. Online exchange programs (electronic pen pals) were flourishi ng, but there were very few examples of one-to-one online mentoring between olde r professionals and youth. As e-mail has become more widespread, so have e-mentori ng projects and programs. There have been very few studies that explore the interpers onal aspects of participants in an online mentoring relationship, but very few that ha ve studied their development and impact. Today, the most common form of e-mentor ing is the ask-an-expert model. This model of connecting subject matter experts wi th students who are studying or researching a particular topic is easier to integrate into the classroom than mo re traditional mentoring programs (ONeill, 2000). E-mentoring is very difficult to achieve, though, without purposeful orchestration (ONe ill & Gomez, 1998). Orchestra tion work can be conducted by the teacher or by a program coordinator. Merely getting people online is not enough; the building and maintaining online relationship is where attention must be paid (Bennett, Hupert, Tsikalas, Meade, & Honey, 1998). E-Mentoring Projects Over the last few years, a number of promising e-mentoring projects have begun. One of the largest is called the Internati onal E-mentoring Project (ITP). ITP facilitates electronic mentoring relationshi ps between professional adul ts and students worldwide. Since 1995, over 14,000 students in nine countries have been involved in the program. An evaluation of the project analyzed both quantitative and qualita tive data during the

PAGE 46

33 period from May 2000 to March 2003. Of th e 400 teachers participating in ITP, 256 responded to the survey used to evaluate the program. Teachers report ed that the areas of greatest impact for students were center ed on communication skills, self-directed learning, and proactive learning. Eighty-one percent of students made great strides towards taking more responsibility for their ow n learning as reported by their instructors. Fifty-seven percent of the st udents increased in their knowle dge of the workplace. The teachers also answered qualitative ques tions, and several major themes emerged. Teachers described students as having an increased knowledge about careers, increased self-esteem, and an increased de sire to get a job (Lewis, 2005). The E-mentoring Young Women in Science, Engineering, and Computer Project began in 1994 when online mentoring was very new. High school girls were paired with professional woman and they communicated via email in order to gain useful strategies for overcoming the challenges of everyday life In addition, the students received expert knowledge and career advice. Twen ty high schools in six states for a total of 216 students participated. There were 141 mentors so many mentors were assigned to more than one student. In a year three evaluation of the pr oject, Bennett et al. ( 1998) reported that ementoring was a positive experience for students and mentors. One finding suggested that e-mail supports prolonged communication and messages and is similar to writing in a journal because the messages can be return ed to for reflection and analysis. Another e-mentoring project currently in existence is the Electronic Emissary Project. This project is sponsored by the University of Texas at Austin, the J.C. Penney Corporation, and the Texas Center for Educat ional Technology at the University of North

PAGE 47

34 Texas. Subject matter experts (SMEs) serve as mentors to students and teachers who are exploring a specific topic of study. The Emissary also studie d the adult-child interaction in an asynchronous, computer-mediated e nvironment. Dimock (1998) conducted a qualitative study of the Electronic Emissary Project and concluded that telecomputing projects increased student interest and enga gement with content a nd increases the depth of analysis of that content. Students seemed to be self-motivated and engaged in their computer-mediated projects. Many corporations have developed e-mentor ing initiatives as a way to encourage their own employees to become involved in ou treach to students in their communities. In 2002, America Online (AOL) Time Warner and the AOL Time Warner Foundation started the Connect More Kids with Mentors initiative. The companys goals included building an online community for mentoring professionals to de velop new programs; enabling people to connect easily with mentoring programs near their homes or workplaces; and providing an Internet platfo rm for mentoring programs to recruit local mentors. AOL Time Warner employees were encouraged to participate in a Digital Heroes Campaign, which was an e-mentoring program designed to match employees with underserved youth (Business Wire, 2002). In 2001, AT&T teamed up with MentorNe t, an e-mail network to link women engineering students with volunteers in th e industry to boost th e ranks of AfricanAmerican and Hispanic women in mathem atics, science and engineering. AT&T supported the program with $100,000 in 2003 to he lp continue the work of the program.

PAGE 48

35 Advantages of E-Mentoring There are many advantages of e-ment oring. Communication online offers a flexible environment free of time and space constraints, allowing for any time, any place exchanges. Since failure to meet due to time and space constraints is considered to be the demise of many traditional mentoring rela tionships (ONeill & Gomez, 1998), the asynchronous nature of e-mentoring may reduce this barrier. People who may excel as mentors may choose not to become involve d in a traditional face-to-face mentoring program because of the distance between their own office and the students location, the different schedules on which schools and businesses operate, and because of the time constraints that can occur. Telecommunicati on creates opportunity for more adults to work as mentors because of the flexible hour s that would not upset work schedules or required routines (ONeill, 2001). The use of e-mail as the primary communica tion tool in a mentoring program results in the concealment of some of the social pr ompts that often hinder communication between various groups. Electronic mail allows students with disabilities to develop relationships without having to expose the physical challenges they have to cope with on a daily basis (Amill, 2002). The use of e-mail also bypasses so me of the barriers that keep students from different communities apart. In addition, comm unicating in this manner provides for both the mentor and mentee to take the time to construct thoughtful messages without the pressure of immediately re sponding like one has to do wh en communicating orally (Single & Muller, 1999).

PAGE 49

36 Since most communication is through e-mail, it is necessary to understand how communicating online differs from most other forms of communication. E-mail is: 1. asynchronous 2. primarily text-based 3. comparatively fast 4. dependent on the participants having computer literacy 5. a way for participants to be wi dely distributed geographically. Asynchronous e-mail can be defined as having a time gap between sending the email and it being received and read. There has been little writ ten on the asynchronous nature of email except that the time gap creates a lack of immediate feedback (Harrington, 1999; Harris & Figg, 2000). As ynchronous e-mail lacks the visual and audible cues that people ar e often dependant upon for cl ear communication. E-mentoring by e-mail requires different interac tion strategies that impact inte rpersonal skills if it is to be used to create the maximum benefit (Harris, Rotenberg, & O'Bryan, 1997). The written word through e-mail may not attach meanings as intended. Without the use of visual and auditory information that can pr ovide nonverbal informa tion to participants sharing an exchange, the art of communica tion takes on a new meaning. For example, more frequent and more defined purpose se tting, progress-reporting, and problem-solving communications may be necessary online (Kimball & Eunice, 1999). Teens often open up and discuss subjects on line in a way that they may not feel comfortable doing face-to-face (Fulop, n.d.) Many adults can provide advice, suggestions, friendship and support to young pe ople online when they would not have

PAGE 50

37 had the time to do so in the traditional f ace-to-face setting. E-mentoring, therefore, can extend mentoring opportunities to many more students. While traditional mentoring programs often have trouble recruiting enough mentors, the opposite could be true in an online environment. In the E-mentoring project funded by the National Science Foundation, rese archers found that over the three year period studied, greater numbers than expected of mentors were intere sted and willing to participate in the project. The utilization of the telecommunications technology created an ideal way for the mentor to contribute while s till maintaining a very hectic and inflexible schedule which prevented in-pers on mentoring (Bennett et al., 1998). Disadvantages of E-Mentoring On the surface, an e-mentoring program may seem easy to initiate. Many of the corporations that start e-mentoring program s are under the mistaken belief that online mentoring is so easy to do that it will only take a few minutes per week and that the most important component is a Web site with all the bells and whistles the program participants might need (Fulop, n.d.). The research indicates, however, that any mentoring program, whether traditional or online, is more successful when the program is planned for, is structured, and is assesse d. Many mentoring programs have failed because organizers do not realize that online mentoring requires time and commitment just like face-to-face mentoring. E-mentors and their mentees do not share an organizational context like traditional workplace mentors and mentees do. Though all of the mentors were once students, they often have difficulty understa nding each other. Mentors often assume they

PAGE 51

38 would be mentoring someone w ho was like themselves when they were in high school. Many mentors did not understand the day-to-day workings of school and how it is very different from the workplace. Most of the e-mentors have easy and frequent access to e-mail at their desktop and at home and have expectations to a ve ry quick response. Students may have less frequent and less convenient access to e-mail, so they often frustrate their e-mentors. Additionally, students often do not understand why their e-mentor cannot drop everything to respond to a question the way their teachers can (ONeill & Harris, 2000). Lack of feedback is often cited as a problem in an online mentoring program. Since there are often no expectations fo r when the communication will occur, both mentees and mentors have reported frustration when there is a lack or a delay in response. Wadia-Fascetti and Leventma n (2000) conducted a longitudina l study on e-mentoring in the engineering department at Northwestern University. They found that mentees wanted more face-to-face meetings in a mentoring pr ogram. Since e-mentoring is so new, many mentors and mentees dont know what to expect in an e-mentoring relationship. The lack of experience with developing and sustai ning online relationships can also create problems for success (Bennett et al., 1998). One Structured E-Mentoring Model Over the last two decades there has been a considerable amount of research on the design of traditional mentoring programs and the practices that make them effective. In 1990, MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership and the United Way of America convened the National Mentoring Worki ng Group, consisting of both national and

PAGE 52

39 community-based not-for-profit organizations with signi ficant experience in running mentoring programs. This group, including re presentatives from BBBSA, the National Urban League and the National Dropout Prev ention Center, focused on how to promote the growth of responsible mentoring programs. A task force of The National Mentoring Working Group developed the Elements of Effective Practice which documented the effective design elements of mentoring progr ams. In 2003, the elements were reviewed and reflected the latest in mentoring policies, practices, experience and research. These practices have become the standard to whic h mentoring programs are measured (Dubois, Holloway, Valentine, & Cooper, 2002; National Mentoring Partnership, n.d.). Since e-mentoring programs are relatively new, there has only recently been a body of research available that addresses th e effective components of a structured e-mentoring program. Two leading researcher s in this field, Singl e and Muller (1999), examined the mentoring literature, conducte d research on the mentoring process, and created the only structured model for e-mentoring that can be found in the current literature. These two researchers defined structured e-mentoring as: e-mentoring that occurs within a formalized program environment, which provides training and coachin g to increase the likelihood of engagement in the e-mentoring process, and relies on program evaluation to identify improvements for future programs and to determine the impact on the participants (p. 108).

PAGE 53

40 When their model is compared to the Elements of Effective Practice reported by the National Mentoring Partnership, the com ponents are extremely similar. In the Elements of Effective Practice, there are four key components which include Program Design and Planning, Program Ma nagement, Program Operations, and Program Evaluation. Single and Mullers model includes three major phases: planning, program structure and assessment that through their research, they believe to be the most important to a successful mentoring program (see Figure 1). Figure 1. One Structured E-Mentoring Model, from Single & Muller, 1999. Planning The planning phase of the Single an d Muller model includes developing the program goals, recruiting the mentees and mentors, managing the expectations of all participants, and matching the mentors with the mentees. Planning la ys the foundation for the success of the entire program and ensures that the participants and e-mentors are Planning Structure Assessment

PAGE 54

41 aligned with the program goals and objectiv es (Boyle & Boyce, 1998; Single & Muller, 1999). Plans should be a shared vision organi zed and supported by cons istent leadership (Fulop, n.d.; Harris & Figg, 2000). Clearly conceived goals for the project, careful planning of all the operational details, and realistic and cl early-stated time and frequenc y of communication guidelines are all part of the planning component. Pl ans for the e-mentoring programs are often communicated online and therefor e should be simple, clearly stated and quite detailed (Harris & Figg, 2000). Kimball and Eunice (1999) suggest that more frequent and clearly stated, purpose-setting, progress-reporti ng, and problem-solving communications are necessary online due to the lack of the face-to-face in teraction. Many successful programs recommend building an expectati on of the minimal number of e-mail messages that should be sent each week. In order for the positive relationship to develop online, frequent communicati on of at least one or two tim es per week is necessary (Bennett et al., 1998; Emery, 1999; Harris et al ., 1997). Harris and Figg (2000), in a study of over 400 projects through th e Electronic Emissary, suggest that the plan for an ementoring program needs to begin with a clea r project structure with flexibility built in for customization as the project is underway. Recruitment. Recruitment is the process of loca ting participants for both mentors and mentees. Since e-mail is how e-mentori ng occurs, this communication tool can be utilized in the recruiting process. Many of the early e-mentoring projects recruited mentors within a single organization, i.e ., Hewlett Packard, IBM, and AT&T, where the use of e-mail is centralized and all potential mentors have access. E-mail does not have to

PAGE 55

42 be the only method for recruitment, however Ads posted to listservs, newspaper ads, well-placed posters and presentations at su itable meetings (conferences, professional association meetings, service organizations, etc.) are effective recruitment methods for both traditional and e-mentoring programs (Single & Single, 2004). When recruiting mentors, it is important to search for t hose adults who understand that the mentors primary role is to develop a long-term, high quality relationship w ith the youth. Potential mentors need to know that it is often a diffi cult and time-consuming task to work with a teen, particularly one who is at-risk. It is al so important to ensure the safety of the youth and protect the reputation of the program (Roaf, Tierney, & Hunte, 1994). Specific procedures that many programs use to screen potential mentors in clude checking police records, reviewing personal references, a nd holding face-to-face interviews. Sipe (1996) suggests that the screening process is usef ul in determining why a mentor wants to participate in the program. Mentors need to understand the importance of being a friend to their mentees. Some potential mentors ar e interested in changing youth instead of building a trusting relationship with them. It is the relationship development that is important, and mentors who are willing to inve st in the relationship will have a better chance of being successful than those who do not. Recruiting mentees is often easier. Stru ctured school programs often provide an ample source of students. From at-risk stude nts in need of a ca ring adult to students searching for subject matter experts to assist with a class project, there are numerous opportunities for students to become mentees.

PAGE 56

43 Managing expectations. Managing expectations invol ves communication. It is important that the mentors and mentees know and understand the goals and purpose of the program. In addition, communicating the pr ogram expectations to the participants, such as the number and frequency of exp ected e-mail messages is critical (Single & Muller, 2001). The National Mentoring Partne rship (n.d.) indicates that before the mentoring program begins, the program manager must determine what the program will accomplish, what outcomes will result, when the mentoring will take place, and how often mentors and mentees should meet. These expectations should be clearly defined in order to ensure program success. Foster ( 2001) suggests that mentoring programs with strong infrastructure, that incl udes helping mentors develop rea listic expectations of what they can accomplish during the program, can produce positive results for the mentees. MentorNet, having matched 15,954 pairs of pr otgs and mentors electronically since its inception in 1998, lists the expecta tion of all participants on the opening page of its Web site. Matching. The third component of the planning element is the matching process. Careful consideration should be given to th e method by which e-mentors are paired with their mentees. The most important factor is to ensure that the mentors and mentees understand the matching process. The more th e students and teachers were involved in the matching process, the more their level of commitment increased (Bennett et al., 1998). One method is to list the names and biogr aphical descriptions of the mentors and mentees on the Web site. Interested particip ants can review the information and then choose their e-mentoring partner. A second method is uni-directional matching. As part

PAGE 57

44 of the application process, the mentee woul d identify preferences for a mentor, and the program coordinator would match mentees pref erences with e-mentors characteristics and interests. A third method is the bi-direc tional matching protocol. Rather than only matching the interests and preferences of th e mentee with the mentor, this method takes both the mentors and mentees interests a nd characteristics into consideration. This method is most effective for a la rge sized e-mentoring program. According to Bennett et al. (1998), most e-mentoring programs have found that random matching is easy and as effective as almost any other method. One matching strategy that provides students and teachers a sense of conne ction is to pull a mentor name from the approved me ntor list out of a hat. Once the match is made, it is important to obtain buy-in from both the mentor and mentee. Allowing the matched participants to accept or reject the match is one way to begin to establish the e-mentoring relati onship. Research conducted by Bennett et al. (1998) suggests that the more students and teachers were involved in selecting their mentors, the greater their level of commitm ent. Other research indicates otherwise. Program Structure The second phase of the Single and Mulle r model is the program structure. The key components of this phase include training, coaching, and community-building so that throughout the duration of the pr ogram, the participants maximize the e-mentoring experience. Training. According to Jekielek et al. ( 2002), the most successful mentoring programs are highly structured and provide mentors with in-d epth training opportunities.

PAGE 58

45 Harris et al. (1997) suggest training for the ro les of both mentor and mentee is extremely important for a successful mentoring progr am. Training provides the mentors with the necessary information about the e-mentoring pr ocess, and it builds a sense of collegiality among the mentoring team (Wighton, 1993). Trai ning for mentors before and after they are matched with youth appears to be the key to successful mentoring relationships. Mentors who received the most hours of training had longer lasting matches. Programs based on a developmental approach to mentori ng seem to be more successful than those that are prescriptive. The developmental approa ch is driven by the needs and interests of the students where mentors spend up-front time getting to know their mentee and take cues from them about the youth themselves. In the prescriptive approach, mentors viewed their own goals for the match as the most important and were required to spend an equal amount of time and effort for maintaining the mentoring relationship (Single & Single, 2004). Mentoring programs need to ensure that the adults who are participating as mentors are prepared for the role. Orientat ion and training helps the mentors understand their roles and the realistic expectations of what they can accomplish (Sipe, 1996). Some programs have extensive training and orientation. Others provide only minimal orientation to the procedures and policie s of the program. There has not been enough research to determine an optimal amount of training, but there is general consensus that some training is critical. The most important component of the training is to encourage the mentor to approach the mentee with the goal of developing a good relationship (Sipe, 1996).

PAGE 59

46 Training can also help mentors understa nd youth. Mentors are usually from a different generation than the youth they are me ntoring. Mentors often are from a different gender, race and socioeconomic group (Ensher & Murphy, 1997; Herrera, Sipe, & McLanahan, 2000; Jucovy, 2002) and theref ore may need training to help them understand the differences. Harris et al. (1996) suggest training for the roles that will be played (mentor and mentee) is extremely im portant. Training should also introduce some of the common drawbacks of online comm unication (Bennett et al., 1998). Greater emphasis should be placed on the training of the mentors for several reasons: 1. Mentors are the adults in the relationship and are e xpected to be primarily responsible for initiating and sust aining contact with their mentees. 2. Mentors have more online access time and experience with the culture of email. Most working adults have conti nuous access to e-mail at their place of work and at home and check their e-mail often. 3. Mentors were more motivated to part icipate in the training experience. (Bennett et al., 1998). Coaching. The coaching component is differe nt from the training component. Training occurs before the relationship actually develops while coaching is ongoing throughout the program. Both mentors and mentees require training and coaching. Discussion groups, chat rooms, and e-mails fr om the program coordinator all serve to keep the mentors and mentees in contact with each other (Single & Muller, 1999). Harris and Figg (2000), through their re search with the Electronic Em issary Project, suggest that the coach, or facilitator, play s an extremely important role in reminding the mentors to

PAGE 60

47 stay in contact with their protgs. Single, Muller, and Carlsen (2000) found that more frequent coaching messages were more effective than less frequent coaching messages. Research conducted by Neils ( 1997) on the International Tele mentoring Project suggests that the coach plays an extremely valuable role to the success of the program. Online facilitators or coaches help maximize the succ ess rate of an e-mentoring program (Asgari & ONeill, 2004; Harris et al., 1996). As the participants grow in their relationships, the coaching support provided becomes more crucial (ONeill & Harris, 2000). Community building. The third component, community building, can be created through electronic discussion lists for both the mentors and mentees that focus on issues related to the target audience or problems that may be developing. When participants feel connected to each other and are able to share t houghts, ideas, and feelings, then a sense of community is created. It does not happen automatically but requires attention to detail and caring for the needs of the participants (Guy, 2002; Single & Single, 2004). Assessment The last element of the model is assessment. Assessment is often done at the end of a mentoring program to provi de information that is useful in planning future programs and creating benchmarks for those future prog rams. Participants usua lly provide the best suggestions for improving the program. Howeve r, data should be collected throughout the program (Boyle & Boyce, 1998; Single & Mu ller, 1999) so that modifications to the program could be made in a timely manner. In a review of the mentoring literature, Foster (2001) found that most mentoring programs, whether tr aditional or online, are not formally evaluated but rely heavily on anec dotal information and participant reports to

PAGE 61

48 determine program effectiveness. There are very few follow-up studies to track longterm outcomes. Involvement, formative, and summative data. Single and Muller (1999) recommend collecting three types of data dur ing the assessment component of the model. The first type is involvement data which in dicate whether the participants are following the guidelines and expectations of the program. It is de fined as the frequency of interactions between the mentor and the mentee throughout the program. Just like the face-to-face meetings in traditional mentor ing programs, the frequency of e-mail communications is positively related to the development of the mentor-mentee relationship. The second type of assessment data is formative which are collected from the participants to help researchers evaluate th e program features and how to improve them for future programs. This type of data should be collected throughout the program. Formative data are used to evaluate progr am elements including the training and support the participants receive. The third type, summative data, focu ses on the outcomes associated with participating in the program. Summative data is used to determine the value of the mentoring program and how well the goals were met. Summative analyses focus on the mentees knowledge, attitude, or behavior change as compared to a control group. Conceptual Framework for E-Mentoring In order to frame the e-mentoring progr am designed for this study, the author began looking for a conceptual theoretical framew ork; a synthesis of th e literature to be

PAGE 62

49 used as a road map to guide the study. Howeve r, the author discovered that while there is an enormous body of empirical research abou t mentoring and its various outcomes, there is a lack of a conceptual basis to explain the links between mentoring and the outcomes. School-based mentoring is still considered to be relatively new and much of the research is limited to programs with a small number of participants who are often volunteers. When the programs are evaluated, the data is frequently collected us ing instruments that may lack validity and reliability. There are theoretical reasons to imagine that mentoring will help at-risk youth. Mentoring can provide support scaffoldi ng for young people who may not have the parental support that other youth have availa ble. Kashani, Reid, & Rosenbergs study (as cited in Keating, Tomishima, Foster, and Alessandri, 2002) found that the youth without a support system were more withdrawn, more hopeless about their future, and more inattentive in school. Mentoring therefore could provide some of the scaffolding necessary for students to be able to functi on in a positive way in school and to reduce the negative psychological effects associated w ith the experiences that many students face in their lives, from abuse, neglect poverty, or disinterest by parents or caregivers (Day, 2006). In searching for the theoretical framewor k, the author decided to focus on using the available theory and research to answ er three questions which would provide the conceptual framework for this study: What outcomes might be positively affected when students are mentored? What concepts must be included as the mentoring program is

PAGE 63

50 designed? Which mentoring model should be followed a nd why? Figure 2 provides a visual diagram of the framework described. Figure 2. Theoretical Conceptual Fram ework for E-Mentoring Program.

PAGE 64

51 Positively Affected Outcomes A search of literature revealed that mentoring often demonstrates positive outcomes across three primary areas: academics, risk behaviors, and psychosocial development (DuBois et al., 2002; Grossman & Tierney, 1998; Jekielek et al., 2002; Sipe, 2002). Jekielek, et al (2002) suggests that youth par ticipating in mentoring programs experience positive gains in the areas of school attendance, interest in higher education, and in some cases, improved grad es. Through this same research study, it was determined that the students at the highe st risk of dropping out benefited the most from mentoring. In the 2000 Public/Private Ventures impact study of the Big Br others Big Sisters program, one of the largest and most influent ial evaluations of a mentoring program to date, the research showed that mentoring programs can positively influence youth. Their findings revealed that of the 959 students in the study, mentored students skipped half as many days of school as did the youth in the control youth, felt more competent about doing schoolwork, skipped fewer classes and showed modest gains in their grade point averages (Tierney, et al., 2000). In addition, many mentoring programs, are designed to improve the youths perceptions of their own self -worth. Some studies have found that mentoring programs can improve the overall self-esteem and peer connectedness of youth participants. Other research indicates that it does not (Gro ssman & Garry, 1997; King, Vidourek, Davis, & McClennan, 2002; Rhodes, Haight, & Bri ggs, 1999; Royse, 1998). The e-mentoring program in this study was designed in order to analyze the impact of the program on the

PAGE 65

52 at-risk youths self-esteem, career indeci sion, attendance, and academic achievement based on the work of the aforementioned researchers. Program Design Concepts The second question that needed to be answered in orde r to develop the theoretical framework was, What concepts must be included as the mentoring program is designed? The researcher found four key concepts that seemed to appear over and over again in the literature. The first concept is the relationship. Ment oring is defined as the relationship between the mentor and the mentee. The majority of the youth mentoring programs that are functioning today consist of a relationship betw een an adult and a young person (Grossman, 1999; Grossman & Te irney, 1998; Sipe, 1996). The electronic mentoring program in this study was designed with this same relationship in mind. The second concept is the environmen t for the mentoring program. Some programs are set in a community-based enviro nment, like the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Others are set in a school environm ent where the mentor usually goes to the school and meets with the student on a regul ar basis. The e-mentoring program designed for this study was set in a technology-based environment; a context for mentoring that is just emerging. The third concept is structure. The majo rity of mentoring programs, including the one designed for this study, are considered form al or structured. They include appropriate screening, matching, training, coaching, commu nity building, and evaluation of the mentoring relationships as well as the program itself. The res earch indicates that there is more compliance from participants and more reported beneficial outcomes when the

PAGE 66

53 mentoring program is structured. Jekielek et al (2002) found that the most successful mentoring programs were highly structured. Ho wever, when the program is structured, more resources are required for the progr am to function includ ing matching, training, coordinating and facilitating (Single & Muller, 2001). The fourth concept is purpose. As the pr ogram is designed, it is important to set the expectations for the outcomes that one hopes to accomplish through the program. A program that is designed to reduce risk behaviors like drinking, smoking and drug abuse may be designed differently than one that is focused on academic achievement. The e-mentoring program designed for this st udy focused on four basic outcomes which were the students self-esteem, career indecision, attendance, and academic achievement. The purpose was clear as the program was developed. Mentoring Model The third question to be answered in or der to develop the theoretical framework was, Which mentoring model should be fo llowed and why? The literature revealed numerous examples of mentoring programs fo und in both the business and the education arena. Through the literature, the researcher discovered several vital elements associated with successful mentoring programs, whethe r they were set in a community-based, school-based, or technology-based context. Th e leading mentoring re searchers highlight the importance of planning when preparing to implement a mentoring program, whether it is traditional or electronic. Setting th e goals for the project, planning for all the operational details, and setting frequenc y of communication guidelines are time

PAGE 67

54 consuming and often overlooked (Boyle & B oyce, 1998; Harris & Figg, 2000; Single & Muller, 1999). The National Mentoring Part nership (n.d.) suggest s that designing a technology implementation plan, setting clear rules and e xpectations, and developing program goals will help ensure the success of a program. Second, researchers address the necessity of training for both the mentors and mentees as a key driver of a successful mentoring program. The research does not reveal an optimal amount of training, however, it indicates that training can prepare the mentors with the information and strategies they n eed in order to increase their chances of developing a relationship with their mentees (Sipe, 1999). Since the mentors and mentees often come from very different backgrounds, training can assist the mentors in being prepared to work with student s who are very different than the way they were when they were students (Ensher & Murphy, 1997). Th e mentees need training as well. They often have never participated in a ment oring program and might not understand both the purpose of mentoring and what the exp ectations of their roles are as mentees. Jekielek, et. al (2002) suggest that the mo st successful mentoring programs provide the participates with in-depth training opportunities. Third, frequent interaction between th e mentors and mentees and between the program coordinator and the participants (m entors and mentees) is critical for both traditional and electronic mentoring programs, but it seems even more critical when the program is electronic. Mentors often experience frustration wi th their mentees, especially early in the relationships, a nd benefit from the support they receive from the program

PAGE 68

55 staff. Some infrastructure should be put into place in order to cultivate the development of the mentoring relationships (S ipe, 1996; Furano et al., 1993). Last, but certainly just as important as th e other three elements, is assessment. The literature indicates that there are few mentor ing programs that are formally evaluated and yet assessment is important in order to m onitor implementation, provide feedback for ongoing improvement, and to determine the effectiveness of the mentoring program. Assessment helps to improve, and to measur e the value associated with, e-mentoring programs. In the assessment phase, the progr am coordinator should focus on collecting and analyzing data to suppor t the goals so that the program can be improved upon for the future (Single and Muller, 2001). As the literature was surveyed, the author discovered one stru ctured e-mentoring model proposed by Single and Muller (1999). Th eir model was utilized as the foundation for the theoretical framework of this study which incorporated th e key components found in the literature. Research describing succe ssful e-mentoring programs with at-risk high school students is limited, particularly those th at are focused on the ar eas of self-esteem, career indecision, attendance, and academ ic achievement. This study allowed the researcher to learn more about both the impact and the working quality of an e-mentoring model on this particular student population. The literature seems to indicate that the field of youth mentoring, whether traditional or electronic, is ready for th e injection of a theoretical basis for implementation (Jacobi, 1991; Rhodes, Gr ossman, & Roffman, 2002). There remains

PAGE 69

56 much about mentoring that deserves further investigation and research particularly as new forms, like electronic mentoring, begin to emerge. Summary Dropping out of school has tragic implicati ons for the future of America. Without a high school diploma, young men and women ar e having an increasingly difficult time finding a job that pays a living wage. Technology, the global economy, and the redesign of organizational structures al l speak to the need for education and skills in order to succeed in todays world. The literature reve aled that America has a dropout problem which impacts not only the st udents who have left school but society and the economy as a whole. In this chapter, the literature dem onstrated how mentoring seems to make a difference for students who are at-risk for leaving school early. Whatever the reason, poor academic skills, poverty, low self-esteem, or being unfocused in school, developing a relationship with a caring adult can make a difference. Unfortunately, there are millions of students waiting for a mentor. While the research indicated that mentoring is worth the time, many adults are too busy to commit to working face-to-face with a student for the time it takes to develop the relationship. Th ere simply are not enough mentors available for all the potential mentees. E-mentoring, however, could be the answ er. By connecting adults with youth online without having to worry about location, traffic jams, or even leaving the office, relationships can develop and become meani ngful. Since e-mentori ng is relatively new, there is little research to indicate whethe r or not structured e-mentoring can make a

PAGE 70

57 difference in students lives enough of a difference to eventual ly reduce the dropout rate. Early indications are positive, but further research is needed.

PAGE 71

58 Chapter 3 Method This chapter consists of six sections. The first section restates the research questions and provides an overview of the re search design. The second section describes the pilot study that took place prior to the st art of the actual research study. The third section provides information about the sample population for the main study. The measures used as well as the procedures for data collection follow in the next two sections. The sixth and final section describes the method used for analysis of the collected data. Research Design This research study was conducted in or der to address the following questions: 1. What is the impact of the structured ementoring model on at-risk students selfesteem, career indecision, attendance, and academic achievement? 2. What is the working quality of each of the design com ponents of the structured ementoring model? 3. What are the implications for design changes needed to improve the model during the study and in subsequent studies? The researcher attempted to answer a ll three questions through the research method known as design-based research. Desi gn-based research, or design experiments as they are sometimes called, bridge theore tical research and e ducational practice and

PAGE 72

59 have become increasingly popular over the last decade for the study of learning in context and the study of instructional strategies. De sign-based research has become an essential research approach within the broader contex t of design partnershi ps involving teachers, educational researchers, technologists, a nd scientists (Brown 1992; Collins, 1992). Scholars have begun to engage in desi gn-based research in order to better understand how to devise innovative learning experiences among students in their everyday educational settings and at the same time to deve lop new theories or insights into the theories a bout the nature of learning. Accord ing to Bell (2004), there is no singular method of design-based research; in stead there are numerous methods because there is such a wide range of th eories that depi ct human learning. Brown (1992, p. 174) describes the intent of design experiments to transform classrooms from academic work factories to learning environments that encourage reflective practice among stude nts, teachers, and researchers. The design-experiment approach is intended to help researchers deal with and learn from events in classrooms where it is impossible to contro l many variables and where the objective of the research is to refine a system (e.g., an e-mentoring program) or a curriculum. Collins, Joseph and Bielaczyc (2004) suggest that design research was developed as a way to conduct formative research and then test and refine educational designs based on theoretical principles. Desi gn-based research occurs in the real-world setting. It involves flexible design revision, multiple depe ndent variables, and encourages frequent social interaction among the participants. Participants are not treate d as subjects but as co-participants in both the desi gn and analysis (see Table 1).

PAGE 73

60 Table 1 Comparing Psychological Experimentati on and Design-Based Research Methods Category Psychological Experimentation Design-Based Research Location of research Conducted in laboratory setting Occurs in the buzzing, blooming confusion of real-life settings where most learning actually occurs Complexity of variables Frequently involves a single or a couple of dependent variables Involves multiple dependent variables, (e.g., collaboration among learners, available resources), outcome variables (e.g., learning of content, transfer), and system variables (e.g., dissemination, sustainability) Focus of research Focuses on identifying a few variables and holding them constant Focuses on characterizing the situation in all its complexity, much of which is not now a priori Unfolding of procedures Uses fixed procedures Involves flexible design revision in which there is a tentative initial set that are revised depending on their success in practice Amount of social interaction Isolates learners to control interaction Frequently involves complex social interactions with participants sharing ideas, distracting each other, and so on Characterizi ng the findings Focuses on testing hypothesis Involves looking at multiple aspects of the design and developing a profile that characterizes the design in practice Role of the participants Treats participants as subjects Involves different participants in the design so as to bring their differing expertise into producing and analyzing the design (Adapted from Collins, 1999, in Barab & Squire, 2004).

PAGE 74

61 Rationale for Use of Methodology Design experiments are contextualized in educational settings, and they focus on generalizing from those settings to guide the design process. As the design-based researchers suggest, each implementation of an educational design is different. The rationale for using design-based research to answer the three resear ch questions in this study is based on the methodology itself. First, a design experiment bases resear ch in classrooms. Classrooms are very different than laboratories. Experiments in a laboratory can avoid c ontaminating effects. The treatment can be applied to the st udents who can concentrate without any distractions. However, very few variables that occur in a typical classroom can be controlled. Design experiments are set in a situation that is re al-life and are not distorted by the sterile environment of the lab (Collins, Joseph, & Bielaczyc, 2004). One researcher even suggests that design experiments that work within classrooms have two main advantages: (a) the rich nature of unanticipated conseq uences, and (b) the ecological validity of studying practice as it occurs (Hsi 1998, p. 5). The e-mentoring program that was the focus of this project a llowed the researcher to study the process in the classroom. Second, design-based research allows the re searcher to study learning, to test and refine the learning environment, and to c onduct the formative analysis while learning about learning (Kolodner, 2004). This fluid c onnection of research and practice allows the researcher to make improvements to th e program while it is still ongoing. The ability to improve the initial design by testing and revising based on an ongoing analysis of all

PAGE 75

62 of the participants helps to connect the research to the practice. The mentors and the mentees, as well as the instructors, bring a variety of experiences, backgrounds, and beliefs to the research setting. As they responded to the various components of the mentoring program, their motivation and engage ment were factors in the process that must be considered. The design experiment model allows for flexibility to meet the constantly changing responses to the program that the mentors, the mentees and the teachers had throughout the program. As Co llins (1992) proposed, design experiments allow the researcher to test an innovation in education (e-mentoring) so that future programs can benefit from previous experiences. Third, there are multiple ways to analy ze this e-mentoring program. Single and Muller (1999) believe the assessment piece of a structured e-mentoring program is so important that it is one of the three compone nts of their model. The design-based research model in this study has been aligned with the three types of assessment in Single and Mullers model. Involvement, formative, and summative data were collected and analyzed. The researcher and teachers collaborated along with the mentors and mentees to address the needs of all of the participants throughout the process. Pilot An infor mal pilot study was conducted during the Spring of 2006. Five students who were enrolled in the GED Exit Option prog ram at a technical center and five adults who served as the mentors participated. The purpose of the study was explained to all the participants. The students and mentors had the opportunity to evalua te the online training materials and e-mail software available th rough the Mentors Online Tool Kit offered

PAGE 76

63 by the National Mentoring Partnership (NMP) The students and the mentors reviewed the online surveys and focus group questions and were asked to make suggestions about any questions they deemed confusing or ambiguous. The students and mentors indicated that th e online training materials were easy to use and helpful. The students suggested th at when the study was actually implemented, the program coordinator should be available to assist if neede d. This suggestion was incorporated into the study. During the pilot it was determ ined that the online e-mail software did not work well with the school di stricts firewalls and network. After a month of struggling with problems, the decision was made by the researcher to select another e-mail program. Gaggle.Net was then implemen ted and was found to be compatible with the school districts network system. Both the students and mentors felt Gaggle.Net was more user friendly, and no problems were noted. Both the students and the mentors indicat ed that the discussion starters which were sent each week by the program coordina tor were very important to helping them develop their online relationships Some of the same discussion starters were used in the actual study. Online surveys and focus group questions were developed for data collection during the e-mentoring program. All the ques tions from the online surveys and focus groups (Appendices M through X) were adap ted with permission from the Mentors Online Tool Kit The adapted survey and focus group questions were presented to the pilot group of mentors and students. Th ree instructors and two school-based

PAGE 77

64 administrators also reviewed the questions. Several survey questions were clarified and further adapted based on the input from the pilot participants. Sample for the Main Study Participants for the study were student s enrolled in the GED Exit Option program at two technical centers in a large urban sc hool district in Central Florida. GED Exit Option is a state approved alternative educat ion program designed to meet the needs of currently enrolled high school students at risk of leavi ng school without completing graduation requirements. GED Exit Option is classified as a dropout prevention strategy (GED Exit Option Model, 2003). The students feed into the GED Exit Option program from 16 high schools in the school district. The guidance counselors at the home high schools counsel the students into the program Entrance criteria in clude: (a) entering the fourth or fifth year of high school; (b) ha ving less than 12 earned high school credits; (c) scoring 9.0 or above on the Test of Adult Basic Educatio n (TABE); (d) scoring 450 or above on the pre ED tests; (e) obtaining pa rental approval; and (f) obtaining approval from the high school principal. Students a ttend the technical center program that is closest geographically to their home high school. Measures To answer the first research question re garding the impact of the structured e-mentoring model on the at-risk students, meas ures of psychological (self-esteem, career indecision), behavioral (attendance), and academic success (GED pass/fail) that the researcher used are described in the following subsections.

PAGE 78

65 Self-Esteem The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rose nberg, 1989) was used to measure selfesteem. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale is one of the most popul ar and widely-used self-esteem measures in social science rese arch (Blascovich & To maka, 1991). It is a 10 item Likert scale with items answered on a fou r-point scale using Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, and Strongly Disagr ee. The self-esteem total may range from 10 to 40 with higher scores representing more positive se lf-esteem. It focuses on peoples general feelings toward themselves, without referr ing to any specific qua lity or attribute (Appendix A). The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale was or iginally developed for use with high school students. The original study sample consisted of 5, 024 hi gh school juniors and seniors from 10 randomly selected schools in Ne w York. It has test-retest correlations in the range of .82 to .88 and Cronbachs alpha are in the range of .77 to .88. Writers of other self-esteem instruments use the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale as the standard with which they often look for converg ence (Blascovich & Tomaka, 1991). This 10 question scale was administered to the students in the control group and in the mentored group before the e-mentoring program began and again after it was finished. Cronbachs alpha was calculated to establish reliability for each item of the scale, a way of assessing the validity of the instrument. The results indicate good internal reliability (see Table 2).

PAGE 79

66 Table 2 Cronbachs Alpha Internal Cons istency Reliability Estimates for Self-Esteem and Career Decision Scales, Pre and Post Instrument Number of Items Alpha Range of Corrected Itemto-Total Correlations Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale Pretest 10 .87 .19 to .73 Posttest 10 .82 .35 to .69 Career Decision Scale Pretest Positive 2 .79 .67 to .67 Pretest Negative 16 .91 .46 to .75 Posttest Positive 2 .82 .71 to .71 Posttest Negative 16 .86 .32 to .63 Note For both the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Career Decision Scale pretests, N = 88. For the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale posttest, N = 71. For the Career D ecision Scale posttest, N = 69. The Career Decision Scale (CDS) (Osipow, Carney, Winer, Yanico, & Koeschier, 1987) is used to measure career indecision a nd provides outcome measures to determine the effects of relevant interventions. The CDS is composed of a 19-item Likert scale with items answered on a four point scale using Is Exactly Like Me, Is Very Much Like Me, Is Only Slightly Like Me, and Is Not at All Like Me. Items 1 and 2 measure the degree of certainty students feel about their career decisions. Items 3 18 provide a measure of career indecision. Item 19 is open-ended, allowi ng the students to clarify or provide additional information about th eir career decision making. The norm groups for the CDS consisted of high school student s and college students. Test-r etest reliability for total CDS scores ranged from .82 to .90. According to Osipow (1980) the mean and standard

PAGE 80

67 deviation for the Certainty Scale Total are M = 5.92, SD = 1.59. For the Indecision Scale, these statistics are M = 27.89, SD = 8.41 for high school seniors. This instrument was administered to the stude nts in the control group and in the mentored group before the e-mentoring program began a nd again after it was finished. Cronbachs alpha was calculated to establish reliability for each item of the instrument. The results indicate good internal reliab ility (see Table 2). Alphas range d from .79 (pretest positive) to .91 (posttest negative). Attendance For the purpose of this study, the researcher tracked the number of absences per student in the control group and the number of absences per student in the mentored group during the course of the program. Students who dropped out of school before the program ended were not incl uded in the data analyses. Academic Achievement To successfully complete the GED Exit Option program, students must pass the GED Tests. The GED Tests are developed by th e GED Testing Service, a program of the American Council on Education, and consist of fi ve subsections: Science, Social Studies, Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. Scores for each of the five GED Tests are reported separately on a standard score scale ranging from 200 (the lowest) to 800 (the highest). Although the GED Tests are national test s and minimum passing scores are set nationally, individual states can require higher scores in order to receive a passing score. Score requirements are reported as a mini mum standard score for each test and a minimum average standard score across all fi ve tests. The minimum passing standard set

PAGE 81

68 by the GED Testing Service is an average of the five individual subjec t area test scores of 450 or greater (a total standard score of 2250 or greater), and each individual subject area test score must be 410 or greater. Flor ida uses this passing score requirement. Prior to entering the GED Exit Option progr am, all students took a battery of pre GED tests which were used by the instruct ors to determine the students academic strengths and weaknesses in each of the five co re subjects so that instruction could be individualized for the students. For example, if a student scored 600 on the mathematics pre GED test and scored 410 on the reading pre GED test, the student might receive reading instruction all five days a week a nd mathematics instruction only one day per week. Each student had an individualized instructional plan based on his or her scores on the pre GED tests. Quality of Implementation This study allowed the researcher to an swer research questions two and three by observing the implementation of each com ponent of the e-mentoring program and measuring the quality of implementation a nd by examining the design changes needed to improve the model during the study and in fu ture studies. Each component of the three elements that were implemented; planning, program structure, and assessment, were assessed using online surveys and focus groups. Site visits were conducted by the researcher as necessary. The survey questi ons and focus group questions focused on three criteria: 1. ease of implementation

PAGE 82

69 2. impact of technology 3. ability for flexible design revision (see Table 3). Table 3 Measuring the Quality of Implemen tation of the E-Mentoring Model Ease of Implementation Impact of Technology Flexible Design Revision/Implications for Design Changes Planning Online survey Site visits Not Applicable Pilot study Online survey Site visits Program Structure Online survey Site visits Online survey Focus groups Online survey Focus groups Assessment Gaggle.Net Online surveys Focus groups GED Tests Attendance data Rosenberg SE a Scale CDS b Gaggle.Net E-mail, Web site, Telephone Discussion groups Pilot study Focus group data Discussion groups E-mail a Self-Esteem. b Career Decision Scale. The complete chart which correlates each indi vidual survey and focus group question to each component of the e-mentoring model is included in Appendix C. Ease of Implementation The criterion of ease of implementation was selected to help determine the working quality of the e-mentoring model for two reasons. Often when a new program is implemented in a school, administrators, inst ructors, and even students view it cautiously and as one more added burden to an alrea dy busy school day. If the new program is

PAGE 83

70 difficult to implement, it can aggravate this situation. Evaluating the program components based on how easy they were to im plement could improve the chances that a program such as this e-mentoring proj ect would be implemented successfully. The first element of Single and Mullers structured e-mentoring model (1999) is planning. This phase lays the foundation that aids in the success of the program. When the goals are clearly articulated, the outcom es of the program planned for, and the execution steps organized, the program should be easy to implement. Both the online survey and focus group surveys asked specific qu estions that provided the researcher with information about the ease of implementati on of each component of the model as it was being put into practice. Impact of Technology The second criterion was the impact of technology. Since technology is a key component of an effective e-mentoring pr ogram, the online surveys and focus groups contained specific questions about the technical operations of the e-mentoring program to determine if there were any technical glitches that occu rred with the software and whether or not the participants (mentors mentees, teachers, and researcher) had difficulties using it. Technical support was avai lable to the mentors and mentees via the researcher and through a local schools help desk. Software and hardware problems were tracked via log sheets.

PAGE 84

71 Flexible Design Revision The third criterion this researcher used to determine the quality of the e-mentoring model was flexible design revision which is a key element of design-based research. The researcher planned the e-mentoring program with an initial set of po licies and procedures, but then meaningful change was implemented as the participants (students, mentors, and instructors) deemed necessary in the context of practice. The survey and focus group questions we re used as a continuous form of assessment leading to improvi ng the quality of the e-ment oring program. The design of this study required multiple assessments to be completed so that revisions and modifications could be made while the program was underway. The researcher wanted to be able to easily make the revisions in order to improve th e program while it was ongoing. Although not every improvement or recommendation could be implemented, they were all noted for use in subsequent studies. Online surveys. The National Mentoring Partne rship (NMP) has developed a variety of evaluation tools that this researcher used in cr eating both the online survey questions and the focus group questions. Using th ese tools, the researcher was also able to collect background information, percepti ons of the effects of the mentoring relationship, perceptions of the quality of the mentori ng relationship, and perceptions of the mentoring program. In order to be able to use the Tool Kit, an application and a $100 fee to the NMP were required. This applic ation process was completed in June 2005 by the researcher and ac cepted by the NMP on June 23, 2005, for this project (see Appendix D). The pilot participants re viewed the questions, and minor adaptations were made. The

PAGE 85

72 questions were then organized so that the me ntors, mentees, and instructors could provide information to the researcher based on the ease of implementation of the component, the impact of the technology on the component, and their perceptions regarding the particular component and the program. Once the questions were finalized, the online surveys were created using an online software program ca lled SurveyMonkey. From these surveys, the researcher gathered data that allowed fo r some immediate desi gn revisions both during the study and in subsequent studies. Each online survey utilized a Likert s cale with items answered on a five-point scale using Strongly Agree, Ag ree, Neither Agree or Disagr ee, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree. Each survey included open-ended questions so the researcher could gather additional data. Focus groups. Focus group questions were also adapted from the Mentors Online Tool Kit and review ed by the pilot group. The data collected from the focus groups allowed the researcher to determine if a ny design changes based on the participants responses needed to be made to the progr am. A goal of design-based research is to improve the way the design operates in practice. By gathering formative data from all the participants of the e-mentori ng program, the researcher was able to analyze what was not working and why it was not working. Then, steps were taken to revise the program component or address the cause of the problem. Some problems could not be addressed during the study but are included as suggestions for further revision. All the refinements are documented and shared in the results section.

PAGE 86

73 Implications for Design Changes As stated in the section on worki ng quality, design research assumes continuous refinement thr oughout the course of the st udy. All major changes in design were documented. Data relevant to th e research questions were collected using the various tools discussed in the section above. A tracking sheet was developed to assist the researcher in managing all de sign revision themes, suggestions, ideas, and comments (see Table 4). Table 4 Sample Design Revision Tracking Chart Source Problem Design Revision Idea Implemented Recommendation for Future Researcher Mentors Online software did not work during pilot. Selected a new e-mail software, Gaggle.Net Aug. 2006 Each school or district may have different firewalls/filters in place for e-mail use. Instructor Online Survey Students need to be reminded to check their email. Create a checkin sheet to remind students to check their email, especially at the beginning of program implementation. Jan. 2007 Use a check sheet or some other tracking tool to help students remember to check their e-mail. A complete list of all the design re visions can be found in Appendix E. Procedures and Data Collection The researcher served as the coordinato r for the mentoring program. The duties of the coordinator included planning the program and setting the program goals, recruiting

PAGE 87

74 mentors and mentees, managing the expectations of the partic ipants, training and coaching the mentors and mentees, monitoring the e-mail messages sent through Gaggle.Net, managing the Web sites, helpi ng the participants develop a sense of community, and conducting the evaluations throughout the program. In addition, the coordinator handled any problems, includi ng technology related problems that arose during the program. E-mail Software Finding the appropriate e-mail software that would provide a secure online environment for both the students and the mentors was important. In addition, the software had to work within the guidelines of the school districts network protocol. The researcher utilized Gaggle.Net, a commercia l e-mail program designed to make student e-mail safe. Both the mentors and mentees were required to use it for the purpose of this study. The software was designed so that the mentors and mentees exchanged e-mail through a central clearinghouse, a necessary secu rity feature. For example, if an e-mail message sent by a mentor or mentee through Gaggle.Net contained objectionable language or content, the messa ge would automatically be sent to the administrators mailbox for review. This e-mail program is a subscription service available to schools across the country, but the cost was waived by Gaggle.Net for use during this study. Planning the Program One of the biggest misconceptions about e-me ntoring is that it is very easy to implement. However, according to the NMP, planning and running a quality e-mentoring program requires no less effort than pl anning and running a traditional mentoring

PAGE 88

75 program (National Mentoring Partnership, n.d.) About a year and a half prior to the implementation of the program, the researcher created the statement of purpose and set the goals of the program which developed into the thr ee research questions for the study. The application to the Mentors Online Tool Kit was submitted. An implementation timeline was developed so th at the program would be organized and systematic (see Appendix F). Recruitment of the instructors. During the spring of 2006, the GED Exit Option instructors from three technical centers in th e school district received a brief orientation about the online mentoring program that wa s to be implemented in their classes beginning in October, 2006. The directors of the participating technical centers had already approved the program prior to this orientation. In August 2006, one technical center dropped out because its GED Exit Option enrollment was very low. A full orientation was conducted with the instructor s from the other two technical centers to review the program goals, expectations, and ope rational details. The expectations for the instructors, outlined at both orientations, were minimal yet very important. The instructors were expected to allow time during the class for the students to use the computer to complete the training component, communicate with their mentors, complete surveys throughout the course of the progr am, and access a Web site created for the participating students. The instructors also received training on the Gaggle.Net software, so they were knowledgeable in how it works a nd would be able to answer some questions the students might have about the software.

PAGE 89

76 Recruitment of mentors. During the spring and summer preceding the start of the e-mentoring program, mentors were actively recruited from the schools business and educational partners. Presentations were made to the business advisory committees that support each school. During the presentations, the program goals and expectations were outlined. The potential mentors completed a written application (see Appendix G) and were selected based on their willingness to participate and ability to commit to the project. After selection, all mentors were required to complete the school district volunteer application. There we re eight more mentors recruited than were students willing to participate as mentees. Applications to be a mentor were accepted in the order in which they were received, so the final ei ght applicants were not matched with students for the purpose of this study. Recruitment of mentees. Each of the three GED Exit Option instructors classes was randomly assigned as a mentored class or a control group class. During the first week of October, the program coordinator made a presentation to each designated mentored class about the e-mentoring project. The presentation included th e goals, expectations, and operational details of the program and focused on how mentoring could be another tool to help the students be successful during the school year. Unfortunately, the day before the presentations were scheduled, Representative Mark Foley from Florida abruptly resigned his seat in Congress after ABC News confronted him with copies of sexually explicit e-mails he had sent to 16and 17-year old congressional pages. Some students and their parents were concerned a bout online mentoring, particularly because the mentors were strangers to them.

PAGE 90

77 The students from the randomly selected mentored classes could decide whether or not they wished to participate. Those who were interested in participating were given an application (Appendix H) and if they were 18 years of age or ol der, the appropriate informed consent forms (Appendix I) to revi ew and sign. For student s under the age of 18, parental or guardian permission was necessa ry, and interested students took the forms home for review and signatures (Appendices J and K). The program coordinator asked for all the forms to be returned to the instructors within one week. The program coordinator was available for student or pare nt questions about the program and available via the telephone or e-mail. Each student ha d the choice to declin e to participate or withdraw from the research at any time. Thirty-two students participated as mentors and 59 students did not. All the students in the classes that were randomly selected as the cont rol classes were part of the control group. However, in the classes that we re randomly selected as mentored classes, some students chose not to par ticipate. These students were included in the control group for statistical purposes. Managing Expectations The expectations for this project were managed by the program coordinator and communicated to the instructors, mentees and mentors during the recruitment presentations and throughout the program. Th e instructors were expected to allow the students to complete the online training compone nt during class, be able to access their e-mail at least once per day, and be supportive of the project. The mentors were expected to follow all the volunteer guidelines devel oped by the district school system, complete

PAGE 91

78 the online training component, and send a minimum of two messages per week to their mentees. The mentees were expected to complete the online training component and send a minimum of two messages per week to their mentors. In addition, all participants were exp ected to complete the online surveys, participate in the focus groups, and ask for assistance with the technology or any other component of the program as often as neces sary. The mentees were expected to also complete the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale an d the Career Indecision Scale before the study began and again after the program was over. Matching. After the mentors were recruited and approved through the school district volunteer appl ication process, they were randomly matched with the students who chose to participate in the program using a si mple computer program. All the participants were informed that the mentor assignment s were randomly completed by the computer. Program Structure The second component of the structur ed e-mentoring model includes three subcomponents, training, coaching, and comm unity building, the ac tual operational aspects of the program. These components we re implemented in a variety of ways. Training. Before any mentoring began, the participating students (mentees) received online training on what it would be li ke to be a mentee. This online training was available through the National Mentoring Partne rship and was used in its entirety by the researcher for this project. Topi cs included in the training were: 1. What is Mentoring All About? 2. Your Mentors Responsibilities

PAGE 92

79 3. Your Responsibilities as a Mentee 4. Developing a Great Me ntoring Relationship 5. Things to Do With Your Mentor 6. When and How to Say Goodbye The program coordinator met with the st udents in a computer lab on the school campuses and assisted with the students online training component as recommended by the pilot group. The training was available online so the students had access to it throughout the mentoring program The program coordinator also added a link to the training on the student Web site to make it easier to access. During this same training, the mentees were provided with their personal Gaggle.Net e-mail address and we re trained on how to use the Gaggle.Net system. At the end of the training, the randomly selected me ntors name and secure Gaggle.Net e-mail address were distributed to each mentee, and the students were told to expect a message from their mentors within a week. Students who were not in school on the day of the training or who joined the mentoring project after this training date, were provided oneon-one instruction by the program coordina tor on how to access the online training component and how to use Gaggle.Net. The online training course for the e-ment ors was also available through the NMP. The topics included in the ment or training were as follows: 1. What is Mentoring? 2. The Role of the Mentor 3. Tips for Success

PAGE 93

80 4. Common Concerns 5. Setting Relationship Goals 6. Communicate Effectively 7. Avoiding Roadblocks to Communication 8. Giving Feedback 9. Problem Solving 10. Are You Making a Difference? 11. Ending On Time and On Purpose The program coordinator sent an e-mail message to all of the selected mentors requesting they participate in the online trai ning. This message was sent to the mentors during the same week that the mentees completed the training. In the same e-mail message, the mentors secure e-mail address along with his or her randomly selected mentees name and e-mail address were provi ded. The mentors were asked to send the first message to their mentees wi thin one week of the training. Coaching. Two Web sites were created by the researcher for this program as portals for additional information. The Web site for the mentors contained additional training and informational tools for the mentors including a handbook of basic information about the GED Exit Option progr am, adolescent behavior, communication strategies, and tips for developing relations hips online. It also included discussion starters, a blog to be used as a discussion site, and a form to submit when requesting technical support. The Web site for the mentees contained similar information for the students including communication strategies, ti ps for developing re lationships online,

PAGE 94

81 suggested topics for discussion with their ment ors, blogs to be used as discussion sites, and a form to submit when requesting technical support. Each week, the program coordinator sent a discussion starter via e-mail to the mentors. These starters were designed to help the mentors develop conversation and topics to discuss with the mentees. One of the early discussion starters was as follows: Ask your mentees opinion about on e or more of these topics: the future, clothes, the environment, gossip, heroes, or responsibility. The students may want to know your opinion as well! Remember, dont pass judgement your mentee will feel good knowing that an adult cares enough to ask his or her opinion on a topic. The initial discussion starters were designed as a way for the participants to get to know each other. The others always had a theme related to academic achievement, attendance, self-esteem, or career decision making. A comple te list of the discussion starters can be found in Appendix L. During the e-mentoring project, the progr am coordinator stayed in communication with the instructors via tele phone and e-mail to remind them to encourage the students to check their e-mail and send messages to their me ntors. The program coordinator also sent messages to the mentees either as a group or individually to remind them to communicate with their mentors on a regular basis. Con tinuous communication was important in this coaching phase. Community building. Opportunities for the mentors to communicate with each other and the mentees to communicate with each other help build th e sense of community

PAGE 95

82 that the research indicate s leads to the success of online mentoring programs. The original plan was to have discussion boards and blogs for the mentees and mentors to utilize in order to assist with the community building. However, due to unforeseen school district firewall issues, the bl ogs and discussion boards were unavailable most of the time during the program. Community building occu rred during the focus group sessions and other meetings the researcher had with both the students and the mentors. This community building was more informal than originally planned. Assessment Although assessment is often done at the end of a mentoring program, the design of this study required assessment to be completed at various stages of the program so that modifications could be made to the program wh ile in progress. Three types of data were collected during the asse ssment component of this study (see Table 5).

PAGE 96

83 Table 5 Timeline for Data Collection Week Of Type Data Ongoing Review Weekly Gaggle.Net reports Involvement Frequency of e-mails sent and received each week July Sept., 2006 GED pretest Formative Assessment Oct. 1, 2006 Rosenberg SE a Scale; CDS b Formative Assessment Oct. 30, 2006 Survey 1 Formative Planning Nov. 27, 2006 Survey 2 Formative Program Structure Jan. 8, 2007 Focus group 1 Formative Planning and Program Structure Feb. 2007 GED Tests Summative Assessment March 1, 2007 Attendance reports Summative Assessment April 2, 2007 Survey 3 Formative Assessment April 2, 2007 Rosenberg SE a Scale; CDS b Formative Assessment April 30, 2007 Focus group 2 Formative Assessment a Self-Esteem b Career Decision Scale. Involvement data. The number of e-mail messages the mentors and mentees sent and received were tracked using the Gaggl e.Net administrative feature and an Excel spreadsheet. The program coordinator ch ecked the Gaggle.Net site each day, and depending on what the data showed, addi tional online coaching sessions (group and individual) were incorporat ed to help encourage the mentors and mentees to communicate at least two times per week. Formative data. The formative data were collect ed through the online surveys and focus groups and were used to allow the researcher to make improvements to the program

PAGE 97

84 while it was ongoing. At the appropriate time during the program, an e-mail message was sent to the mentors asking them to complete the online survey within one week. The link to the survey was included in the message. For the mentees, the program coordinator set a specific time during the school day and asked th e students to come to the computer lab and complete the survey. This was done to ensure the students were completing the survey and to allow the program coordinator to touch base with the students. All the online surveys can be found in Appendices M through U. The focus group questions were designed to help the researcher gather different, more detailed information from both the mentees and the mentors. The focus groups were conducted with the students at their own sc hool during the school day. Focus groups for the mentors were offered at two different tim es during the day, either in the morning or after work, to accommodate the mentors schedules. The instructors met after school to participate in their focus groups. The focu s groups for the mentees and the mentors usually had approximately 10 -15 participan ts in each group. During the focus groups, the researcher served as the facilitator. In addition, they were audio-taped so that the researcher had a full record of the respons es. All focus group questions can be found in Appendices V through X. After the data were collected from the online surveys and focus groups, it was compiled into several large charts and anal yzed by the researcher. As appropriate, changes were made to the model and communi cated to the particip ants through e-mail. Summative data. The summative data, which were used to determine the impact of the mentoring program on at -risk students self-esteem, career indecision, attendance,

PAGE 98

85 and academic achievement, were obtained using several measures. The Rosenberg SelfEsteem Scale was administered to the c ontrol group and mentored group of students before the program began and again at the e nd of the program. This same protocol was utilized for the Career Decision Scale. Attendance was tracked for all students. The students who dropped out of school were tracked separately. To determine academic success, the scores on each of the five GED Tests were utilized. The students took these tests in February or early March and r eceived the results about a month later. Data Analyses The first research question was: What is the impact of the structured e-mentoring model on at-risk students self-esteem, career indecision, attendance, and academic achievement? In order to answer this ques tion, descriptive data were collected and analyzed for the two groups of students, those in the mentored group and those in the control group. The data colle cted from Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Career Indecision Scale were analyzed using a 2 x 2 repeated measures ANOVA. The two independent variables were the group the students were in (mentored or control) and time (pretest versus posttest). The researcher initia lly scored all of the pretests and posttests administered in this study and entered the data into a spreadsheet. In order to ensure these instruments were scored accurately, a school-b ased administrator re-scored each test and validated the accuracy of all test scores entered into the spreadsheet. The data collected from the students a ttendance reports were analyzed using the independent sample t -test. This test was conducted to de termine if there wa s a statistically

PAGE 99

86 significant difference in the attendance records for the students in the mentored group or the control group. For each subtest of the pre GED and the actual GED Tests, the data were analyzed using the 2 x 2 repeated measures ANOVA. The two independent variables were the group the students were in (mentored or contro l) and time (pretest versus posttest). The researcher entered the students scores into a spreadsheet. A school-based administrator reviewed the accuracy of all test scores ente red into the spreadsheet. This same process was used for the total score of the pre GED tests and the actual GED Tests. The second research question was: What is the working quality of each of the design components of the structured ement oring model? In order to answer this question, the online survey questions were organized in a schema based on the components and subcomponents of the stru ctured e-mentoring model (recruiting, managing expectations, training, coaching, and community building) and an independent t -test was run on each subcomponent to determine whether or not the mentors, mentees, and instructors had a positive experience with the mentoring process. Levenes Test for Equality of Variances was also conducted in order to check for homogeneity of variance between the mentor and mentee groups. This anal ysis allowed the researcher to determine how satisfied the mentors and the students were with the compone nts of the program during implementation and after the program was completed. The third research question was: What are the implications for design changes needed to improve the model during the study and in subsequent studies? In order to answer this question, the involvement data, the data from the open-ended questions on

PAGE 100

87 the online surveys, focus group discussions, c onversations and e-mails with the mentors, mentees, and instructors, and e-mail dialogue between the mentors and mentees were analyzed by the researcher immediately upon completion of each. Every stakeholder group had the opportunity to look at the issue fr om their particular point of view and the researcher would log the issues and look for patterns to emer ge. By triangulating the data, biases were eliminated that might have resu lted from just relying on one source of the data. A school-based administrator and a teacher (who were not participants in the study) also reviewed the data independently to see what patterns they detected. Both of these independent evaluators hold Masters degrees in Education and have taken coursework in statistical measurement a nd evaluation procedures. All the identified issues were logged and as the patterns emerged, adjustments would be made and implemented if possi ble and appropriate. For example, the instructors, mentors, and ment ees all indicated a need for a system to help the mentees remember to check their e-mail. One instructor began utilizing a simple check sheet that the students had to sign each day indicating they had check ed their e-mail. This check sheet method was implemented among all the teachers in January 2007 after the survey results and focus groups data were compiled and this issue surfaced. There were other issues that could not be imp lemented during the study but we re logged and perhaps could be addressed in the development of future mentoring programs.

PAGE 101

88 Chapter 4 Results The purpose of this research study was to determine the quality and impact of the e-mentoring model on at-risk high school st udents. The student participants were 17and 18-year olds enrolled in the GED Ex it Option dropout prevention program at two technical centers in a Central Florida school district. The mentor participants were business and community partners who volunteered to work with the students online during the course of the study. A research-based, structured e-mentor ing model was designed, implemented, and assessed over about a six-month period. Using a design experiment as the way to carry out this formative research allowed the inves tigator to test the e-mentoring model based on the theoretical principles found in the l iterature. This connec tion of research and practice allowed the researcher to make improvements to the program while it was still ongoing. The mentors and the mentees, as well as the instructors, were co-participants in the actual design and anal ysis of the project. The design of this study was first a quan titative assessment of the relationship between participating as a mentee and the students self-est eem, career indecision, attendance and academic success. In additi on, the study also contained a qualitative element used to evaluate the working quality of the structured e-mentoring model (see Figure 1). The quality of each component of the model was measured against three

PAGE 102

89 criteria: (a) ease of implementation (b) the impact of technology, and (c) the ability for flexible design revision. Last, since de sign experiments are fluid and require improvements to the e-mentoring program while it was underway, all changes to the program were recorded. The results from all the measures and their analyses are presented in the next section. Study Participants This research study included three groups of participants: mentors, instructors, and mentees. The mentors included individua ls who were business or educational partners of the participating technical centers. Of the 32 mentors, 22 were female and 10 were male. The majority of the mentors were White (87.5%). The other 12.5% were either African American or Hispanic. Th eir occupations included business owners, managers, nurses, instructional support teachers, community volunteers, and engineers. Of the 32 mentors, 21 were business partners and 11 were educators. Two of the mentors lived in Texas. No specific data were collect ed on the exact age of the mentors; however, the youngest mentor was a college senior a nd the oldest was in his mid sixties. At the two technical centers participating in the study, there were four instructors teaching the GED Exit Option program. One of the four instructors chose not to participate in the project. Of the three who did participate, two were female, one White and one African American, and the other was a White male instructor. Each instructor had two classes one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The class sizes varied from a low of 9 students to a high of 24 students.

PAGE 103

90 Students began enrolling in the GED Exit Option program during the summer prior to the school year. The enrollment period extended through the second week of September 2006. There were a total of 91 st udents enrolled in the six classes. The students were a mix of male and female, Wh ite, African American, Hispanic, and Asian and were either 17or 18-years of ag e when the program began. Gender and race distributions are located in Table 6. Table 6 Gender and Race Distribution for Students Enrolled in the GED Exit Option Program Variable Sample n Percent Gender Female 36 39.5 Male 55 60.4 Race White 41 45.0 Black 24 26.4 Hispanic 24 26.4 Asian 2 2.2 Total 91 100.0 Impact of Structured E-Mentoring Model To answer the first research question re garding the impact of the structured ementoring model on the at-risk students meas ures of psychological (self-worth, career indecision), behavioral (attendance), and acad emic success (GED Tests), quantitative analyses were conducted. The results are described in the following subsections. Self-Esteem

PAGE 104

91 The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale was ad ministered to the students in the mentored classes and the non-mentored classe s in a pretest/posttest control group design. The pretest was conducted during October prior to the actual start of the program. The posttest was conducted during March af ter the program was complete. This instrument consisted of 10 questi ons (Appendix A). Five of the questions were worded positively and the other five questions were worded negatively. The participants answered th e questions on a scale of 1 to 4 (4 for strongly agree, 3 for agree, 2 for disagree, and 1 for strongly disagree). Negative items were reversed scored. The surveys were scored by adding the individual responses to produce an overall self-esteem score for the individual. It is assumed that the higher the sc ore, the higher the level of positive self-esteem. The data collected were then analyzed using a 2 x 2 repeated measures ANOVA. The data sets were examined in two different ways. First, the students who were in the randomly selected mentored classes, but chos e not to be mentored, were included in the control group. A second analysis was conducte d using only the mentored students in the randomly selected mentored classes and only the control group students in the randomly selected control classes. An level of .05 was used for all tests. Descriptive statistics including the mean, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis are presented in Table 7.

PAGE 105

92 Table 7 Descriptive Statistics for Rosenberg Self-E steem Scale, Pretest and Posttest Results N MeanSDSkewness Kurtosis Pre Self-Esteem Control 45 32.645.68-0.90 1.64 Mentored 26 32.925.35-0.62 0.69 Post Self-Esteem Control 45 34.404.44-0.42 -0.41 Mentored 26 34.694.85-0.73 -0.58 The means for both pretest and posttest measures were graphed to provi de a picture of the analysis and can be found in Figure 3. 31.5 32 32.5 33 33.5 34 34.5 35 Pre PostMean Scores Control Mentored Figure 3 Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Pretest and Posttest Results. The ANOVA results F (1, 69) = 8.75, p < .01 indicated that there was a statistically significant increase in overall se lf-esteem scores from the pretest to the posttest. However, there was no statistically significant interaction between time and

PAGE 106

93 group, F (1, 69) = 0.00, p > .05. Both groups progressed in the same direc tion (positive) at similarly significant rates. There was no statistically significant difference in overall scores, F (1, 69) = 0.07, p > .05, between the mentored group and the control group. The students who were enrolled in the randomly selected mentored classes but chose not to be mentored were then ex cluded from the control group and a second repeated measures ANOVA was performed. The findings were the same. The results, F (1, 55) = 6.50, p < .05 indicated that there was a statistically si gnificant increase in overall self-esteem scores from the pretes t to the posttest. However, there was no statistically significant intera ction between time and group, F (1, 55) = 0.08, p > .05. There was also no statistically signifi cant different in overall scores, F (1, 55) = 0.08, p > .05 between the c ontrol group and the mentored group. Career Decision The Career Decision Scale data were an alyzed using the same methodology as for the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale data. The surv eys were administered to the students in the mentored classes and the non-mentored cl asses in a pretest/pos ttest control group design. The pretests and the posttests were administered on the same day that the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale was administered The data collected were then analyzed using a 2 x 2 repeated measures ANOVA. The da ta sets were examined in two different ways. First, the students who were in the ra ndomly selected mentored classes, but chose not to be mentored, were included in the control group. A second analysis was conducted using the mentored students in the randomly selected mentored classes and only the students in the randomly selected control classes. An level of .05 was used for all tests.

PAGE 107

94 This instrument was made up of 18 questions (Appendix B). Two of the questions were worded positively and were used to measure a students certainty about a career decision. The other 16 were worded negatively and measured a student s indecision about a career choice. For the purposes of this anal ysis, the responses were separated into two groups. The respondents answered the questions on a scale of 1 to 4 (4 for exactly like me, 3 for very much like me, 2 for only slightly like me and 1 for is not at all like me). Therefore, a larger total score would be desirable among the positively worded questions, while a smaller total score woul d be more desirable among the negatively worded questions. Using the 2 x 2 repeated measures ANOV A, the two different total scores positive and negative were analyzed to determine if the overall attitudes of the two populations differed significantly from one another in either the pretest or the posttest. The descriptive statistics are found in Table 8 and 9. Table 8 Descriptive Statistics for Career Deci sion Scale, Pretest and Posttest Results Positive Questions Measuri ng Certainty about a Career Group NMeanSDSkewnessKurtosis Pre Career Positive Control 436.471.75-0.960.16 Mentored 26 5.691.64-0.460.35 Post Career Control 436.701.60-1.130.66 Positive Mentored 266.001.58-0.13-1.10

PAGE 108

95 Table 9 Descriptive Statistics for Career Decisi on Scale, Pretest and Posttest Results Negative Questions Measur ing Career Indecision Group NMeanSDSkewnessKurtosis Pre Career Positive Control 4330.7710.411.503.05 Mentored 2632.1511.62.040-0.05 Post Career Control 4330.197.280.33-0.41 Positive Mentored 2633.889.370.150.10 The means for both pretest and posttest measures for the positive and negative questions were graphed to pr ovide a picture of the anal yses and can be found in Figures 4 and 5. 5 5.2 5.4 5.6 5.8 6 6.2 6.4 6.6 6.8 Pre PostMean Scores Control Mentored Figure 4 Career Decision Scale, Pretest and Po sttest Results for Positive Questions Measuring Certainty about a Career.

PAGE 109

96 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 PrePostMean Scores Control Mentored Figure 5 Career Decision Scale, Pretest and Posttest Results for Negative Questions Measuring Career Indecision For the positively worded questions whic h measured career certainty, there was no statistically significant difference, F (1, 67) = 2.49, p > .05 from the pretest to the posttest. There was no statistically signifi cant interaction between time and group, F (1, 67) = 0.05, p > .05. Both groups progressed in the same direction (positive) at similarly insignificant rates. There was no statistically significant difference in overall scores F (1, 67) = 0.05, p > .05 between the mentored and control groups. For the negatively worded questions which measured a students career indecision, the results were similar. There wa s no statistically significant difference, F (1, 67) = 0.28, p > .05 in negative career decision scores from the pretest ( M = 31.29, SD = 10.82) to the posttest ( M = 31.58, SD = 8.26). There was also no statistically significant intera ction between time and group, F (1, 67) = 1.12, p > .05.

PAGE 110

97 Both groups progressed at sim ilarly insignificant rates. Fina lly, there was no statistically significant difference in overall scores, F (1, 67) = 1.44, p > .05 between the control and mentored group. The same analysis was run using a data set that excluded the students who were enrolled in the randomly selected mentored classes but chose not to be mentored. The findings were the same; there were no stat istically significant differences between the control group and the mentored group for either the positive questions, F (1, 53) = .735, p >.05 or negative questions F (1, 53) = .006, p > .05. Overall, these analyses indicate that there were no statisti cally significant group (mento red and control) by time (pretest/posttest) interaction effects or main effects of time or group conditions. Attendance A record of the students attendance throughout the study was recorded daily and analyzed at the end of the study. Only th e attendance records for the students who completed the program and actually took the GED were analyzed. The results for the students attendance are found in Table 10. Table 10 Average Number of Days Absent from School During Program Group N Mean SD Skewness Kurtosis Control 43 9.12 7.83 1.79 4.57 Mentored 26 11.62 9.48 1.61 2.56 An independent sample t-test was run to determine if there was a significant difference in the number of absences between the two groups of st udents, mentored and control. The test, t (67 ) = -1.19, p > .05, indicated that there was no significant difference

PAGE 111

98 in the number of absences between the mentored students and those in the control group. Note that the mentored students ( M = 11.62, SD = 9.48) had a slightly higher average absence rate than those in the control group ( M = 9.12, SD = 7.83), but not different enough to be considered statistically significant. A second t-test was run using data that excl uded the students in the mentored group who chose not to be me ntored. Again, the results, t (52) = 1.07, p > .05 were not statistically significant. See Table 11 for the results. Table 11 Average Number of Days Absent from School During Program Group N Mean SD Skewness Kurtosis Control 28 8.96 8.72 2.01 5.06 Mentored 26 11.62 9.48 1.61 2.56 Note. Students in the randomly selected mentored classes who chose not to be mentored were excluded from this data set. Academic Success The purpose of the GED Exit Option program is to provide an opportunity for students to prepare for and pass the GED Tests. Prior to entering the GED Exit Option program, the students took the pre GED test s which mirror the actual GED Tests. Both pretests and the actual GED Tests consist of five individual subtes ts in the areas of science, social studies, reading, mathema tics, and writing. The minimum score a student can earn on each pre GED test is 200 and the maximum score a student can score on each test is 800.

PAGE 112

99 Based on these scores, 69%, or 63 of the 91 of the students enrolled in the GED Exit Option classes that were part of this study, were ready to take the GED Tests upon entering the program. Twenty-eight students or 31% needed remediation in at least one of the five core subjects that make up the GE D. Although their scores may indicated that they may have been able to pass the GED Tests upon entering the program, they were still required by school distri ct policy to be part of the year-long GED Exit Option program in order to take the actual GED Tests and receive their home high school diplomas. The results of the pre GED te sts are provided in Table 12. Table 12 Pre GED Results by Group, Control (N = 58) and Ment ored (N = 31) Test Group Min.Max.MeanSD Science Control 390800535.52101.50 Mentored 400800568.39121.38 Social Studies Control 390650494.3155.92 Mentored 390800544.19102.27 Reading Control 400800507.9391.93 Mentored 400680505.1680.29 Math Control 390630475.8654.71 Mentored 390690480.0066.48 Writing Control 390 670466.3857.70 Mentored 400540461.6132.26 Total Control 216032102480.00242.84 Mentored 208032502591.92320.69

PAGE 113

100 In February or early March (depending on the class), the students took the actual GED Tests which consisted of the same five s ubjects: science, social studies, reading, mathematics, and writing. The scoring was the same as for the pre GED tests. The results of the post GED Tests are found in Table 13. Table 13 Post GED Results by Group, Control (N = 44) and Ment ored (N = 26) Test Group Min.Max.MeanSD Science Control 410660497.0553.25 Mentored 420630503.0866.62 Social Studies Control 410660510.2362.75 Mentored 360630500.0081.29 Reading Control 420800538.1878.10 Mentored 440760545.3886.64 Math Control 420700490.4554.77 Mentored 390700502.3183.39 Writing Control 390 760487.0572.10 Mentored 410580489.2356.35 Total Control 222031302522.95229.94 Mentored 217033202540.00285.73 The means for both pretest and posttest subtests and total scores for the GED Tests were graphed to provide a picture of the analys es and can be seen in Figures 6 through 11.

PAGE 114

101 460 480 500 520 540 560 580 Pre PostMean Scores Control Mentored Figure 6 Mean GED Science Scores, Pretest and Posttest (Control Group N = 44, Mentored Group N = 26). 460 470 480 490 500 510 520 530 540 550 Pre PostMean Scores Control Mentored Figure 7. Mean GED Social Studies Sc ores, Pretest and Posttest (Control Group N = 44, Mentored Group N = 26).

PAGE 115

102 480 490 500 510 520 530 540 550 Pre PostMean Scores Control Mentored Figure 8. Mean GED Reading Scores, Pretest and Posttest (Control Group N = 44, Mentored Group N = 26). 460 465 470 475 480 485 490 495 500 505 Pre PostMean Scores Control Mentored Figure 9 Mean GED Mathematics Scores, Pretest and Posttest (Control Group N = 44, Mentored Group N = 26).

PAGE 116

103 445 450 455 460 465 470 475 480 485 490 495 Pre PostMean Scores Control Mentored Figure 10. Mean GED Writing Scores Pretest and Posttest (Control Group N = 44, Mentored Group N = 26). 2420 2440 2460 2480 2500 2520 2540 2560 2580 2600 2620 Pre PostMean Scores Control Mentored Figure 11 Mean GED Total Scores, Pretest and Posttest (Control Group N = 44, Mentored Group N = 26).

PAGE 117

104 Of the 44 students in the control group who took the actual GED Tests, 40 passed with the required scores. Of the 26 student s in the mentored group who took the actual GED Tests, 20 passed with the required scores. A 2 x 2 repeated measures ANOVA was conducted and the results can be found in Ta ble 14. For purposes of this particular analysis, the students who were in the randomly selected mentored classes but chose not to be mentored were included in the control group data set. Table 14 F-Ratios of Repeated Measures ANOVA Students Who Took both Pre GE D and Post GED (N = 70) Test Time x Group Time Group Science 2.50 23.70** 1.62 Social Studies 11.62** 3.82 1.95 Reading 0.01 11.14** 0.20 Mathematics 0.07 4.28* 0.51 Writing 0.12 6.26* 0.01 Total GED 3.63 0.04 1.12 Note. Students who were in randomly selected mentored classes but chose not to be mentored were counted as members of the control group. p < .05 ** p < .01 This analysis yielded only one significant result for the interaction effect between the variables of time and mentor group. On the social studies subtest, the overall mean scores differed significantly from pretest to posttest when accounting for the differences in mentoring versus control groups. The cont rol group scores increased over time while the scores for the mentored group declined. When considering the factor of time only, there were significant results fo r science, reading, mathema tics, and writing. The scores

PAGE 118

105 for both groups increased for mathematics, reading, and writing. The scores for science decreased for both groups over time. The total GED Tests scores did not yield statistically significant results for either the mentored group or the control group. The control groups scores increas ed while the scores for the mentored groups decreased but they were not statistically significant. A second analysis was conducted by re moving the students in the randomly selected mentored classes who chose not be mentored from the data set completely. The results differed only slightly. On the social studies and science subt ests, the overall mean scores differed significantly from pretest to posttest between me ntoring and control groups. The results are displayed in Table 15. Table 15 F-Ratios of Repeated Measures ANOVA Students Who Took both Pre GE D and Post GED (N = 54) Test Time x GroupTime Group Science 4.31* 14.38**1.01 Social Studies 7.98** 3.23 2.94 Reading 0.06 6.57* 0.26 Mathematics 0.05 3.13 0.08 Writing 0.04 7.17* 0.53 Total GED 3.84 0.01 0.05 Note. Students were excluded who were in randomly selected mentored classes but chose not to be mentored. p < .05 ** p < .01 Of the 58 students in the control group wh en the program started, only 44 students or 76%, actually took the GED Tests and comp leted the school year. On the other hand, of the 31 students in the mentored group wh en the program began, 26 students or 84%,

PAGE 119

106 actually took the exam and completed the sc hool year. A total of 19 students dropped out before taking the GED. Independent t -tests were run to determine if the dropouts and the students who stayed in school performed signi ficantly different from one another on the pre GED subtests and the total of the enti re battery of pre GED tests. Based on the results, all of the students who stayed in school and took the actual GED Tests had higher scores on the pre GED tests than those st udents who dropped out. However, they were not statistically signif icant. The results can be found in Table 16. Table 16 Pre GED Subtests and Total Pre GED Test, Students Who Stayed in School versus Stude nts Who Dropped Out (N = 89) Test t p Science -0.74 .46 Social Studies -1.16 .25 Reading -0.18 .86 Mathematics -0.83 .41 Writing -0.56 .58 Total GED -0.97 .34 Note. p < .05 df = 87 for all subtests Correlations were run in order to measur e the degree of association between each subtest of the pre GED test and the actual GED subtests. As expected, each pretest demonstrated significant correlation to its re lated posttest. The intercorrelations between GED subtests and the other three measures: self-esteem, career deci sion, and attendance were examined. As expected, the pretest a nd posttest for the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale as well as the pretest and posttes t for both the positive and negative Career Decision Scale questions were significantly correlated.

PAGE 120

107 Next, the intercorrelations between GED subtests and the other three measures: self-esteem, career decision, a nd attendance were analyzed for the control group of students and the mentored group of students. This data set for th e control group included the students from the randomly selected ment ored classes who chose not to be mentored. The correlation results for pretest to pretest, pos ttest to posttest, and pretest to posttest can be found in Tables 17 through 22.

PAGE 121

108 Table 17 Pearson Product Moment Correlation between Study Variables at Pretest, Control Group 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1. Self-Esteem 1.00 2. Career Positive 0.12 1.00 3. Career Negative -0.54** -0.28* 1.00 4. Attendance 0.21 0.11 -0.01 1.00 5. Science 0.34** -0.15 -0.17 -0.04 1.00 6. Social Studies 0.31* -0.16 0.12 0.08 0.37** 1.00 7. Reading 0.10 -0.07 -0.13 0.12 0.17 0.53** 1.00 8. Math 0.17 -0.07 0.01 0.12 0.47** 0.39** 0.17 1.00 9. Writing 0.21 -0.28* 0.03 0.26* 0.23 0.25 0.32* 0.15 1.00 10. Total GED 0.34* -0.21 -0.17 -0.07 0.73** 0.73** 0.69** 0.61** 0.55** 1.00 Note. Students in control group included those from mentored classes who chose not to be mentored. For the Rosenberg Self-Esteem a nd Career Decision Scales, N = 57. For attendance, N = 44 For all GED subtests and total GED N = 57. p < .05 ** p < .01

PAGE 122

109 Table 18 Pearson Product Moment Correlation between Study Variables at Posttest, Control Group 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1. Self-Esteem 1.00 2. Career Positive -0.17 1.00 3. Career Negative -0.01 -0.29 1.00 4. Attendance 0.21 -0.13 0.05 1.00 5. Science 0.10 -0.30 -0.04 -0.07 1.00 6. Social Studies 0.12 -0.05 -0.01 -0.02 0.50** 1.00 7. Reading 0.09 -0.12 0.01 0.12 0.59** 0.51** 1.00 8. Math -0.11 0.14 -0.13 0.24* 0.40** 0.40** 0.47** 1.00 9. Writing 0.02 -0.13 0.11 -0.08 0.25 0.29 0.20 0.35* 1.00 10. Total GED 0.07 -0.13 -0.01 0.06 0.74** 0.75** 0.79** 0.71** 0.60** 1.00 Note. Students in control group included those from mentored classes who chose not to be mentored. For the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Sc ale, N = 45. For the Career Decision Scale, N = 43. For attendance, N = 44 For all GED subtes ts and total GED N = 44. p < .05 ** p < .0

PAGE 123

110 Table 19 Pearson Product Moment Correlation Between Study Variables Pretest to Posttest, Control Group Variable Pretest Posttest r Self-Esteem .64** Career Positive .84** Career Negative .57** Science .60** Social Studies .61** Reading .44** Math .43** Writing .31* Total GED .73** Note. Students in control group included those from mentored classes who chose not to be mentored. For the Rosenberg Self-Esteem and Career Decision Scales, pretest, N = 57. For all pre GED subtests and total pre GED, N = 57. For the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, posttest, N = 45. For the Career Decision Scale, posttest, N = 43. For all GED subtests and total GED N = 44. p < .05 ** p < .01

PAGE 124

111 Table 20 Pearson Product Moment Correlation between Study Variables at Pretest, Mentored Group 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1. Self-Esteem 1.00 2. Career Positive -0.35 1.00 3. Career Negative -0.15 -0.39* 1.00 4. Attendance 0.21 0.12 0.03 1.00 5. Science -0.40* -0.31 0.02 -0.14 1.00 6. Social Studies -0.26 -0.24 -0.11 -0.04 0.75** 1.00 7. Reading -0.06 -0.30 -0.02 0.16 0.65** 0.79** 1.00 8. Math 0.14 -0.18 -0.06 0.28 0.28 0.35 0.54** 1.00 9. Writing 0.11 0.26 0.16 0.30 0.25 0.41* 0.38* 0.02 1.00 10. Total GED -0.21 -0.28 -0.03 0.11 0.86** 0.91** 0.90** 0.56** 0.43* 1.00 Note. For the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, N = 32. For the Career Decision Scale, N = 31. For attendance, N = 26 For all GED subtests and total GED N = 31. p < .05 ** p < .01

PAGE 125

112 Table 21 Pearson Product Moment Correlation between St udy Variables at Posttest, Mentored Group 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1. Self-Esteem 1.00 2. Career Positive 0.64** 1.00 3. Career Negative -0.25 -0.43* 1.00 4. Attendance 0.18 -0.20 -0.07 1.00 5. Science -0.15 0.02 -0.07 -0.03 1.00 6. Social Studies -0.14 -0.08 0.00 -0.01 0.66** 1.00 7. Reading 0.07 0.04 -0.22 0.17 0.70** 0.50** 1.00 8. Math -0.07 -0.06 -0.13 0.38 0.56** 0.59** 0.46* 1.00 9. Writing 0.11 0.15 -0.08 -0.21 0.35 0.31 0.40* 0.07 1.00 10. Total GED -0.05 0.00 -0.14 0.11 0.86** 0.82** 0.82** 0.74** 0.51** 1.00 Note. N = 26 for all variables. p < .05 ** p < .01

PAGE 126

113 Table 22 Pearson Product Moment Correlation Between Study Variables Pretest to Posttest, Mentored Group Variable Pretest Posttest r Self-Esteem .43* Career Positive .33 Career Negative .65** Science .54** Social Studies .40** Reading .69** Math .66** Writing .29 Total GED .72** Note. For the Rosenberg Self-E steem Scale, pretest, N = 32. For the Career Decision Scale, pretest, N = 31. For all GED subtests and total GED N = 31. For all the posttest variables, N = 26. p < .05 ** p < .01 Anecdotal Stories The impact of the structured e-mentor ing model was assessed using quantitative measures regarding the students self-esteem career decision, attendance, and academic achievement. Although the literatu re indicates that these four factors have an effect on students and their success in school, the result s from this study did not. As the anecdotal stories emerged from the study however, the re searcher could concl ude that while the quantitative results indicated that the e-me ntoring model did not have a statistically

PAGE 127

114 significant impact on the students self-est eem, career decision, attendance, and academic achievement, the program had an impact on some of the students in ways that could not be measured using the instru ments in the study. The following examples illustrate this point. Gina and Kathleen Gina entered the program at 18 years of age. She was behind in credits just like many of the GED Exit Option students. She also worked 40 hours a week at a local restaurant in a supervisory position, often until midnight or 1 am. Gina was randomly assigned a mentor named Kathleen whose hus band had retired after many years working for a very large, national retail chain. Gina and Kathleen had a difficult time connecting to start because Kathleen was having di fficulty with the Gaggle.Net e-mail program. Once their communication was underway howev er, Kathleen and Gina began to bond. Kathleen recognized that Gina was exhaus ted and not getting enough sleep during the week. Kathleen convinced Gina to restructur e her work schedule so that she could focus on preparing for the GED. Kathleen and Gina communicated ofte n during the program about health and wellness issues. Gina began to ask Kathleen for career advice and by the end of the program, Kathleen had arranged fo r Gina to have an interview with the national retail chain. Gina passed the GED Tests and in the focus group told the researcher that her mentor really made a di fference for her life. I think I would have quit school if she had not been there to offer s uggestions as to how I could make work and school fit in my life.

PAGE 128

115 Karen and Sue When the researcher arrived at one of the classrooms to make the initial presentation, very few students in this pa rticular classroom seemed interested in participating. The instructor was very nega tive about the program and did not want to participate either. Her lack of enthusiasm se emed to affect the students. However, her administrator required that sh e would allow her students to become involved. On the way out of the classroom that morning, Karen fo llowed the researcher and said, I need a mentor. I have issues. Karen was 17 and n eeded parental permission to participate. Karen was not sure if her mother would al low her to participate so she asked the researcher to call her mother and discuss th e program with her. The researcher did and the mother agreed. Karen was randomly assigned to Sue. Sue was a 50 year old community partner who had been involved with the technical cen ters for only a few years. Karen and Sue bonded online almost immediat ely. Communication was almost daily between the two and Karen began telling Sue about her abus ive boyfriend, her moms abusive boyfriend who was an alcoholic, her struggles in school and her desire to get a job and travel. Karen and Sue even developed nicknames for each other. Karen told Sue several times that if it wasnt for her, she would see no reason to continue coming to school. By January, Karens life seemed to take a turn for the worse. Although she had found a job, her mothers boyfriend was drinking more often and causing problems for both Karen and her mom. Karens own boyfriend seemed to be very verbally abusive. During the first focus group session, Karen told the re searcher that her mentor made all the

PAGE 129

116 difference in the world to her. She is th e only person that really cares about me. I consider her a good friend. In late Januar y, Sue received a distressing message from Karen indicating that she had some seri ous emotional problems. Sue immediately contacted the researcher who then contacted the school. Karen entered the hospital for a period of time. When she returned to sc hool, she thanked Sue for once again being concerned about her. In early February, Karen told Sue she wa s pregnant. The father was the abusive boyfriend who was not really interested in the baby. Sue and Karen continued to communicate about the responsibilities that Ka ren would need to take on as a single parent and how important passi ng the GED Tests would be for her. Karen took the test in February and by March found out that she had not passed the mathematics or the English sections. She was devastated, but told Sue that she hadnt worked as hard as she should have to prepare for the exam. After the ementoring program ended in March, Karen and Sue continued to communicate, although not as frequently. Karen could have retaken the two GED subtests again in Ap ril or May but chose not to do so. In May, Karen contacted Sue and told her that she wa s moving out of state. Sue contacted Karen several times since sh e moved. Karen was excited to tell Sue about the baby girl that was bor n in July and how she very much wanted to finish her GED. Sue continued to encourage her. Kare n contacted Sue in N ovember and told her she was going to move back to Florida and finish her GED here. Just recently, Karen contacted Sue again and indicated she was back in Florida and livi ng with her mom. She

PAGE 130

117 said the situation with her mo m was not good and wanted to s ee if she could connect with Sue again for advice. Cyrie and Monica Cyrie and Monica developed an instant rela tionship as well. Cyrie, an 18-year old student, did not open up to Moni ca right away with as much personal information as Karen did with Sue. However, she seemed to value Monicas opinion and when she learned that Monica was a former English t eacher, she began asking Monica to help her with her academics. Monica would answer specific questions online and then the two exchanged phone numbers. Monica would spe nd an hour or two each week tutoring Cyrie on the telephone. Cyrie passed the GED Tests and told the researcher that her mentor was the reason why. She was a stranger who cared about me. I think that is amazing. After the program ended, Monica met Cyrie and her mo ther for lunch so they could meet faceto-face. Jose and Art Jose was a 17 year-old student who was in to heavy metal and pl anned to take his band overseas when school was over. His guardian made him participate in the mentoring program and he told the researcher that he was extremely skeptical that some stranger online could help me in any way. Jo se was not interested in preparing for the GED as he felt he already knew everything th at would be on the test. He also had a poor attendance record from his previous sc hool and by November, was missing days at the technical center as well.

PAGE 131

118 Art was randomly assigned as Joses mentor and happened to have a son who had a great interest in heavy metal music. The first e-mail message was sent from Art to Jose. Joses message back to Art indicated that while he would participate because his guardian wanted him to, he would be very leery about sharing any personal information with him. Joses second message told a di fferent story. It was several paragraphs in length and included his personal likes and dis likes. Jose told Art he thought he would give him a chance to prove himself. Their mentoring relationship developed, but Jose continued to have an attitude about school and felt as though he was better than everyone else in the class. Jose also continued to have attendance problems. His mentor did not feel like he was able to communicate adequately about Joses attendance or academic subjects, but they had many good conversations about bands, Europe, and life in general. During the focus group sessions, Jose told the re searcher that his mentor s eemed like a nice guy, and it is pretty cool that he understands his sons mu sic. Jose believed that his mentor was interested in his life. When the test scores came back, Jose did not pass all five sections of the GED. He was very embarrassed and told his instructor that he just might quit and take the test again on his own. Art continued to encourage Jose to stay in school which Jose did. Jose then retook the test in April and passed it. Herberto and Julie Herberto was enrolled as a GED Exit Op tion student by his guardian. He didnt think he wanted to participate because he wa s ready to head for California to live on the beach. However, since he was a minor, his guardian wanted him to try the program and

PAGE 132

119 attempt to earn his GED. Herberto did not live with his parents; instead he was living in a group home, a requirement that was mandated the last time he was in court. His instructor and his guardian both encouraged him to participate in the mentoring program even though he didnt really want to do so. Julie, hi s mentor, was in the health care field and a business partner of the techni cal center for many years. She had raised four daughters of her own and was excited about mentoring a young man. Julie began e-mailing Herberto as soon as the program started. Herberto shared his intentions to live at the beach because the city is too polluted. He wrote that idk [sic] im pretty outgoing and u can joke w/me about anything im VERY liberal im a social acti vist, um yeah im pretty much pretty easy to get along w. Julie had a very difficult tim e relating to Herberto or even understanding the way he wrote. She discussed this with the researcher several times even before the first focus group and shared that she did not think she could make any difference in this young mans life. The research er encouraged her to c ontinue trying. They only communicated a total of 10 times throughout the entire program. Unfo rtunately, Herberto was dismissed from the program before he had a chance to take his GED Tests due to behavioral and attendance issues. Julies response when he was removed from the program was, Well, I am not surprised. He did not seem to have what it takes to be successful. He didnt know what he wanted. Deidra and Beverly When the researcher made the presenta tion to the randomly selected mentored classes, Deidra was very excited about partic ipating in the program. She was a minor, so she was required to receive pa rental permission in order to take part. Within the week,

PAGE 133

120 Deidra brought her signed paperwork to her instructor and was assigned Beverly as her mentor. Beverly was a business partner who real ly enjoyed working with at-risk students. She had participated in several other ment oring programs over the years, but had never been involved with an e-mentoring program. She was excited about getting started. Beverly sent a message to Deidra during the first week of the program. Deidra did not respond. Beverly sent several messages over th e next few weeks, and Deidra did not respond to those messages either. The researcher contacted Deidra th rough her instructor and asked her if perhaps she was having techni cal difficulties or if she had changed her mind about participating. Deidra indicated sh e had been very busy, but that she was just as excited about participati ng as ever. The researcher told her that her mentor was anxious to hear from her and reminded her th at the expectations of the program included writing to her mentor at least two times per week. Deidra sa id that she would write to Beverly as soon as she hung up the phone. Un fortunately, she did not. Beverly continued to send two e-mails each week to Deidra. Deidra never responded. During the focus group sessions, Deidra indicated that she t hought the program was a great idea and she would get started as soon as she wasnt so busy. Her instructor and the researcher continued to encourage her to write to he r mentor, but she never sent one message. Deidra quit school shortly after the winter br eak. She did not tell her instructor or the counselor why she was leaving school. E-Mail Conversations According to the research conducted by the National Mentoring Partnership (n.d.), e-mail conversations between mentors an d mentees fall into three main categories.

PAGE 134

121 The NMP describes them as It was a r ough day where the mentees and mentors talked about important and personal issues ; Hey, hows it going where the mentees and the mentors had a friendly, warm relations hip, but did not real ly discuss serious personal issues; and Hows the weather where the mentees were not comfortable making personal admissions and the mentor s often had a difficult time engaging the mentees in conversation. The conversations between the mentors and mentees in this study seemed to follow the patterns as presented in the research. Cyrie and Monica It Was a Rough Day Cyrie and Monica seemed to develop a relationship right away. By Week 5, mentee Cyrie was telling her mentor Monica all about her boyfriend, their future together, her job, her volunteer work, and her struggles with the reading and writing portions of both the FCAT and GED tests. Monica wrote in one e-mail, Hope you have an especially great day today. Im glad your weekend was a good one. I am so impressed that you do volunteer work at your church. Your boyfriend sounds ni ce too. It is wonderful that he is going to college, but the most impo rtant thing is that he cares for you and treats you with respect. Im sure he realizes how fortunate he is to have you as a girlfriend. I was glad to hear you are eating better. Your health is important. You are important to your family, your friends, your boyfriend, and now to ME.

PAGE 135

122 As the relationship continued, Cyri e and her mentor, Monica, focused many of their conversations on how to help Cyri es academic performance. During Week 8, Cyrie wrote, I received my FCAT scores and missed 1 too many on the reading. I can take it again in Ap ril. Will you try and help me with that? I really want to pass. I n eed the most to work on purpose and main idea/comprehension. An indication that the relationship was growing seemed clear when during Week 14. Cyrie had been having problems with her mom who was addicted to drugs. Cyrie had decided to move in with a friends family b ecause of this situation. She had also been sick several times since Thanksgiving. She wrote, Hello. Sorry I havent been keeping in touch as much. Been busy with moving and all I moved out of my house now and all But Anyways. How is your family doing aokay? Me and my mom are getting along better and shes proud of my grades Anyways, write back! Love, Cyrie. Cyrie and Monica continued to communicat e after the program ended. Cyrie did not pass the GED Tests and was scheduled to retake them in mid-April. Towards the beginning of April, Cyrie really opened up about several problems she was having. My mother and I are still having so me issues. I tried to go see my dad in jail but couldnt and he m eans the world to me. He wont be out by the time I graduate which upsets me really bad It hurts

PAGE 136

123 really bad its actually making me cry right now. I also found out my cousin committed suicide. I hope all this stress goes away. Love, Cyrie. Monica replied with the following: Dear sweet Cyrie, I am so sorry you and your mother are having these problems. I am sure she l oves you very much and if indeed she has a drug problem, she is pr obably not acting like herself. Any kind of addiction is hard to battle. What can I do to help you? My only advice is to focus on your goals. You have such a bright future ahead of you. Dont let the problem with your mother stop you. I know it is hard because I know you love her and want the best for her too. I have come to care for you very much through our e-mails and would like to know how you are doing and how I can help. Love ya, Monica. Tara and Sally Hey, Hows It Going As soon as Tara, a teen mom, and Sally were matched as mentee and mentor, Sallys husband took ill with a very seri ous condition. He recuperated after about a month, so the e-mentoring relati onship between the two got off to a late start. By Week 11 however, the relationship seemed to be developing well. Sally wrote, Hi Tara, Thanks so much for your lovely note. I, too, really do enjoy our emails! I feel as though I know you even though weve never met. And I would love to receive a picture of your daughter.

PAGE 137

124 I am sure she is precious! Tara, you are wise beyond your years to realize already how very fast time goes with your children. And the older they get, the faster it goe s! I think that may be one of the main reasons I would love to ha ve a grandchild; it would be a second chance to really enjoy ti me with someone special. Your family must be so proud of you; I know I am! Tara, my family is doing well now; thank you for asking. I will be out-of-town next week at a conference so I won t be where I can e-mail you, but I will as soon as I return. Take care. S.S. Tara replied with the following e-mail, Thank you so much for your encouraging words they really mean a lot to me, thank you so much I receive encouraging words from many people but your words really touch me to know that someone that I dont know really cares a lot about me. I would love for us to meet because I enjoy talking to you, you make me feel so good about myself everyone else does to but someone that doesnt really know me that means a lot to me. Sincerely, Tara. Sophia and Connie Hows the Weather Here Connie was excited about being a mentor She worked extremely hard throughout the program attempting to engage her ment ee in conversation. A lthough they exchanged e-mails two times a week as required, their conversations never amounted to more than

PAGE 138

125 Connie asking questions based on the discus sion starters and Sophia answering them (sometimes). For example, during Week 4, Connie wrote to Sophie, Hi Sophia, I was wondering how you were doing on the GED studies. Do you have a favorite subject? Do you have a subject you have difficulty with? When I was studying for my GED, my mathematics held me back. How I finally made it through was when my older sister came to visit me and taught me some tricks to help me keep the numbers straight. Sophia responded, No, all the s ubjects are pretty simple, sometimes its hard to consentrate [ sic ] on the test tho because all the people talking all the time in the classroom, so my scores suffer but only mild ly. Most of their conversations did not include any serious personal issues. Neither Tara nor Cyrie, passed all five parts of the GED on the first attempt. However, Tara and Cyrie seemed to deve loped good online relationships with their mentors that seemed to sustain them th roughout the school year. Sophia did earn her GED yet her relationship and conversations seemed less developed. When the stories are told, the impact can be seen, at least with some of the students in different ways than were measured quantitatively. Working Quality of th e E-Mentoring Model The second research question was: What is the working quality of each of the components of the structured ementoring m odel? To answer this question, the results from the online satisfaction surveys administ ered during the study we re analyzed. Three

PAGE 139

126 surveys were actually administered during the course of the program to each participant group: mentors, mentees, and instructors. Each survey contained questions about the components of the structured model as well as questions about the ease of implementation and the technology being used. All of the participants answered the questions anonymously. The first two surveys were administered after the implementa tion of each of the first two phases of the program. The results from theses surveys were used to make design changes as needed duri ng the program and were part of the formative assessment of the program. The third survey was admi nistered at the comp letion of the study and was part of the summative assessment of the entire program. The results from all three surveys were used to analyze the worki ng quality of the components of the model. The online surveys were developed using a Likert scale of 1 to 5 (5 for strongly agree, 4 for agree, 3 for neither agree nor disagree, 2 for disagree, and 1 for strongly disagree). The answers to the online survey questions were organized in a schema based on the components and subcomponents of th e structured e-mentoring model which included (a) recruiting, (b) managing expect ations, (c) training, (d) coaching, and (e) community building. Second, the answers to each individual question on all three surveys were converted to percentages so th e researcher could assess the wo rking quality of the model. The strongly agree and agree answers were combined as were strongly disagree and disagree answers before converting the num bers into percentages. An independent t -test was run on the summative results from the third survey for each of the five

PAGE 140

127 subcomponents to determine whether or not th e mentors and mentees had a statistically significant experience with the mentoring process. Third, the working quality of the e-ment oring model was also measured using the three criteria of: 1. ease of implementation 2. impact of technology 3. ability for flexible design change Several of the online survey questions addressed the ease of implementation as each component was being put into practice. The surveys also included questions about the technical operations of the e-mentoring program. In addition, any technical questions or issues that arose during the program were recorded by the researcher using a log sheet. Recruiting In this study, the recruiti ng process included making presentations to the potential students and mentors and then assisting intere sted participants as they completed their applications. The survey questions focu sed on having enough information about the program before it began and the ease of co mpleting the applicati on. The results of the first formative survey for the recruiting que stions are presented in Tables 23, 24, and 25.

PAGE 141

128 Table 23 Mentor Satisfaction Survey 1, Recruiting (N = 15) Question Strongly Agree or Agree Neither Agree/Disagree The application was easy to complete. 87% (13) 13% (2) If I had questions about completing the application, I knew who to ask for assistance. 100% (15)0% (0) When you asked questions about the program, they were answered to your satisfaction. 93% (14)7% (1) Table 24 Mentee Satisfaction Survey 1, Recruiting (N = 32) Question Strongly Agree or Agree Neither Agree/Disagree The application was easy to complete. 100% (32) 0% (0) If I had questions about completing the application, I knew who to ask for assistance. 93.7% (30)6.3% (2) When you asked questions about the program, they were answered to your satisfaction. 93.7% (30)6.3% (2)

PAGE 142

129 Table 25 Instructor Satisfaction Survey 1, Recruiting (N = 3) Question Strongly Agree or Agree Disagree If my students had questions about completing the application, I could help them. 66.6% (2) 33.3% (1) The mentors, mentees, and instructors were satisfied with the recruiting component of the program. No changes to the study were implemented based on results from this portion of the formative assessment survey. Managing Expectations Understanding the goals and purpose of th e program was the major focus of the managing expectations component of the planning phase of the model. In this study, the goals were presented to the mentors, me ntees, and instructors during the initial recruitment phase and communicated week ly throughout the program via e-mail, discussion starters, and face-to-face conversa tions. The participants were asked to exchange messages at least two times per w eek for the period of the study and to participate in the assessment over the cour se of the program. The limited research on e-mentoring indicates that in order for positiv e relationships to deve lop online, frequent communication of one or two times per week is necessary (Bennett et al., 1998; Emery, 1999; Harris et al., 1997; Harris & Figg, 2000) The program coordinator let the participants know that they would receive coaching messages every week, have access to a Web site, would receive t echnology support when neede d, and would be able to participate in a blog. The survey questions focused on whether or not the goals of the

PAGE 143

130 program were clearly stated and easy to understand. In addition, the mentors and mentees were asked if they always had their ques tions answered when they asked them. The results of the first formative survey for th e managing expectation questions are presented in Tables 26, 27, and 28. Table 26 Mentor Satisfaction Survey 1, Managing Expectations (N = 15) Question Strongly Agree or Agree Neither Agree or Disagree The goals of the program were clearly stated. 100% (15) 0% (0) The goals of the e-mentoring program were easy to understand. 100% (15)0% (0) When you asked questions about the program, they were answered to your satisfaction. 93.3% (14)6.7% (1) Table 27 Mentee Satisfaction Survey 1, Managing Expectations (N = 32) Question Strongly Agree or Agree Neither Agree or Disagree The goals of the program were clearly stated. 93.8% (30) 6.2% (2) The goals of the e-mentoring program were easy to understand. 100% (32)0% (0)

PAGE 144

131 Table 28 Instructor Survey 1, Managing Expectations (N = 3) Question Strongly Agree or Agree Neither Agree or Disagree The goals of the program were clearly stated. 100% (3) 0% (0) The goals of the e-mentoring program were easy to understand. 66.6% (2)33.3% (1) I am supportive of the program. 66.6% (2)33.3% (1) The mentors, mentees, and instructor s were satisfied with the managing expectations component of the program. No changes to the study were implemented based on results from this portion of the formative assessment survey. Training The second phase of the model included three components: tr aining, coaching and community building. Training helps the mentors and mentees understand their roles and the realistic expectations of what they can accomplish. Without adequate training, many researchers feel a mentoring program is doomed to failure (Harris et al., 1997; Single & Muller, 2001; Sipe, 1996). In this study, the online training component was developed by the National Mentoring Partners hip and used in its entirety by this researcher. The mentors were presented with the link to th e training component in an e-mail and given one week to complete it. The researcher met with the mentees in a computer lab and the actual training took place during class time. Th e instructors were trained in a workshop prior to the beginning of the program. The links to the training sites were then made

PAGE 145

132 available on the mentor and mentee Web sites during the entire program for 24/7 access. The survey questions focused on whether or not the online training material was easy to access, easy to understand, and helpful. In addition, the mentors and mentees were asked if they understood their role as mentor or mentee. The results of the second formative survey for the training questions are presented in Tables 29 and 30. Table 29 Mentor Satisfaction Survey 2, Training (N = 16) Question Strongly Agree or Agree Neither Agree or Disagree The online training material was easy to access. 100% (16) 0% (0) The online training material was easy to understand. 100% (16)0% (0) The online training material was helpful. 93.3% (15)6.7% (1) I understand my role as a mentor. 100% (16)0% (0)

PAGE 146

133 Table 30 Mentee Satisfaction Survey 2, Training (N = 22) Question Strongly Agree or Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree or Strongly Disagree The online training material was easy to access. 100% (22)0% (0) 0% (0) The online training material was easy to understand. 95.4% (21)4.5% (1)0% (0) The online training material was helpful. 91% (20)4.5% (1)4.5% (1) If I have questions, I can access the online training materials. 95.4% (21)4.5% (1)0% (0) I understand my role as a mentee. 100% (22)0% (0)0% (0) There were no questions on the instru ctor survey regarding the training component of the program. The mentors and mentees were satisfied with the training component of the program. Coaching Coaching is the support provided by the program coordinator to the participants. It plays a critical role and is the most resour ce intensive feature of structured e-mentoring programs (Harris & Figg, 2000; Neils, 1997). In this study, coaching consisted of weekly discussion starters e-mailed to th e mentors, e-mail and phone conversations with the mentors as needed, and a Web site of resources available to the mentors on a

PAGE 147

134 24/7 basis. For the mentees, coaching consiste d of visits to the classroom, weekly emails, online resources, and additional e-ma ils and phone conversations as needed. The results of the second formative survey for th e coaching questions are presented in Tables 31, 32, and 33. Table 31 Mentor Satisfaction Survey 2, Coaching (N = 16) Question Strongly Agree or Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree or Strongly Disagree There is support from the program coach to help me meet the challenges of online mentoring. 86.7% (14)6.7% (1) 6.7% (1) The e-mails from the program coach are helpful. 100% (16)0% (0)0% (0) There was enough interaction from the program coordinator during the program. 100% (16)0% (0)0% (0) The Web site is easy to access. 93.3% (15)0% (0) 6.7% (1)

PAGE 148

135 Table 32 Mentee Satisfaction Survey 2, Coaching (N=22) Question Strongly Agree or Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree or Strongly Disagree The Web site is easy to access. 95.4% (20)0% (0)4.5% (2) The Web site offers helpful information. 90.9% (19)4.5% (1)4.5% (1) The e-mails from the program coach are helpful. 90.9% (19)9.1% (2)0% (0) There was enough interaction from the program coordinator during the program. 100% (22)0% (0)0% (0) Table 33 Instructor Satisfaction Survey 2, Coaching (N = 2) Question Strongly Agree or Agree I receive information from the program coordinator. 100% (2) I use the information provided on the Web site. 100% (2) Overall, the mentors, mentees and instru ctors who responded to the survey were satisfied with the training component of the program. One mentor and two mentees responded that they did not find the Web site to be easy to access. During the first focus group session, the researcher as ked the participants about th e Web site. All participants responded that they found it helpfu l and easy to use at that time.

PAGE 149

136 Community Building When participants feel connected to each other and are able to share thoughts, ideas, and feelings, then a sense of community is created. The research indicates that since it does not happen automatically, it requi res attention to de tail by the program coordinator (Guy, 2002; Single & Single, 2004). During the planning stages of this study, community building was to be addressed through the use of blogs for both the mentors and mentees. Unfortunately, the school district firewalls did not allow for the blogs or discussion boards to be utilized as orig inally planned. Community building occurred during the focus group sessions with the mentors and mentees. The face-to-face meetings the researcher had with the mentees on a fa irly regular basis cr eated some sense of community. The community building was more informal than originally planned. Using Survey 2, the mentors were asked if they felt connected to each other. Only 45.4%, 10 mentors, answered with strongly agre e or agree. Six of the mentors, or 27.5% answered with disagree or strongly disagree. The other six, answered neither agree nor disagree. These answers were not surprising based on the problems with the firewalls and blogs. When the mentees were asked if they felt connected to each ot her, their responses were a bit different. Fifteen of them, or 68.2% answered agree or strongly agree. Only two mentees, or 9% indicated that they disagreed or st rongly disagreed while the remaining five, or 22.7% answered neither agree or disagree. Summative Assessment The third satisfaction survey was admini stered to the mentors, mentees, and instructors after the completion of the progr am. This survey provi ded the researcher

PAGE 150

137 with a summative assessment of the program in its entirety. Cronbachs alpha was run separately for the mentor survey and th e mentees survey and the results are found in Table 34. Table 34 Cronbachs Alpha Internal Consisten cy Reliability Estimates for Satisfaction Survey 3, Mentors (N = 19) and Mentees (N = 15) Survey Number of Items AlphaRange of Corrected Item-to-Total Correlation Mentor Recruiting 2 .86 .76 Training 2 .53 .37 Coaching 6 .62 .13 to .61 Community Building 2 .40 .23 Mentee Recruiting 4 .89 .51 to .92 Training 1 Coaching 6 .76 .25 to .86 Community Building 2 .59 .46 Note. For scales with two items, the item-to-tot al correlations are the same for each item. Independent samples t -tests for the equality of means were run in order to compare the satisfaction of the mentor gr oup versus the mentee group for the recruiting, training, coaching, and community building questions. Each component had a different number of questions, but the same Likert scale was used as for Surveys 1 and 2. The means and standard deviations, along with the minimum and maximum number of points available for the questions can be found in Table 35.

PAGE 151

138 Table 35 Descriptive Statistics for Satisfa ction Survey 3, Mentors (N = 19) and Mentees (N = 15) Component Group Mean SD Min. Points Max Points Recruiting Questions Mentors 18.32 2.43 4 20 Mentees 16.33 1.35 4 20 Training Questions Mentors 8.16 1.70 2 10 Mentees 7.60 1.35 2 10 Coaching Questions Mentors 26.42 2.65 6 30 Mentees 24.07 1.83 6 30 Community Building Questions Mentors 6.84 1.17 2 10 Mentees 5.87 1.13 2 10 The test, t (29) = 3.02, p < .05, indicated that the mentor group ( M = 18.3, SD = 2.43) had a significantly hi gher level of satisfaction with the recruiting process than the mentee group (M = 16.33, SD = 1.35). For the coaching process, the independent t -test t (31) = 3.06, p < .05) indicated that the mentor group ( M = 26.42, SD = 2.65) had a significantly higher level of sa tisfaction with the coaching process than the mentee group ( M = 24.07, SD = 1.83). There was no statisticall y significant difference between the satisfaction levels for the community bu ilding or training component between the mentors and mentees. The results of this third survey sugges t that the working quality of each of the design components of the structured e-ment oring model for both the mentors and the mentors was positive with regard to the recr uiting, managing expectations, training, and coaching components. The experience was less positive regarding the community

PAGE 152

139 building component. This result was not surprising since there were problems implementing the blogs, one of the main comm unity building features designed into the program. Analyzing each question individually o ffered similar findings. For the planning phase, the mentors and mentees indicated they were satisfied with th e planning phase of the model. Two of the three instructors were as well. For the program structure phase, which included training, coaching, and commun ity building, 74% of the mentors felt that the online training component prepared them to be a mentor and 95% of the mentees responded positively when asked if the training material was helpful. Of the five mentors, or 26%, who did not answer posit ively, four of them answered this question with neither agree nor disagree. No specific questions were asked of the instruct ors about the training materials. The mentors and mentees felt very positive about the co aching component of the program. The only exception was regard ing technology support. Only 53% of the mentors and 73% of the mentees felt there was technology support av ailable. However, of the 47% of the mentors who responded to this question, 37% answ ered with neither agree nor disagree. It seems that the majority of the mentors were either positive about the technology support provided or perhaps had no reason to use it so answered neither agree nor disagree. All three instructors felt they received adequate communication from the program coordinator and knew how to he lp their students if they were asked indicating they felt comfortable with the ope ration of the mentori ng program. Two of the three instructors indicated they were supportive of the program.

PAGE 153

140 Since the community building component was more informal than originally planned, it was not surprising to find less positive satisfaction with this component than the others. Only 11% of the mentors re sponded positively when asked if they felt connected to the other mentors. However, the other 84% answered neither agree nor disagree so it appears they did not feel nega tive about the lack of connectedness. On the other hand, 87% of the mentees felt connected to the other mentees perhaps because they were in class together and had several group meetings with the program coordinator. The instructors were not asked quest ions regarding this component. Ease of Use When considering the criterion of Ease of Use, these results indicate that both the mentors and mentees answered either strongly agree or agree when asked whether or not the program was easy to use. The results were less positive regarding the ease of use for the e-mail program, Gaggle.Net. When asked specifically about the ease of completing the application, using the e-mail program, completing the online training and understanding the goals, the mentors and mentees generally responded positively. There was concern by both groups regarding the Gaggle.Net e-mail being one more e-mail program to check each day. Results from this section can be found in Table 36.

PAGE 154

141 Table 36 Ease of Use Questions Answered Strongly Agree or Agree by Mentors (N = 20) and Mentees (N = 16) Question Mentor Mentee The goals of the program were easy to understand. 100% (20) 100% (16) The application was easy to complete. 89% (18) 100% (16) The Web site is easy to access. 93% (19)100% (16) The online training material was easy to access. 93% (19) 100% (16) The online training material was easy to understand. 93% (19) 95% (16) The e-mail program is easy to use. 79% (16) 80% (13) Impact of Technology Since technology is integral to an online mentoring program, several key questions on the online surveys addressed this topic. Only 10 of the mentors, or 52% answered positively when asked, There is technology support available if a problem occurs. However, seven people, or 37% an swered that question neither agree nor disagree indicating that perh aps they didnt have a problem that required support. The mentees were asked the question, If there is a problem with the t echnology, it gets fixed in a day or two. Only 12 of the mentees, or 73% answered this question positively. One of the schools had network and server probl ems during the first three months of the program. Sometimes the computers worked and sometimes they did not which led to frustration by both mentors and mentees.

PAGE 155

142 In addition, requests for specific tech nology assistance were tracked by the researcher. A form was created and placed on the Web site so that mentors or mentees could complete it and submit it to the help de sk. No one used this form during the study. Instead, the mentors and mentees contacted th e program coordinator directly via e-mail or phone calls. Requests for assistance we re minimal. During the study, five requests were made directly to the program coordinato r for assistance. All five requests occurred during the first two weeks of the program as the mentors were learning to access their e-mail account for the first time. No mentees or instructors requested specific assistance from the program coordinator. However, se veral mentees indicated on the online surveys and during the focus group discussions that the computer ne twork at one of the schools did not work very well. Several requests to p lease fix the computers were made of the program coordinator. Unfortunately, the proble ms were a result of the construction at the school and were not able to be correct ed until the construction was complete. Implications for Design Changes The third research question was: What are the implications for design changes needed to improve the model during the study and in subsequent studies? In order to answer this question, the involvement data, the data from the open-ended questions on the online surveys, and the focus group discussions with the mentors and mentees were managed in the following ways: 1. The number of e-mails sent and received by the mentee was recorded in an Excel spreadsheet each week.

PAGE 156

143 2. As each survey was completed, the in formation provided in the open-ended questions was entered into a table ba sed on the source, the problem, and any recommendations for change or improvement. 3. As each focus group was completed, the information provided by the mentors, mentees, and instructors was entered into the same table based on the same categories. 4. Data from surveys and the focus groups were reviewed by two independent people to validate the information in the table. 5. Since one of the basic tenants of the design experiment research method requires the participants to be involved as co-parti cipants in the design and analysis of the project, the suggestions were implem ented if possible. All possible design changes were discussed with the part icipants prior to implementing them. 6. Two additional columns were added to the table. The first was used to track the actual design change if it was implemented. The second column allowed the participants to make recommendations for future programs. There were six design changes to the model dur ing the course of the study. Each will be discussed in the following sections. E-mail Software The first change to the project came duri ng the pilot phase. It was discovered that the Mentors Online software purchased for the e-mentoring program was not compatible with the school districts fi rewalls and servers. After additional research, an online e-mail program called Gaggle.Net was selected for use. The school district had previous

PAGE 157

144 experience with Gaggle.Net and allowed lim ited use of it for specific purposes. The researcher received approval from the school district to utiliz e this program. Since it was available through the Internet, no installation was necessary. Gaggle.Net offered similar security features as the Mentors Online software. The researcher was designated as the administrator of the software. This feature al lowed for all the messages to be read by the researcher. The software also screened messa ges for foul language or sexually explicit language. By using Gaggle.Net, the mentors and the mentees did not have to share personal e-mail addresses thus preventing a ny problems that might develop regarding identity or future contact once the program was over. Student Accountability As the program began, some students would forget to check their e-mail each day. All the students were very excited as the program began, but some did not develop the habit of checking their e-mail each time they we re in class to see if there was a message from their mentor. This problem was further ve rified by the researcher as the numbers of e-mails sent and received by the mentee were recorded each week. After further analysis and discussion with the students, two reas ons surfaced that may have caused this problem. At one of the schools, an unexpected refurbishing and re -roofing project began almost the same time the e-mentoring pr ogram began. The construction caused the computer network to be up and down for several weeks at a time. The students who only had access to the e-mail at school became frus trated because they were not able to connect with their mentors. In addition, so me students and mentors complained about having to use Gaggle.Net as it was one more e-mail they had to check each day and

PAGE 158

145 wished they could have used their persona l e-mail addresses. A recommendation by one of the instructors to develop a check sheet that would help remind the students to check their e-mail was implemented in late Novemb er in her classroom. By January, all the instructors were asked to incorporate this check sheet into their daily routine. In two of the three classrooms, this seemed to work well. The check sheet was placed next to the attendance sign-in document so that when students arrived, they could check both the e-mail check sheet and the attendance sign-in sheet. The third instructor did not implement this system and would only allow the students to check their e-mail when all their work was complete for the day. In addition, the program c oordinator immediately began e-mailing the mentees who were not sending at least two messages per week in order to remind them to do so. Sometimes, the coordinator made a personal phone call to the students who were not reading or sending messages or stopped by th e classrooms in order to personalize the reminder. Gaggle.Net One of the biggest complaints by both th e mentors and the mentees was of the email software Gaggle.Net. Since most of the participants had their own personal e-mail accounts, having to check a second e-mail account seemed to be a burden to some. While the mentors complained about it during the focus group sessions, they also understood the necessity of using an e-mail program that pr ovided security and safe ty for participants. Some of the mentees however, suggested that having to use this e-mail system was the reason they did not check their e-mail as ofte n as the program required. In early January,

PAGE 159

146 the mentors and mentees were provided instru ction as to how to direct the Gaggle.Net messages to their personal e-mail account. While they still would not be able to receive or send a message through their personal accounts, this technique allowed them to be notified in their personal account that a messa ge was waiting for them in their Gaggle.Net account. The mentors found this to be very helpful. The mentees continued to complain. Communication between Mentors and Instructors As the mentor and mentee relationship began to develop, many of the mentors requested the ability to contact the students instructors to find out how the student was actually progressing in preparation for the GED Tests. While the instructors had agreed to participate in the e-mentoring program by allo wing their students to e-mail their mentors during class time, they were not by design, an integral part of the program. In January, the e-mail addresses of the instructors were provided, with permission, to the mentors. However, because of privacy concerns, the instructors did not provide specific information about the students academic progre ss to the mentors. Instead, they were able to provide general information about the GED Tests and specific areas that all students needed to work on so they would be able to pass. The mentors appreciated the ability to communicate with the instruct ors and 12 of the 32 mentors made contact with the instructors. Community Building After several failed attempts to utilize the blogs as the community building tool for both mentors and mentees, a different approach was implemented. The program coordinator began meeting face-to-face with the mentored classes. Beginning in

PAGE 160

147 December, the researcher made at least two visits per month to each class. The mentees enjoyed talking with each other about their mentors. The sessions were informal, but allowed the students to feel a part of the community of ment ees. In addition, some of the mentees discovered that they could e-mail the ot her mentees, either in their own school or in the other school, through Gaggle.Net. Thei r messages were closely monitored by the researcher and most of the messages reflected typical teenage communication. Community building for the mentors wa s more difficult. While the mentors expressed a desire to communicate with the other mentors, face-to-face meetings were just too difficult for everyones busy schedules When the blogs were working, several of the mentors had begun using them. However, they were not available on a consistent basis and so in early February, the resear cher discontinued tryi ng. The mentors felt a sense of community when they did come together for the focus group discussions. Information about GED Tests The first focus group of the mentors took place in early January, about one month before the students were to take the GED Te sts. Some of the mentors were beginning to sense the stress that their mentees were under at this time. During the focus group discussion, several of the mentors requested specific information about the GED Tests and even wanted the opportunity to take a practice exam themselves. Although GED information was already on the mentor Web site, many of the mentors had not accessed it. The program coordinator sent the mentors several links to GED practice test Web sites and provided additional information about the academic concepts tested. In addition, the mentors were encouraged to communicate with the instructors about the test.

PAGE 161

148 Based on the literature review and wh at has been discovered throughout this study, the researcher hoped to learn more about the quality of the structured e-mentoring model and its impact on at-risk high school students. The data collected for this dissertation carries with it implications fo r practice and future research within the emerging e-mentoring field. In Chapter 5, th e results of this study are summarized and the conclusions, implications, a nd recommendations are highlighted.

PAGE 162

149 Chapter 5 Summary, Conclusions, and Recomme ndations for Further Research The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of an e-mentoring program on at-risk students self-esteem, career indecision, attendance, and academic achievement. The study also allowed the resear cher to examine the working quality of each component of a structured e-mentoring program model and evaluate each one as it was being implemented in order to determin e design changes that might be needed to improve the program. This chapter includes (a) a summary of the study, (b) conclusions of the study, (c) implications of the study findings, and (d) recommendations for further research. During this study, the following resear ch questions were addressed: 1. What is the impact of the structured e-mentoring model on at-risk students self-esteem, career indecision, atte ndance, and academic achievement? 2. What is the working quality of each of the design components of the structured e-mentoring model? 3. What are the implications for design changes needed to improve the model during the study and in subsequent studies? Summary This study involved the implementation of a structured e-mentoring model to determine its impact on at-risk students se lf-esteem, career ind ecision, attendance and

PAGE 163

150 academic achievement. The study was conducted using a design experiment that allowed the researcher to study the implementation process in context and as it was underway. This fluid connection of research and practice allowed the researcher to make improvements to the e-mentoring program dur ing the process and therefore improve the initial design through continuous revision. Participants for the study were enrolled in six GED Exit Option classes at two technical centers in a large urban school dist rict in Florida. Three of the classes were randomly selected as mentored classes and th ree were control classes. The students who were enrolled in the mentored classes coul d select whether or not they wanted to participate in the e-mentoring program. Of the 91 students en rolled in the six classes, 32 actually participated as mentees. Each me ntee had a randomly assigned mentor. The e-mentoring program ran for approximately five months. A pilot study was conducted prior to the start of the pr ogram in order to test the e-mail software, online survey instruments, and focus group questions. Base d on the results of the pilot study, a few minor modifications were made to the online survey and focus group questions. To accomplish the goals of this study, the re searcher collected data using a variety of tools. Online surveys and focus group di scussions provided data that allowed the researcher to monitor each component of the structured e-mentoring model as it was implemented so as to allow for revisions as needed or recommendations for future revisions to be noted. Academic achievement was measured using scores from the GED Tests. The students attendance was track ed during the course of the study. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Career Decision Scale were administered in order

PAGE 164

151 to collect the data that were used to measure changes in self-esteem and career indecision, respectively. All e-mail corresponde nce between the mentors and the mentees was reviewed by the researcher. After the analyses were complete, a variety of conclusions could be drawn from the results. Conclusions The results of this research study suggest a number of conclusions regarding the quality and impact of a structured e-mentor ing program on at-risk high school students self-esteem, career indecision, attendance, and academic ach ievement. These conclusions offer a variety of implications for e-mentoring programs provided to high school students, as well as recommendati ons for further research on the quality and impact of an e-mentoring model. Impact on Self-Esteem and Career Decision The results indicated that there was no significant difference in the students selfesteem between those in the mentored group and those in the cont rol group. Both groups posted similar scores on the pretest and improve d to similarly distributed end results by the end of the program. From the beginning of the program until the end, it appears that e-mentoring did not have an impact on the st udents self-esteem. However, the control group of students displayed a higher overall se lf-esteem score at th e end of the program than at the beginning. So, while both groups e nded the school year in similar states of mind regarding their self-esteem, the contro l group had slightly more improvement to make to arrive in that state.

PAGE 165

152 There are a variety of influences that impact a students self-esteem including parents, peers, employers, and teachers. By the very nature of the GED Exit Option program, students who had otherwise thought there would be no chance they would graduate from high school, now found a way to still walk across th e stage and receive their diploma. The impact of the teacher and the actual GED Exit Option program on all the students, whether they were mentored or not, was a factor th at could have also worked to increase the students feelings about themselves. Alt hough e-mentoring did not seem to have a statistically significant impact on a students self-esteem, the anecdotal stories and e-mail conversations show th at perhaps the e-mentoring program was meaningful for some of the students in ways that may never be known. The results indicated that there was no impact on the control group or mentored group of students regardi ng career decision. Many student s are unfocused and do not understand the reasons they are in school or th e impact that education can have for their future. Many students do not connect what th ey are learning in sc hool and what happens to them outside of school (Wakefield et al., 2003). Throughout the e-mentoring program, the mentors were encouraged to discuss the future, share career planning Web sites, and talk about the next steps af ter high school. Although the majority of the students had a part-time job after school, some of the student s shared that they were unsure as to their plans after high school. One of the mentees, To m, wrote to his mentor after being asked about life after high school, I want to go to college somewh ere around here and get my own place and start working i really like working on my explorer and

PAGE 166

153 doin custom car audio and custom stuff on cars but i only know how to do so much and from what i hear there isn t really a school you can go to learn how to do all that stuff ive [ sic ] tried to get jobs at some of these places wh ere i always buy stuff for my car but they say without experience they cant give me a job but i dont see how i can get any experience Tom, like many of the students, had an inte rest in something but had no idea how to go about finding the training he would need in order to get a job in this field. Another mentee, Brianna, told her mentor that, i n 5 years I hope to be in cali(fornia) [ sic ] with my vette meanwhile be enrolled into a college and working on my carrer [ sic ]. She had no idea what that career would be. Through the course of the program, the mentors were encouraged to continue talking about careers and the future. An onlin e career exploration software program was available for the mentors to share with thei r mentees. This program offered an interest inventory for the students to access. The students could share their results and generate further discussion with their mentors, pare nts, teachers, or fr iends about career possibilities and how to make decisions about those careers. Impact on Academic Achievement and Attendance The results indicated that there was no statistically significant difference regarding academic achievement based on whet her or not the student s were mentored or were in the control group. Th e results also indicated that there was no significant difference in the number of absences betw een the mentored group and those in the

PAGE 167

154 control group. It is interesti ng to note that out of the 58 students in the control group when the program started only 44 students or 76%, actually took the GED Tests and completed the school year. On the other hand, of the 31 students in the mentored group when the e-mentoring program began in Oct ober, 26 students or 84%, actually took the GED Tests and completed the school year. A total of 19 students dropped out before taking the GED Tests. According to informa tion provided by school personnel, some of the students dropped out because they just did not believe they would pass the GED Tests. While the e-mentoring program did not have a statistically significant impact on the students academic achievement or school at tendance, it might have had an impact on whether or not they stayed in school. The Anecdotal Story The quantitative measures used to determ ine the impact of the e-mentoring model on the students self-esteem, career decision, attendance, and academic achievement showed that in this study, e-mentoring di d not have an impact. However, when the researcher drilled down by read ing and listening to the student s and mentors stories, a different conclusion was reached, at least fo r some of the students. The mentors often reported through the focus group discussions an d online surveys that the students were very interested in talking about themselves finding out about thei r mentors lives, and having what one mentor called, casual convers ations. Each week, the researcher e-mailed a discussion starter to the mentor s that usually revolved around self-esteem, career exploration, attendance or the GED Tests. The mentors would then start a discussion for the week with their mentees a bout the assigned discussion starter. What

PAGE 168

155 seemed to happen quite often was that the me ntees might briefly respond to the assigned discussion starter, but then move into anot her topic that was of interest to them, concerning them, or that perhaps they prefe rred to talk about. In the early focus group sessions with the mentors, this seemed to bother many of them. They would express concern that they were not doing what they were supposed to be doi ng or the students did not seem to be focused. As the program progressed, many of the mentors realized that building the relationship with the students was the important part of the program. At one of the final focus group with the mentor s, a lengthy discussion ensued regarding how they would decide whether or not the e-ment oring program was a success. Sue, who had mentored the student named Karen and had made the call when Karen was suffering with severe emotional distress, made the comment, If we saved this one students life, then the entire program was definitely a success. Working Quality of th e E-Mentoring Model There are three components to the stru ctured e-mentoring model that were implemented in this research study (s ee Figure 2). As the components were implemented, the participants were surveyed to find out how well the program was implemented and whether or not there were a ny improvements that could be incorporated to make the program better. The working quality of the e-mentoring model was also measured using the three criteria of: 1. ease of implementation 2. impact of technology 3. ability for flexible design change

PAGE 169

156 The first component, planning included recruiting, managing expectations, and matching. The mentors and the mentees reported that they had a pos itive experience with the recruiting process. Since most of the mentors were al ready business partners or connected to the technical center in some wa y, it was easy to recruit them to become a mentor. The recruiting process for the mentees was a bit more time consuming as it required parental meetings and numerous visits to the classrooms. So me of the students said they felt pressured by their parents or in structors to participate; others indicated that their instructor was very negative about th e program. According to the surveys however, the students who did participate felt the recruiting process was positive. The participants felt the same way about the managing expectatio ns phase of the e-mentoring model. They attributed part of this to the fact that the researcher, or program coach, kept in constant communication with them via e-mail, di scussion starters, and the face-to-face conversations. The Web sites were created to help manage expect ations and several participants mentioned utilizing information from the site in order to stay informed or be reminded about the purpose of the program. The second component, program structur e included training, coaching, and community building. The participants felt very positive about the training and coaching phases of the e-mentoring model. All but one mentor felt the online training materials were helpful. However, three of the mentor s suggested that at least one face-to-face training session be made available. The student s utilized the online training materials in a lab environment with the research er as the facilitator. Coaching seemed to be the critical support provided by the program coordinator. Although a very resource intense feature

PAGE 170

157 which included weekly discussion starters e-mail and phone conversations as needed, updating of the Web sites weekl y, and visiting classrooms, all participants felt they had a positive experience with the coaching that was conducted throughout the program. On the other hand, the results for the community bui lding were neither positive nor negative. During the planning phase of the study, blogs and chat rooms were to be utilized as a way to build community. Although both worked durin g the initial pilot ph ase of the study, the school district policies changed during th e implementation of the study and both the blogs and chat rooms were non-functional mo st of the time. The community building happened much more informally through the focus group sessions and the face-to-face sessions the researcher had with the students in their classr oom than originally planned. The third component, assessment, include d involvement data, formative, and summative evaluation. Since assessment is an important component of any mentoring model, it occurred in a variety of ways dur ing the e-mentoring program. The researcher utilized the administrative tool of Gaggle.Ne t and read and tracked each e-mail that was sent by the mentors and mentees. This was don e to ensure that the students were not sending or receiving inappropriate e-mail message s. In addition, the researcher was able to coach the participants to send a message if they were not doing so. Formative evaluation took place via the involvement data an online survey, and focus groups. The data gleaned allowed the researcher to make changes to the program while it was underway and make improvements as needed. The summative evaluation occurred at the end of the study and included online surv eys and focus group data allowing for recommendations for future pr ograms and further research.

PAGE 171

158 When considering ease of use, the pr ogram participants responded positively about the e-mentoring program in general. However, the e-mail program Gaggle.Net was not rated as favorably. Although both the ment ors and mentees described Gaggle.Net as an easy program to use, it was the fact that it was one more e-mail program to check each day. In the final focus group discussion with the students, they suggested getting rid of it and letting us use our own e-mail. The discussion with the mentors was similar; however, they unders tood the value of using an e-mail program that could be monitored by the program coordinator. Th e mentors recommended th e continued use of Gaggle.Net in future programs. When considering the impact of technol ogy, several key points emerged. One of the technical centers experienced network a nd server problems during the first three months of the program. These problems were unanticipated due to a large construction project that was taking place on the campus. Unfortunately, some of the mentees lost interest in the program because more often th an not the computers were unable to access the Internet. The importance of the students having access to the Internet was evident by the frustration that many of the mentees a nd mentors expressed when the network was not working for days at a time. Several studen ts pleaded with the researcher to fix the computers and do something about th e broken computer system. Once the construction was over, the computer system be gan working again on a consistent basis. However, aside from this major problem, there were very few requests for technology assistance.

PAGE 172

159 When considering the ability for flexible design change, six design changes were made to the e-mentoring model during the course of the study including: 1. E-mail software was changed from a Unix -based system to a web-based system. The web-based software worked very well as long as the students had access to the Internet. 2. A checklist was created to remind the students to check their e-mail at least two times each week. This accountability wa s important, especially as the online relationships were just beginning to develop. 3. The mentors and mentees received instru ction on how to direct Gaggle.Net to their personal e-mail account. This techni que only notified them that there was a message waiting for them in their Gaggle.Net account. No security features of the Gaggle.Net program were compromised. 4. The mentors requested the ability to communicate with the instructors and communication developed between 12 of th e 32 mentors and the instructors. 5. The program coordinator began to meet f ace-to-face with the mentored classes in an effort to encourage community buildi ng. This was done afte r it was determined that the blogs and chat ro oms would not be working for the remainder of the program. 6. Information about the GED Tests was provide d to the mentors so they would feel better prepared to assist the mentees with their preparation.

PAGE 173

160 Implications for a Structured EMentoring Model This research has provided additional information to the body of e-mentoring knowledge, specifically with regard to th e structured e-mentoring model and the implementation process. Using this know ledge and combining it with suggestions provided by the mentors, mentees, and instru ctors during the program, the structured e-mentoring model framework implemented in a school-based program should include the following: 1. Each e-mentoring program must be stru ctured and managed by a coordinator. This person should be in contact wi th both the mentors and the mentees throughout the program and be able to assist the program participants by providing technology support, monitori ng the e-mail system, coaching as necessary, and handling other issues that may arise. The coachs role of jovial nag as described by Harris and Figg (2000) is important in building and sustaining the online relationships. 2. Recruit mentors from the business community who already have a relationship with the school. Recruit st udents who want to be mentored. Some of the students involved in this study said they felt pressured to participate. The relationship will not be successful unless both parties are committed to the program. Sipes synthesis of the Public/Private Ventures research (1996) indica ted that the most effective mentoring relationships occur wh en a trusting relationship develops over time and that the adult has to take the l ead in keeping the relationship alive. A mentor must have a commitment to the program and to the mentee. Mentors who

PAGE 174

161 understand the importance of being a frie nd to the youth instead of trying to change the youth, will be more successful in the mentoring relationship. 3. Consider creating a biography of pot ential mentors and allowing the students to select their mentor base d on the information provided. Consider having the students and the mentors meet prior to beginning the program so they can connect before starting the onlin e relationship. Bennett, et al. (1998) suggested that the more the mentors a nd mentees were involved in the matching process, the greater the level of commitme nt to the mentoring relationship and to the mentoring process. 4. Consider assigning two mentees to each mentor who would like to work with more than one student at a time. The on line mentoring relations hip is not as time consuming as face-to-face mentoring and working with two students is possible for many. Many of the mentors who participat ed in this study i ndicated that they would have been able to accommodate more than one mentee. 5. Consider assigning two mentors to one mentee. Having two mentors might allow for the students to feel even more cared for and supported. In addition, the mentors might offer different pers pectives on topics of concern. 6. Use Gaggle.Net or some other secure e-mail program when connecting students with adults. Safety must be foremost when youth are invo lved in the online model. The National Mentoring Partne rship recommends installing safety technology, including an ar chive system for e-mails The Virtual Volunteer Project through the University of Texas recommends that the adult volunteers and

PAGE 175

162 youth each have a special e-mail address that does not reveal personal information, such as last names. 7. Training is the most important component of the e-mentoring model. Sipe (1996) suggests that orientation a nd training helps the mentor s understand their roles and expectations. Training sh ould include specifics on potential mentoring interactions. Provide opportunities for both face-to-face training and online training to the mentors. Web cams a nd other technology could be utilized. The training provided to the students should be conducted face-to-face with an online component used as a review. 8. During the training and throughout the program, remind the students that responses to their e-mail messages will no t be instant. In this world of textmessaging and instant message, e-mail messaging is sometimes considered archaic by the students. Offer the opport unity for text messaging, live chat rooms and instant messaging in the e-mentoring program. 9. During the training, provide informati on to the mentors about online chat acronyms and teenage text messaging language. Remind the mentors that while they often have access to e-mail during the daytime at work, the students may have limited access each day during school. Mentors usually have more online access time and experience with the culture of e-mail and must be aware of this when their mentees dont respond as quickly as they think they should (Bennett, et al., 1998).

PAGE 176

163 10. During the training, make sure the mentors understand that if they are unable to communicate for a long period of time (due to sickness, out-of-town travel, or other emergency situations), they need to have a contingency plan in place, particularly for the mentee. Jekielek, et al. (2002) suggests that the most successful mentoring programs provide the participants with in-depth training opportunities allowing both the mentors and mentees to become comfortable with the concept of mentoring and any situations that might arise. 11. Provide an opportunity for the mentors to take the pre GED tests so they will be familiar with the academic content the students are studying during the program. Arrange tutoring sessions using chat room s and webinars so that the mentors can assist with the academics in a more meaningful way. 12. The teacher must play an integral role in the program and be supportive of it. The teacher must be included in the e-ment oring relationship by dedicating classroom time each day so the students can check th eir e-mail. E-mentoring is very difficult to achieve, though, without purposeful or chestration (ONeill & Gomez, 1998). Orchestration work can be conducted by th e teacher or by a program coordinator. In addition, a check sheet or some type of reminder tool should be in place in the classroom to help the students remember to check their e-mail, especially at the beginning of the program when the e-mentoring relationships are just beginning to develop. Ideally, the teachers should keep in touch with each students mentor by providing a regular update on th e progress of his or her mentee.

PAGE 177

164 13. Community building is important for bot h the mentors and the mentees. Utilize chat rooms and blogs to encourage a se nse of community among the mentors and mentees. If possible, provide face-to-f ace socials or other community building sessions where the mentors or mentees come together to discuss their e-mentoring relationships. Teachers could make known an exemplary e-mentoring relationship that develops so all students are aware they can develop. Incorporate the Web sites as another tool for community bu ilding. Include successful e-mentoring stories on the Web site for the students and mentors to read. Community building does not happen automatically and requires attention and focus on the needs of the participants (Guy, 2002; Single & Single, 2004). 14. Run the program for a minimum of one school year. It takes time for most ementoring relationships to develop and serve the pur pose for which they are designed. In order for positive relationships to develop online, frequent communication of at least one or two times per week is necessary (Bennett et al., 1998; Emery, 1999; Harris et al., 1997). The key to creating the mentoring relationship seems to be the development of trust between two unfamiliar people which takes time and requires attention (Sipe, 1996). 15. Continuously monitor the e-mentoring pr ogram. Utilize online survey instruments for program evaluation. Random follow-up interviews could be conducted with the mentors and students to determine methods to improve the program and facilitate the e-mentoring relationships. Data should be collected throughout the

PAGE 178

165 program (Boyle & Boyce, 1998; Single & Mu ller, 1999) so that modifications to the program can be made in a timely manner. Recommendations and Theoretical Concepts When one refers to the framework that was designed to guide this study, several connections to the theory, as limited as it ma y be, can be made. When the four concepts, relationship, environment, structure, and purpose are re viewed, all of the above recommendations make sense and seem to connect to one of the four concepts as shown in Figure 3. Table 37 presents the above recommendations as they are connected to the four concepts found in the theo retical framework for the study.

PAGE 179

166 Table 37 Recommendations Connected to Theoretical Concepts Relationship Environment Structure Purpose Both mentors and mentees must be committed to program. Use secure e-mail program when connecting students with adults. Mentoring program must be managed by a coordinator. Provide opportunity for mentors to take pre GED tests in order to assist with the academic content. Create a biography of potential mentors and allow students to select based on the information. Include text messaging, live chats, and instant messaging along with e-mail. Training is important. Provide face-to-face training for the mentors. Develop tutoring sessions using chat rooms and webinars. Allow students to meet prior to the start of the program. Provide training on teen text messaging language. Ask mentors to prepare contingency plans if they are planning to go out of town to avoid long periods of no communication. Allow mentors and mentees to create a definition of success for the mentoring program and themselves as mentors and mentees. The teacher should be an integral part of the mentoring relationship. Teacher must allow class time so students can check e-mail. Continuously monitor the program. Conduct random follow up interviews to determine if program was a success. Utilize chat rooms and blogs to develop a sense of community among mentors and mentees. Reminder tool should be implemented so students will remember to check e-mail, especially at the beginning. Provide face-to-face socials with mentors and mentees. Run the program for at least one year.

PAGE 180

167 Recommendations for Future Research Throughout the literature, ther e are a number of studies and projects related to mentoring at-risk high school students. Th ese studies and programs from around the country indicate that a relations hip with a significant adult can make a difference in the lives of students who are at risk for educa tional failure, teen pregnancy, delinquency, and substance abuse. With 15 million young Americans waiting to be matched with a mentor (National Mentoring Partnership, n.d.), al ternative methods of mentoring, like e-mentoring, should be explored. The literat ure is limited when it comes to e-mentoring projects and outcomes but considering the technological age in which we live, e-mentoring makes sense as one way to assist the millions of students who wish to have a caring adult involved with them throughout their tu multuous teenage years. This study utilized one stru ctured e-mentoring model and implemented it with a small number of participants so generalizab ility is limited. By expanding the number of participants and programs in more schools a nd school districts, gneralizability might be increased and different results may occur. Other research methods like using case studi es or panel studies could be used to analyze the mentoring process in a differe nt way. Using case studies would allow the researcher to follow particular students through the process from beginning to end. A panel study could also be utili zed to follow the same students over time in order to note changes in the specific student s and explore the reasons w hy these students changed or did not change. In addition, focusing on the ac tual development of the online mentoring

PAGE 181

168 relationship might prove to be interesting in lear ning more about the e-mentoring model. Since e-mentoring is just emerging, more studies should be conducted on the development of the online relationship. By focusing on building and sustaining the relationship, one will be able to have a better idea if this concept will work. Although there is research to indicate that matching mentors with their mentees based on race, gender, or occupation, might make a difference on whether or not the mentoring relationship is successf ul, this research is most often found in the literature surrounding face-to-face mentoring. In this study, a conscious decision was made to use a random matching approach since the participants would not be seeing each other during the program. Another research study might investigate whether or not matching ementors with their mentees based on race, gender, or occupation would have a significant impact the student and the deve lopment of the relationship. It was interesting to consider the career decision com ponent of this study. Since many young people do not have an idea of wh at they want to do after high school, perhaps matching students and mentors based on career interests woul d be a way to help the students focus and plan for their future. A career interest invent ory could be given to the students prior to matchi ng and then their mentors woul d be selected based on the career field. Some of the mentees indicated that th ey felt their mentors were too old. Another research study might match the recen t GED Exit Option gra duates with the new class for the coming year. This idea was pres ented in one of the mentee focus groups, and the reaction by the other mentees was very enthusiastic. Anot her approach might be to

PAGE 182

169 use the GED Exit Option students as online ment ors for at-risk elementary students. The GED Exit Option students could tutor the elementary students and thereby strengthen their own academic skills. By serving as a mentor, the GED Exit Option students might feel as though they are role-models a nd their own self-esteem may improve. The concept of defining a successful me ntoring program surfaced several times during focus group discussions with the me ntors. It seems obvious now that when speaking of success, the definition may vary from person to person. This researcher had hoped to measure success based on the measures of self-esteem, career decision, attendance, and academic achievement. However, there are many other ways to measure success. For the mentees, success might mean reaching a goal that was not in the parameters of the study or their program. For others, success might be measured in changes in youth behaviors and attitudes as re ported by their parents, guardians, teachers, or friends. Program success can also be m easured through reports of satisfaction by mentees and mentors. Success could also be defined as a successful implementation of the e-mentoring model. School-based mentor ing, whether traditional or electronic, is usually just one intervention among several others, making it difficult to evaluate the power of the mentoring pr ogram on the students. Other measures that might be used to determine whether or not an e-mentoring program is successful might include measur ing the number of students who drop out of school, who enroll in postsecondary educati on, or who no longer use illegal drugs and alcohol. Still other measures might include focusing on improving the students attitude about school, improving their relationship w ith parents, increasing job success and work

PAGE 183

170 ethic, or reducing delinquency or aggressi on in and out of school Perhaps the program participants, the co-researchers in this design experiment, should be asked to define a successful mentoring program and how to m easure it. The blueprints for the program could then be developed using this information. Researchers Final Thoughts My journey through this process overlapped as a researcher and practitioner. As I reflect upon this dissertation research, I was disappointed when the e-mentoring program did not show statistically significant result s regarding the students self-esteem, career indecision, attendance, and academic achievement. However, what I learned about planning, implementing, and evaluating a struct ured e-mentoring model will allow me to run the program again and again, each time making modifications and improvements so that students will graduate from high school and go on to productive lives in our community.

PAGE 184

171 References Acheson, K. A., & Gall, M. D. (1998). Techniques in the clinical supervision of teachers. White Plains, NY: Longman. Adams, H. G., & Scott, S. K. (1997). The fundamentals of effective mentoring. Notre Dame, IN: GEM Consortium. Allen, J. P., Aber, J. L. & Leadbeater, B. J. (1990). Adolescent pr oblem behaviors: The influence of attachment and autonomy. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 13 pp. 455-467. American Community Survey (2004). United States Department of Commerce, Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2005 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/rura led/tables/table2_4.asp American School Counselor Association ( n.d.) (Data file).Retrieved September 19, 2007 from http://www.schoolcounselor.org Amill, L. (2002). E-mentoring: A view from the facilitators screen The Virtual Volunteer Project. Retrieved March 8, 2003 from http://www.serviceleade r.org/old/vv/direct Asgari, M., & O'Neill, D. K. (in press). What do they mean by "success"? Examining mentees' perceptions of success in a curriculum-based telementoring program. In J. Pascarelli & F. Kochan (Eds.), Creating Successful Telementoring Programs. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

PAGE 185

172 Barab, S., & Squire, K. (2004). Design-base d research: Putting a stake in the ground. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13 (1), 1-14. Barro, S. M., & Kolstad, A. (1987). Who drops out of high school? Findings from high school and beyond. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Center for Education Statistics. Beatty, A., Neisser, U., Trent, W. T., & Heubert, J. P. (Eds.). (2001). Understanding dropouts: Statistics, strategies, and high-stakes testing [Electronic version]. Washington, DC: The Nati onal Academies Press. Beck, L. & Muia, J. A. (1980). A portrait of a tragedy: Research findings on the dropout. High School Journal, 21, pp. 65-72. Beier, S. R., Rosenfled, W. D., Spitalny, K. C., Zansky, S. M., & Bontempo, A. N. (2000, April). The potential role of an adult mentor in influencing high-risk behaviors in adolescents. Retrieved May, 25, 2004 from the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine Web site http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/ Bell, P. L. (2004). On the theoretical bread th of design-based research in education [Electronic version]. Educational Psychologist, 39(4), 243-253. Bennett, D., Hupert, N., Tsikalas, K., Meade, T., & Honey, M. (1998, September). Critical issues in the design and implem entation of e-mentoring environments. Center for Children & Technology retrieved February 4, 2004 from www2.edc.org/CCT/publications_r eport_summary.asp?numPubID=39 Berktold, J., Geis, S., & Kaufman, P. (1998). Subsequent educational attainment of high school dropouts. Washington DC: United States Department of Education.

PAGE 186

173 Bierema, L L., & Merriam, S. B. (2002, Spri ng). E-mentoring: Using computer mediated communication to enhance the mentoring process. Innovative Higher Education, 26(3), 211-227. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2005 from http://www.bbbsa.org Blascovich, J. & Tomaka, J. (1991). Measures of self-esteem. In J. P. Robinson, P. Shaver, & L. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes (pp. 115-160). New York: Academic Press. Boyle, P. & Boyce, B. (1998). Systemic mentoring for new faculty teachers and graduate assistants. Innovative Higher Education, (22) 3, 157 179. Bozeman, B. & Feeney, M. (2007). Toward a useful theory of mentoring. [Electronic version] Administration & Society (39) 6, 719-739. Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R., (Eds.).(2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school Washington, D. C.: National Academy Press. Bridgeland, J., Dilulio, J. Jr., & Morison, K. B. (2006, March). The silent epidemic: Perspectives of high school dropouts. A report by Civic Enterprises in association with Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Brodinsky, B. & Keough, K. (1989). Students at risk: Problems and solutions. (Critical Issues Report No. 021-00213), Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators.

PAGE 187

174 Brown, A. (1992). Design experiments: Theoretical and methodological challenges in creating complex interventions in classroom settings. The Journal of Learning Sciences, 2 (2) 141-178. Bryk, A. S. & Thum, Y. M. (1989). The e ffects of high school organization on dropping out: An exploratory investigation. American Educational Research Journal, 26 pp. 353-384. Business Wire (2002, January 25). AOL Time Warner kicks off long-range mentoring campaign as part of national mentoring month. Retrieved January 16, 2004 from http://goliath.ecnext.co m/coms2/summary_0199-1327098_ITM Catterall, J. S. (1985). On the social costs of dropping out of schools. (SEPI-86-3). Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Center for Educational Research. Cairns, R.; Cairns, B. & Neckerman, H. (1989). Early school dropou t: Configuration and determinants. Child Development, 60 pp. 1436-1452. Colardarci, T., McCaul, E. J., Donaldson, G. A., & Davis, W. E. (1992). Consequences of dropping out of high school: Findings from high school and beyond. Journal of Educational Research, 85, pp. 198-207. Collins, A. (1992). Toward a design science of education. In E. Scanlon & T. OShea (Eds.), New Directions in Educational Technology New York: Springer-Verlag. Collins, A., Joseph, D., & Bielaczyc, K. (2004). Design research: Theoretical and methodological issues. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13 (1), 15 42.

PAGE 188

175 Council for Education, Policy, Research and Improvement (2004). An analysis of the need for new or expanded apprenticeship and workforce education programs. Retrieved February 22, 2005 from http://www.cepri.state.fl.us Croninger, R., & Lee, V. (2001, August). So cial capital and dropping out of high school: Benefits to at-risk students of teachers support and guidance. Teachers College Record, 103(4), 548-81. Crow, G. M., & Matthews, L. J. (1998). Finding ones way. California: Corwin Press. Curtis, T. & Hansen-Schwoebel, K. (1999, December). Evaluation summary of five pilot programs. Retrieved November, 16, 2001 from www.bbbsa.org Day, A. (2006, Winter). The power of soci al support: Mentoring and resilience. Reclaiming Children and Youth (14) 4, 196-201. Dimock, Victoria, K. (1998). Building relationships, engagi ng students: A naturalistic study of classrooms participating in the Electronic Emissary Project. Retrieved November 24, 2004, from ftp://ftp.tapr.org/pub/emissary/studies/Dimock.pdf Dorn, S. (1996). Creating the dropout. An institutional and social history of school failure. Wesport, CN: Praeger Publishers. DuBois, D. L., Holloway, B. E., Valentin e, J. C., & Cooper, H. (2002, April). Effectiveness of mentoring programs for youth: A meta-analytic review. [Electronic version]. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30(2), 157-197.

PAGE 189

176 Eby, L. T. (1997). Alternative forms of mentoring in changing organizational environments: A conceptual extension of the mentor ing literature. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 51 pp. 125-44. Edmondson, J. H., & White, J. (1998, April). A tutorial and counseling program: Helping students at risk of dropping out of school. Professional School Counseling, 1 (4), 43 47. Ekstrom, R. B., Goertz, M. E., Pollack, J. M., & Rock, D. A. (1986). Who drops out of school and why? Findings from a national study. Teachers College Record, 87(3), 356-373. Elements of Effective Practice (2nd ed.). (2003). [Electronic version]. Alexandria, VA: Retrieved May 19, 2005 from http://www.mentoring.org Emery, K.A. (1999, November 1). Online mentoring: A review of the literature and programs. Retrieved April 12, 2004 from Friends for Youth Web site www.homestead.com/prosites-ffy/files/onlinementoring.htm. Ensher, E. A., & Murphy, S. E. (1997). Eff ects of race, gender, perceived similarity, and contact on mentor relationships. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 50 pp. 460 481. Flaxman, E., Ascher, C. & Harrington, C. (1998). Youth mentoring: Programs and practices. New York: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Learning. Florida Department of Education (2007.) Graduation rates 2005-06. [Data file]. Retrieved June 18, 2007 from http://www.firn.edu/doe

PAGE 190

177 Florida Department of Education (2007). School Indicators Report. [Data file]. Retrieved June 18, 2007 from http://data.fldoe.org/fsir/ Fasko, D., Jr.& Flint, W. W. (1990). Enhancing self-esteem of at-risk high school students. (ERIC Document Repr oduction Service No. ED 348593).Retrieved September 19, 2004 from http://www/eric facility.net/ericdigests/ed348593.html Florida Monitor, (n.d.) Retrieved March 22, 2006 from http://www.oppaga.state.fl.us Foster, L. (2001, March). Effectiveness of mentor programs: Review of the literature from 1995 to 2000. A report prepared at the request of Senator Dede Alpert, Chair, Senate Select Committee on Family, Child and Youth Development. California Research Bureau. Freedman, M. (1991). The kindness of strangers: Reflecti ons on the mentoring movement. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures. Fulop, M. (n.d.) Assessing the potenti al of ementoring. Retrieved December 1, 2003 from http://www.nwrel.org/mentoring/panel.html Furano, K., Roaf, P. A., Styles, M. B., & Branch, A. Y. (1993). Big brothers/big sisters: A study of program practices [Electronic version] Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures. GED Exit Option model (2003). Procedure Manual. Florida Department of Education. Retrieved, March 22, 2005 from www.firn.edu/~doe/title1/pdf/ged_manual0365.pdf Gerics, J., & Westheimer, M. (1988, Fall). Dropout prevention: Trinkets and gimmicks or Deweyan reconstruction? Teachers College Record, 90 (1), 40 61.

PAGE 191

178 Green, J. & Winters, M. (2006, April). Leaving boys behind: Public high school graduation rates. Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Civic Report 48, retrieved January 22, 2007 from http://www.manhattaninstitute.org/html/cr_48.htm Grossman, J. B. (Ed).(1999). Contemporary issues in mentoring. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures. Grossman, J. B. & Garry, E. M. (1997, Ap ril). Mentoring a proven delinquency prevention program. Juvenile Justice Bulletin [electronic version] U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs. Guy, T. C. (2002). E-mentoring: Sharing mentoring relationships the 21st century. In Hansman, C.A. (Ed.), Critical perspectives on mentoring: Trends and issues, (pp.27-37). Columbus, OH: ER IC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career and Vocational Education. Harlow, C. W. (2003, January). Education and correctional populations. Special Report by Bureau of Justice Statistics (Data file). Found May 25, 2005 on http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov Harris, J., & Figg, C. (2000, November). Pa rticipating from the sidelines, online: facilitating e-mentoring projects [Electronic version]. ACM Journal of Computer Documentation, 24 (4), 227-236. Harris, J., Rotenberg, L., & O'Bryan, E. (1997). Results from the Electronic

PAGE 192

179 Emissary Project: E-mentoring lessons and examples [Electronic version]. Denton, TX: Texas Center for Educati onal Technology. Retrieved May 26, 2004 from http://www.tcet.unt.edu/pubs/em/em01.pdf Harris, J., Rotenberg, L., & OBryan, E. (1996, October). Its a simple idea, but its not easy to do: Practical le ssons in e-mentoring. Learning and Leading with Technology, 24 (2), 53-57. Healy, C. C. & Welchert, A. J. (1990). Me ntoring relations: A definition to advance research and practice. Educational Researcher, (19) 9, 17-21. Herrera, C. (1999, September). A first look into its potential. [Electronic version], Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures. Herrera, C., Sipe, C. L., & McClanahan, W. S. (2000, April). Mentoring school age children: Relationship development in community-based and school-based programs. [Electronic version] Philadelphi a: Public/Private Ventures. Hale, L. F., & Canter, A. (2000). School Dropout Prevention: Information and Strategies for Educators, retrieved March 21, 2004 from http://www.naspcenter.org/adol_sdpe.html Hammond, C., Smink, J., & Drew, S. (2007, May). Dropout risk factors and exemplary programs: a technical report. National Dropout Prevention Center. Retrieved on June 1, 2007 from http://www.dropoutprevention.org/resource /major_reports Harrington, A. (1999, March). E-mentoring: The advantages and disadvantages of using email to support distance mentoring. Retrieved May 2, 2004 from

PAGE 193

180 http://www.coachingnetwork.org/uk/ResourceCentre/Articles/ViewArticlePF.asp &artId=63. Horn, L. (1992, July). A profile of parents of eigh th graders: National education longitudinal Study of 1988. Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Statistics, Office of Education Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. Hsi, S. (1998, April). The multimedia forum kiosk: Using design experiments to understand electronic sc ientific discussions Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Res earcher Association, San Diego, April 1318, 1998. Retrieved October 31, 2004 from http://kie.berkeley .edu/events/hsiaera98.pdf Hull, D., & Grevelle, J. (1998). Tech prep and the next generation. Waco, TX: CORD Communications. Jekielek, S., & Brown, B. (2005, May). The transition to adulthood: Characteristics of young adults ages 18 24 in America. Retrieved September 27, 2006 from http:www.prb.org Jekielek, S. M., Moore, K. A ., Hair, E. C., & Scarupa, H. J. (2002, February). Mentoring: A promising strategy for youth development. Child Trends Washington, DC. Retrieved March 2, 2003 from http://www.childtrends.org/PDF/MentoringBrief2002.pdf Jordan, W. J., Lara, J., & McPartland, J. M. (1996). Exploring the cau ses of early dropout among race-ethnic and gender groups. Youth and Society, 28 (1), 62-94.

PAGE 194

181 Jucovy, L. (2002, May). Same-Race and Cross-Race Matching. [Electronic version]. Retrieved June 15, 2004 from www.ppv.org Kanter, R.M. (1977). Men and women of the corporation. New York: Basic Books. Keating, L. M., Tomishima, M. A., Foster S., & Alessandri, M. (2002, Winter). The effects of a mentoring program on at -risk youth [Electronic version]. Adolescence, 37(148), 717-734. Kemple, J. J. & Snipes, J. C. (2000). Career academies: Impacts on students engagement and performance in high school. New York: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation. Kimball, L., & Eunice, A. (1999, November). Zen and the art of facilitating virtual learning communities. Paper presented at the Thinkquest Teachers Summit, Los Angeles, CA. King, K. A., Vidourek, R. A., Davis, B. & Mc Clennan, W. (2002). Increasing self esteem and school connectedness through a multidimensional mentoring program. Journal of School Health 72(7), 294-299. Kolodner, J. (2004). The design experiment as a resear ch methodology for technology education. Proceedings of the First AAAS Technology Education Research conference, retrieved April 2, 2005 from www.project2061.org/meetings/tech nology/papers/Kolodner.htm Kram, K.E. (1985). Mentoring at work: Developmenta l relationships in organizational life. Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman.

PAGE 195

182 Lee, V., & Burkam, D. (1992). Transferring high schools: An alternative to dropping out? American Journal of Education, 100 pp. 420-453. Lee, V. E. & Smith, J.B. (1994). High school restructuring and student achievement. Madison: University of Wisconsin, Wisc onsin Center for Education Research. Lehr, C.A. (2004, August). Increasing school completion: Learning from research-based practices that work. Research to Practice Brief, 3 (3), retrieved October 3, 2005 from www.ncset.org Lewis, C. W. (2005, August). International telementor pr ogram, full program evaluation, April 2002 June 2005. Research and Development Center for the Advancement of Student Learning, Colorado State Univ ersity, Fort Collins, CO. Retrieved March 4, 2007 from www.telemen tor.org/research/2002-2005.pdf Lunenburg, F.C. (2000, March). Americas hope: Making schools work for all children. Journal of Instruct ional Psychology, 27 p. 39. Lunenburg, F. C., & Irby, B. J. (1999). High expectations: An action plan for implementing goals 2000. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (n.d. ). Education Working Paper, February, 2005 [Data file]. Retrieved December 18, 2006 from www.manhattan-institute.org Mather, M. & Rivers, K. (2003, March) State profiles of child well-being: Results from the 2000 census. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau. McLearn, K. T., Colasanto, D., Schoen, C., & Shapiro, M. Y. (1997). Mentoring matters: A national survey of adults mentorin g young people. In J.B. Grossman (Ed.), Contemporary issues in mentoring, 66-83. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures.

PAGE 196

183 McManus S., & Russell, J. (1999). New di rections for mentoring research: An examination of related constructs. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 51, pp. 145-161. Murray, M. (2001). Beyond the myths and magic of mentoring. San Francisco: JosseyBass Publishing. National Mentoring Partnership (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2007 from http://www.mentoring.org Neils, D. (2002). Assessing the potential of ementoring: A survey of current issues. Retrieved July 24, 2003 from http://www.nwrel.org/mentoring/panel.html Novotney, L., Mertinko, E., Lange, J., & Ba ker, K. (2000, September). Juvenile mentoring program: A progress review. [Electronic version] Juvenile Justice Bulletin, Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice. ONeill, D. K. (2000, April 24-28). Is everybody happy? Bridging the perspectives and developmental needs of participants in e-mentoring programs. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American E ducational Research Association, New Orleans. O'Neill, D. K. (2001 ). Building social capital in a knowledge-building community: Telementoring as a catalyst. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research A ssociation, 2001. Retrieved March 28, 2003 from http://ici.umn.edu/ementoring/research.html

PAGE 197

184 ONeill, D. K., & Gomez, L. M. (1998, November 14-18). Sustaining mentoring relationships online. Proceedings of CSCW 98: ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. New York: Association for Computing Machinery. ONeill, D. K, & Harris, J. (2000, April). Is everybody happy? Bridging the perspectives and developmental needs of participants in telementoring projects. Paper presented in the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. Osipow, S., Carney, C., Winer, J., Koeschier, B. (1987). Career Decision Scale. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources. Petersmeyer, C.G. (1989). Assessing the need: Beginning a mentoring program. Pittsburgh: One Plus One. Rhodes, J., Haight, W., & Briggs, E. (1999). The influence of mentoring on the peer relationships of foster youth in relative and nonrelative care. Journal of Research on Adolescence (9) 2, 185-201. Roaf, P. A., Tierney, J. P., & Hunte, D. E. I. (1994, October). Big Brothers/Big Sisters: A study of volunteer recruitment and screening. [Electronic version]. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures. Roderick, M. (1993). The path to dropping out: Ev idence for intervention Westport, CT: Auburn House. Rosenberg, M. (1989). Society and the adolescent self-image Revised edition. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

PAGE 198

185 Royse, D. (1998, Spring). Mentoring high-risk minority youth: evaluation of the Brothers Project [Electronic version] Adolescence, 33(129), 145-154. Rumberger, R. W. (2001, May) (revised). Why students drop out of school and what can be done. Paper presented at the Dropouts in America: How Severe is the Problem? What Do We Know about Inte rvention and Prevention conference, Harvard University, January 13, 2001. Saito, R. N. (2001). Whats working? Tools for evaluating your mentoring program. Minneapolis: Search Institute. Sandoval, W.A., & Bell, P. (2004). Design-ba sed research methods for studying learning in context: Introduction [Electronic version] Educational Psychologist, 39(4), 199-201. Scales, P., & Gibbons, J. (1996). Extended fam ily members and unrelated adults in the lives of young adolescents: A research agenda. Journal of Early Adolescence, 16 (4), 365-389. Scandura, T. A. (1998). Dysfunctional me ntoring relationships and outcomes. Journal of Management, 24, pp. 449-467. Simonetti, J.L. (1999) The key pieces of the career survival and success puzzle. [Electronic version] Career Development International. Retrieved March 17, 2004 from http//:www.emerald-library.com Single, P. B., & Muller, C. B. (1999). Electronic mentoring: Issu es to advance research and practice. Paper presented at the 1999 Inte rnational Mentor ing Association

PAGE 199

186 Conference, Atlanta, GA. Retrieved March 19, 2002 from (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 439683). Single, P. B., & Muller, C. B. (2001). When email and mentoring unite: The implementation of a nationwide electronic mentoring program. In L. K. Stromei (Ed.), Creating mentoring and coaching programs (pp. 107-122). Alexandria, American Society for Training and Development. Retrieved August 23, 2007 from www.uvm.edu/~pbsingle Single, P. B., Muller, C. B., & Carlsen, W. S. (2000, April). Electronic mentoring: Testing the features of a structured program. Roundtable presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Educati on Research Association, New Orleans, LA, Retrieved December 19, 2004 from http://www.uvm.edu/~pbsingle Single, P. B. and Single, R. M. (2004, in pr ess). E-mentoring and telementoring: Review of research Book chapter accepted for publication in F. K. Kochan & J. T. Pascarelli (Eds.), Technological aspects of mentoring Greenwich, CT: Information Age Press. Retrieved on January 30, 2004 from www.uvm.edu/~pbsingle Sipe, C.L. (1996, September). Mentoring: A synthesis of P/PVs research: 1988 1995. Retrieved July 11, 2005 from www.ppv.org Sipe, C. L., & Roder, A. E. (1999). Mentoring school-age childre n: A classification of programs. Philadelphia: Public /Private Ventures.

PAGE 200

187 Spotlight on Statistics (2007, August). Back to school. United States Government, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved September 1, 2007 from http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2007/back_to_school/data.htm Stanard, R. P. (2003, Spring). High school graduation rates in the United States: Implications for the counseling profession. Journal of Counseling and Development, 81 (2), 217. Swanson, C. B. (2007, June 12). Learning and earning. Education Week, Retrieved on June 15, 2007 from www.edweek.org/articles Tierney, J. P., Grossman, J. B. & Resch, N. (1995). Making a difference : An impact study of Big Brothers Big Sisters. [Electronic version] Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures. United States Government, Bureau of the Census. (2006). Income in 2005 by educational attainment of the population 18 years and over Table 8. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved March 22, 2007 from http://www.census.gov/population/www/ socdemo/education/cps2006.html United States Government, Department of E ducation, National Center for Educational Statistics (n.d.). Dropout rates in the United States: 2005 [Data file]. Retrieved March 22, 2007 from http://nces.ed.gov United States Government, Department of Labor, (n.d.). Table A29 Unemployed persons by marital status, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, age, and sex (Data file). Retrieved June 2, 2006 from http://www.bls.gov

PAGE 201

188 United States Government, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs (1998). Juvenile mentoring program: A 1998 report to Congress. [Electronic version] Retrieved May 28, 2006 from http://www.ncjrs.gov/htmo /ojjdp/173424/index.html Wadia-Fascetti, S. & Leventman, P. G. (2000) E-mentoring: A long itudinal approach to mentoring relationships for fema les pursuing technical careers. Journal of Engineering Education 89 (3), 295-300. Wakefield, S., Sage, H., & Coy, D. (2003). Unfo cused kids: Helping students to focus on their education and career plans. O ffice of Educational Research and Improvement, Washington, DC. Retrieved September 23, 2004 from ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED482771. Weaver, M., & Matthews, D. (1993, June). The effects of a program to build the selfesteem of at-risk students. Journal of Humanistic E ducation and Development, 31, pp. 181-188. Wehlage,G. G., Rutter, R. A., Smith, G. A., Lesko, N., & Fernandez, R. R. (1989). Reducing the risk: Schools as communities of support New York: Falmer Press. Wighton, D.J. (1993, May). Telementoring: An examination of the potential for an educational network. Education Technology Centre of British Columbia. Retrieved May 2, 2003 from http://ftp.cac.psu.edu/pub /internexus/TELE.MENTOR

PAGE 202

189 Woods, E.G. (1995, March) Reducing the dropout rate. School Improvement Research Series, Northwest Regional Educatio nal Laboratory. Retrieved August 18, 2005 from http://www.nwrel.org/scpd/sirs/9/c017.html

PAGE 203

190 Appendices

PAGE 204

191 Appendix A The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale Statement SA A D SD 1. I feel that I am a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others. 2. I feel that I have a number of good qualities. 3. All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure. 4. I am able to do things as well as most people. 5. I feel I do not have much to be proud of. 6. I take a positive attitude toward myself. 7. On the whole, I am satisfied with myself. 8. I wish I could have more respect for myself. 9. I certainly feel useless at times. 10. At times I think I am no good at all. Note. Rosenberg, M. (1989). Society and the adolescent self-image Revised edition. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale is in the public domain.

PAGE 205

192 Appendix B The Career Decision Scale The Career Decision Scale may not be reprodu ced in whole or in part or by any means even for dissertations. It is sold by the Ps ychological Assessment Resources, Inc. (PAR), 16204 N. Florida Avenue, Lutz, FL 33549.

PAGE 206

193 Appendix C Measuring the Quality of Implementation Chart Mentors Ease of Implementation Impact of Technology Flexible Design Revision/Implications for Design Changes Planning Online Surveys B and H (Questions B16, B17, B18, B19, B20, B21, B22, B23, H19, H20, H21) Online Surveys B and H (Questions B18, H19, H21) Online Surveys B and H (Questions B23, H33, H34) First focus group data Program Structure Online Surveys E and H (Questions E16, E17, E18, E19, E20, E21, E22, E23, E24, E25, E26, E27, E28, E29, E30, E21, E32, E33, E34, H22, H23, H24, H25, H26, H27, H28, H29, H30, H31, H32) Online Surveys E and H (Questions E16, E17, E18, E19, E20, E22, E23, E25, E27, E28, E29, E30, E31, E32, E33, E34, H22, H23, H25, H26, H27, H28, H29, H30, H31, H32) Online Surveys E and H (Questions E35, E36, H33, H34) First focus group data Assessment Number of messages sent through Gaggle.Net Online Surveys Focus Groups Researcher able to track messages through Gaggle.Net. Inappropriate messages were sent directly to researche rs mailbox instead of mentor or mentee. Researcher tracks technical difficulties requests made by mentors via e-mail, the Web site or telephone. Actual assistance provided via e-mail or the telephone. Blogs Pilot results. Some program improvement suggestions made by mentors may be implemented during the program; others will be implemented during future programs. First focus group data. Discussion via blogs E-mail messages from mentors to researcher

PAGE 207

194 Appendix C (Continued) Mentees Ease of Implementation Impact of Technology Flexible Design Revision/Implications for Design Changes Planning Online Survey C and I (Questions C17, C18, C19, C20, C21, C22, I17, I18, I19) None Online Survey C (Question C25, I31, I32) Focus group data Program Structure Online Survey F and I (Questions F17, F18, F19, F20, F21, F22, F23, F24, F25, F26, F27, F28, F29, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F35, F36, F37, F39, I20, I21, I22, I23, I24, I25, I26, I27, I28, I29, I30) Online Survey F and I (Questions F20, F21, F22, F24, F25, F26, F27, F29, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F35, F36, F37, F39, I20, I21, I22, I23, I24, I25, I26, I28, I29, I30) Online Survey F and I (Questions F40, F41, I31, I32) Focus group data Assessment Number of messages sent through Gaggle.Net Online Surveys Focus Groups Results of the impact of the program on the students (GED results, attendance, SE Scale, and CD Scale) Researcher able to track messages through Gaggle.Net. Inappropriate messages were sent directly to researchers mailbox. Researcher tracks technical difficulties requests made by mentors via e-mail, the Web site or telephone. Actual assistance provided via e-mail or the telephone. Blogs Pilot results Some program improvement suggestions made by mentees may be implemented during the program; others will be implemented during future programs. Focus group data Discussion via blogs E-mail messages from mentors to researcher

PAGE 208

195 Appendix D National Mentoring Partne rship Application

PAGE 209

196

PAGE 210

197

PAGE 211

198

PAGE 212

199

PAGE 213

200

PAGE 214

201

PAGE 215

202

PAGE 216

203

PAGE 217

204 Appendix E Design Revisions Source Problem Design Revision Idea Implemented? When? Recommendation for Future Researcher Mentors Online did not work (once it was put on the district server)during pilot Permission was granted through the OCPS school district to use Gaggle.net, a web-based e-mail software for this project. August, 2006 P iloting the e-mail software is crucial to the success of the p rogram. Teachers Online survey, focus group Students forget to check their e-mail, especially at the beginning of the program Create a check-in sheet to remind students to check their e-mail. January, 2007 Use this check sheet or some other tool to help students remember to check their email each day. This makes it easier for the teachers and helps them get into the habit until the relationship is developed. Teachers Online survey, focus group Some mentors are not e-mailing the students. The students are disappointed and frustrated. Additional coaching by the researcher to remind the mentors to e-mail their mentees. Ongoing Additional training needed to help the mentees understand email mentoring is not like IM or text messaging. Additional training for the mentors so they understand how prompt communication is so important.

PAGE 218

205 Appendix E (Continued) Source Problem Design Revision Idea Implemented? When? Recommendation for Future Mentees Online survey Computers at one of the technical centers had technical difficulties throughout the program. The school had unexpected construction and reroofing during the fall semester which impacted the network wiring on campus. Fix the computers. By January 2007, all the computers were up and running again. This is important especially when starting the program. Students are excited to check their e-mail and if they cant, they often lose interest. Mentors might wonder why the students are not replying and become frustrated. Mentors Online survey No clipart available to add excitement or interest to the e-mail messages. Add clipart to e-mails. No. Clipart could be blocked by the district firewall. Mentees Online survey Mentors are older than the students expected. Some students feel they cant relate. Younger mentors are needed. No. Consider trying online mentoring with mentors who are 20 30 years of age.

PAGE 219

206 Appendix E (Continued) Source Problem Design Revision Idea Implemented? When? Recommendation for Future Mentees/ Mentors Online survey, focus group Checking Gaggle.Net is just one more e-mail to remember to check. Most students and mentors had a personal e-mail account they could use. Allow mentors and mentees to use their personal e-mail if they have one. Otherwise, Gaggle.Net could be provided. No. However, in January, 2007 students and mentors were shown how to direct Gaggle.Net messages to their personal email accounts. Gaggle.Net provides a safety feature for both mentors and mentees. It also provides monitoring features for the teacher, coach, or administrator. Researcher Review Gaggle.Net log Some participants not e-mailing two times per week as program requires. Researcher provided additional coaching, emailing and phone calls to mentors and mentees. Ongoing Regular e-mailing is key to ensuring the relationship develops. Project coordinator must be a coach and jovial nag. Mentees Online survey Mentors are older than the students expected. Some students feel they cant relate. Younger mentors are needed. No Consider trying online mentoring with an age group of mentors who are 20 30 years of age.

PAGE 220

207 Appendix E (Continued) Source Problem Design Revision Idea Implemented? When? Recommendation for Future Mentees Online survey, focus group Researcher Involvement data Some mentors did not write to their mentees as often as required by the program. Coaching sessions with mentors to encourage sending two messages per week. Mentors reminded to tell students when they would be going out of town. Mentees were reminded that the mentors could not necessarily respond as quickly as the mentees would like. Ongoing. Make sure mentors are committed up front. Be sure they know what they are committing to do. Part of the training should include knowing to access Gaggle.Net from out-of-town and if it is impossible to communicate with the student for a period of time, to be sure and let the mentee know why. Mentees need additional training to remind them that in this instant messaging and text messaging world, e-mailing is a little slower. Mentees Online survey Many of the participants wondered what their mentor or mentee looked like. They felt knowing this would improve the mentoring relationship. Meet the mentor before or during the program. No Consider having the students and mentors meet before the program begins in order to see if it makes a difference in the development of the relationship.

PAGE 221

208 Appendix E (Continued) Source Problem Design Revision Idea Implemented? When? Recommendation for Future Mentors Online survey If smiley faces and graphics could be added to the e-mail messages, perhaps the students would respond in a positive manner. Included a list of emoticons on the mentor Web site. Mentors were reminded to try some of the emoticons. October, 2006 January, 2007. Coached the mentors to try some of the emoticons in their e-mail. messages. No graphics introduced. Include this in the training session. Provide a practice opportunity. Attachments are allowed in Gaggle.Net. However, sometimes they were due to the district firewall. Mentors Online survey, focus group Did not have a complete understanding of who their mentees were and what life problems they were facing. First three discussion starters allowed students and mentors to share information about themselves. Researcher provided specific questions to discuss. October, 2006. Include a bio sheet as a part of the mentee application packet to include information, strengths, weaknesses that the students have so that the mentors would know a little bit more about the student upfront. Make sure the mentees sign a release to provide this information to their mentor.

PAGE 222

209 Appendix E (Continued) Source Problem Design Revision Idea Implemented? When? Recommendation for Future Mentors Focus group Mentors did not have a clear understanding about the GED tests that the mentees would be taking. Provided Web sites with information about the GED tests for the mentors to review. January, 2007 During the initial training, allow mentors to take a practice GED tests so they have some idea of what it is all about. Mentors Online survey Some of the mentors never established a relationship with their mentee. Mentors requested more than one mentee. No Most mentors felt they could handle more than one perhaps make this option available next time. Mentees Online survey, focus group Blogs did not work most of the time. Tried several times during the course of the study. Due to the volatile nature of the school district servers, the blog was up and down. In February 2007, the researcher decided not to continue pursuing it as part of this program. Yes and No Blogs would be a great way to develop the community relationship. Find a blog that will work! Seek other community building options such as weekly or monthly meetings or conference calls.

PAGE 223

210 Appendix E (Continued) Source Problem Design Revision Idea Implemented? When? Recommendation for Future Mentees Online Survey Concern about the safety of the program and e-mailing a stranger. Coaching was ongoing via email and face-to-face conversations with the students to help assure them. Reminded them to communicate with the researcher or teacher if an issue developed. Ongoing. Send additional e-mails to those concerned. In this study, all mentors were school district partners-in-education which provided a background check. Gaggle.Net allowed the researcher to read all e-mails from participants. Mentees Online survey, focus group Mentees wanted to talk with other mentees who were participating in the program. Researcher met with each group of students once per month. December, 2006 until the program was complete. Utilized for community building for students who really enjoyed being together and talking about their mentors. Maybe conduct these sessions every 2 3 weeks. Search for other ways to build community via blogs, conference calls, and website. Mentee Online survey, focus group One of the teachers was not enthusiastic about the program. Sent all the teachers notes, books about mentoring; made personal visits and phone calls. Ongoing. Teachers must be a willing participant and interested in the programs success.

PAGE 224

211 Appendix E (Continued) Source Problem Design Revision Idea Implemented? When? Recommendation for Future Mentors Focus group Mentors would like to be able to communicate with the mentees teachers. With the instructors permission, provided their e-mail addresses the mentors. December, 2006 Connect teachers and mentors at the beginning. Have a meeting where the teachers and mentors can meet. Mentors Online survey Mentees have no accountability for reading and replying to their emails. Researcher sent messages to students and teachers. Ongoing. November, 2006 until finish, Teachers reminded January, 2007Check sheet in classroom Implement check sheet at the beginning of the study. Ask the teacher to require it as part of the classroom grade/activity. Mentee needs to be committed but sometimes just need to be reminded. Mentors Focus group Some of the relationships were only just beginning when the program was ending. Program needs to be longer. No. Allowed those who wanted to continue to do so. Since establishing a relationship online takes time, perhaps the program should be a minimum of one year in length

PAGE 225

212 Appendix E (Continued) Source Problem Design Revision Idea Implemented? When? Recommendation for Future Mentors Online survey, focus group Many of the participants wondered what their mentor or mentee looked like. They felt knowing this would help the mentoring relationship happen quicker. Some mentors wanted to meet their mentees prior to beginning the program. No. Might want to consider having the students and mentors meet before the program begins in order to see if it makes a difference in the development of the relationship. Mentors Online survey Some mentors wanted a face-to-face training in addition to or instead of the online training Additional training options. No. Provide options for training including face-to-face training. Use web cams for those who are unavailable yet still want the more direct training. Mentors Online Survey Mentors need to be thanked for participating in the program Thank you cards, certificates, and pins were sent to the mentors. Yes. Offer a free tuition voucher for a class at the technical center as another thank-you.

PAGE 226

213 Appendix F Implementation Timeline Checklist for E-Mentoring Program Anticipated Date Comments Planning Managing Expectations Statement of Purpose June, 2005 Goals of Program June, 2005 Resource Development June, 2005 Staffing June, 2005, June September, 2006 Volunteers Technology Implementation April, 2006 Pilot Communications system July September, 2006 Safety and security issues addr essed April September, 2006 Technology requirements April September, 2006 Policies regarding privacy and security April September, 2006 Method for archiving e-mails April September, 2006 Safety Measures for Students and Mentors July September, 2006 Adherence to rules and laws that apply July September, 2006 Establishment of guidelines and permissions July September, 2006 Background checks of mentors July September, 2006 Confidentiality of program participants' personal info July September, 2006 On Application Regular oversight of program participants July September, 2006 Process for addressing concerns as they develop July September, 2006 Recruiting Strategies that reflect accurate expectations and benef its March September, 2006 On application, during training Marketing March September, 2006 On application, during training

PAGE 227

214 Appendix F (Continued) Basis in program statement of purpose March September, 2006 On application, during training Program oveview including mission and goals March September, 2006 On application, during training Expectations and restrictions March Septem ber, 2006 On application, during training Descriptions of eligibility and screening process March September, 2006 On application, during training Description of how technology works March S eptember, 2006 On application, during training Level of commitment expected March Sept ember, 2006 On application, during training Benefits and rewards March September, 2006 On application, during training Summary of program policies including privacy Marc h September, 2006 On application, during training Safety and security when using Internet March September, 2006 On application, during training Orientation Program for Mentees August, 2006 In person Program oveview including mission and goals September, 2006 In person Expectations and restrictions September, 2006 In person Descriptions of eligibility and screeni ng process September, 2006 In person Description of how technology works September, 2006 In person Level of commitment expect ed September, 2006 In person Benefits and rewards September, 2006 In person Summary of program policies including privacy September, 2006 In person Safety and security when using In ternet September, 2006 In person Matching Application process and review September, 2006 Reference checks for mentors (school di strict volunteer ) May August, 2006 School district volunteer application Access to and experience with technology August, 2006 During training Matching of Mentors and Mentees August September, 2006 Random Continual assessment of planning phase Ongoing

PAGE 228

215 Appendix F (Continued) Program Structure Training Curriculum August October, 2006 Online Orientation to the program and availabl e resources August October, 2006 Online Completion of online training program August October, 2006 Online Skills and competency development for communications August October, 2006 Online GED XO Program Goals August October, 2006 Online Adolescent behavior training August October, 2006 Online Guidelines on how to get the most out of relationship August October, 2006 Online Do's and Don'ts August October, 2006 Online Job and role descriptions August October, 2006 Online Crisis management and problem solving resources August October, 2006 Online Support materials and ongoing sessions August October, 2006 Online Suggestions on how to get started August October, 2006 Online Coaching/Facilitating Consistent and regular communication with coach October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Tracking system for ongoing assessment October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Written records October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Input from participants October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Ongoing training and development Web sites October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Community Building Electronic Discussion Lists October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Chat Rooms October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Blogs October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Ongoing assessment of program structure phase Ongoing

PAGE 229

216 Appendix F (Continued) Assessment Involvement October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Participants are complying with program guidelines October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Formative Surveys, focus groups, chat room discussions throughout program October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Design changes as program progresses October, 2006 until end of program Ongoing Summative Outcomes at end of program March April, 2007 GED pass rate March, 2007 Test Results Attendance measures March, 2007 Attendance Registers Self-esteem October 2006 and April, 2007 Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale Career Indecision October 2006 and April, 2007 Career Decision Scale Implications for design changes of the program October 2006 through March, 2007 Ongoing

PAGE 230

217 Appendix G Mentor Application Form Applicants Name Work Address Home Address Home Phone Work Phone Cell Phone Fax Number E-Mail Address Why have you decided to apply to become an e-mentor? I understand that while serving as an e-mentor, I will: Become an Orange County Public Schools ADDition volunteer. By doing so, I agree to a background check and to abide by the ru les and regulations of the school system volunteer program. Make a six month commitment to the e-mentoring program. Complete the online training session. Engage in the mentoring rela tionships with an open mind. Keep discussions with my me ntees confidential (except where youths safety or wellbeing is at-risk). Ask for help when needed. Accept guidance from the program coordinator or the mentees teacher. Notify the program coordinator if I am having difficulty in the mentoring relationship. Notify the program coordinator of any changes in my employment, address, telephone number, or e-mail address, or any event that may call into question my

PAGE 231

218 suitability to be a mentor including any arrest or conviction, moving violation, or allegation of child abuse or mistreatment. Refrain from communicating with the mentee out side of the established parameters of the program. Participate in online evaluation surveys during the course of the e-mentoring program. Participate in two focus groups during th e course of the e-mentoring program. Notify in person or in writing to the progr am coordinator of your desire to end the relationship with the mentees. Signature and Date _________________________

PAGE 232

219 Appendix H Mentee Application Form Students Name Home Address Work Address Home Phone Work Phone Cell Phone 1. What special interests do you have th at you would want to share with your mentor? 1. What are your future education plans? 2. What are your future career plans? I understand while participating in the e-mentoring program, I will: Make a six month commitment to the e-mentoring program. Complete the online training session. Engage in the relationships with an open mind. Ask for help when needed. Accept guidance from the program coordinator or the teacher. Notify the program coordinator or teach er if I am having difficulty in the mentoring relationship. Refrain from communicating with the mentor outside of the established parameters of the program. Participate in online evaluation surveys during the course of the e-mentoring program. Participate in two focus groups during th e course of the e-mentoring program. Notify in person or in writing of your de sire to end the re lationship with the mentor. Signature of Student ________________________ Date __________________ Signature of Parent ________________________ Date ____________________

PAGE 233

220 Appendix I Informed Consent for an Adult

PAGE 234

221

PAGE 235

222

PAGE 236

223

PAGE 237

224

PAGE 238

225

PAGE 239

226 Appendix J Parental Informed Consent

PAGE 240

227

PAGE 241

228

PAGE 242

229

PAGE 243

230

PAGE 244

231

PAGE 245

232 Appendix K Assent to Participate in Research

PAGE 246

233

PAGE 247

234

PAGE 248

235 Appendix L Discussion Starters Week Discussion Starters 1 Now that you have been assigned a me ntee, it is time to think through your first message. What are some things you could tell your mentee that would help you get to know each other a litt le bit? What about you and your life story might be interesting to your ment ee? Ask some questions but be careful not to pry. As the trust builds, so will the relationship. Ask questions that your mentee cannot answer with a yes or a no. 2 Ask your mentees opinion about one or all of these topics. The students may want to know your opinion as well! Remember, dont pass judgment your mentee will feel good knowing that an adult cares enough to ask his or her opinion. Topics: The Future, Clothe s, The Environment, Gossip, Heroes, Responsibility. 3 Compare your favorites! As your ment ee for their favorite song, movie, TV show, color, season, movie star, car, ga me, sport to play, or sport to watch. Then share yours! See if you have any in common and discuss what they are! 4 Many of our students have school attendance issues. We certainly know that students who attend school regularly are more successful than those who do not. This week, talk to your student about school attendance. Find out how he or she is doing and if there is an at tendance problem; see what you might be able to offer by way of advice. Perhap s you might want to relate how school attendance and work attendance are connected. Remember to be an encourager and not to pass judgment. Y our role is to be a guide, a friend, a coach, a significant adult your student can trust. This relationship and trust takes some time to develop online. Be sure to communicate as often as possible. If your mentee is not comm unicating with you, please let me know so I can encourage him or her to do so. 5 This week, lets focus on academics. Ask your mentees how they are doing in school both in their GED prep classes and their technical classes. Some of the students go to work instead of taki ng a technical class. You might want to ask about a favorite subject and why it is a favorite. Or, you might want to ask about a difficult subject and offer so me assistance. Most of the students will have taken some practice GED tests in the past week or two to see how they are doing in preparation for the GED Tests in March. Remember to offer encouragement, advice if they ask for it, and support. 6 Since Thursday is Thanksgiving, I thought our discussion starter this week might focus on being thankful. Ask your mentee what it means to be thankful. Find out if they have something they are thankful for that they would like to share. You might want to tell them about so mething that you are thankful for perhaps tha nkful that you have a mentee!

PAGE 249

236 Appendix L (Continued) 7 This week, lets focus on career decision making. Ask your mentees what they might like to do after high school. Find out what career interests or goals your mentees have set for themselves. S uggest they go to the Career Explorer Web site, take the interest invent ory and share their results with you. 8 This week as we focus on self-esteem, talk about relationships. Ask your mentees who they consider to be role model for them. Ask them how they think your relationship is developing and what you might do to improve communication. 9 Remember, your mentees might be more interested in talk ing about clothes, football, parties, or shopping than about their future and accepting practical advice from you! Use this week to talk about something personal to them their hobbies, what they do for fun, or th eir plans for winter break. Keep the conversation light and remember not to ask questions that can be answered with a yes or no! 10 This is the last week of school before the winter holidays. Please have a conversation with your mentee a bout whether or not you will be communicating during the two week break. Perhaps your mentee does not have access to a computer from home and if that is the case, you might not hear from him or her. Or, you might be planning to be out of town over the holidays. If that is th e case, you will need to let your mentee know not to expect an e-mail until school resumes. Just be sure you are both clear on whether or not you will be able to touch base over the holiday time. 11 This week, lets focus once again on a ttendance. Ask them to describe how they stay motivated to come to school every day. Share w ith them how you stay motivated to go to work each morning! Find out if you have any similarities or differences. Then, ask them how you might be able to make a difference for them so that they can stay on track to finish their GED Exit Option program. 12 Ask your mentees these questions, What is your creative side like? Do you like art, music, drawing, fashion, or computer graphics? Depending on their answers, you can discuss how special they are because of their creative talent! Share your creative side with th em and see if you have any creativity in common. 13 This week, focus on the future. Continue your discussion from Week 7 to help them begin thinking about what co mes next after they earn their GED. Ask them what they think their lives mi ght be like in 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years. Share your own career de velopment process with them. 14 Ask your mentee to describe their nu mber one strength and number one weakness. This might be difficult for your mentee to come up with so be ready to share yours as a way to spark the discussion. See if you can connect their strength to their being invol ved in the GED Exit Option program.

PAGE 250

237 Appendix L (Continued) 15 As the countdown begins for the actual GED Tests, you might want to have a discussion with the students about stress. Let them know that you know this will be a very stressful period for them and that you are there for them. You might want to generate a discussion a bout ways you cope with stress and how they might be able to apply one or more of the same techniques. 16 Ask your mentees this question, H ow do you study? What works for you? What doesnt work for you? Use their an swers to discuss ideas and ways they may be able to more effectively study and prepare for the GED Tests. You might even want to review this Web site http://www.studyguidezone.com/gedtest.h tm for ideas to share with your mentee. 17 Since self-esteem and confidence often seem to be linked, discuss with your mentees the importance of having confid ence as they get ready to take the GED Tests. Ask them to describe a time when they really felt confident. Then, suggest they use that time to visualize how it is going to feel on testing day! 18 Some of the students will be taking the GED Tests this week. Encourage them, cheer them on, and tell them that you are pulling for them. Let this weeks discussion be all about them as most are probably very worried and nervous about the upcoming test. 19 Now that all the students have taken the Exam, we often have trouble hanging on to them! They see themselves as finished and ready to fly! Part of the GED Exit Option program requirements include the students finishing the school year at the tech ce nter. Tell them there are only two more months of school and you are certain they will ma ke it to the end! Your encouraging words mean a lot to them. 20 This is the last official week for th e program. Ending the re lationship is often more difficult than beginning it. You ha ve three options at this point to discuss with your mentee. Option 1: You may both agree that the program is over and that this week will be the last week to communicate. Be sure to tell your mentees how much you enjoyed worki ng with them and wish them luck for the future. Option 2: You may both agree to continue communicating via Gaggle.Net for as long as you like until th e school year is over. Gaggle.Net will be available to you for that time period. Whenever you decide to stop communicating, be sure to have a discu ssion about that so your mentees dont feel abandoned. Option 3: You might like to meet each other. If you both agree to this option, let me know and I will arrange for it to happen.

PAGE 251

238 Appendix M Mentor Survey 1 We would like your feedback about the mentoring program in whic h you are involved. This information will help us understand your perceptions of the program, the benefits to you and your mentee, and suggestions for improving it. All of the data reported on this survey will be kept anonymous. Section A: Perceptions of the Effects of the Mentoring Relationship on the Mentee We are interested in your perceptions of the impact on your mentee in the following areas that you think might result because of your mentoring relationship. Please check one response for each item using the following codes for your answers: SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree N: Neither Agree or Disagree D: Disagree SD: Strongly Disagree Because of our relationship, I think my mentee will SAA N D SD Support 1. feel like there are more adults who care about him/her. 2. feel like there are more people who will help him/her. Commitment to Learning 3. have a better attitude about school. 4. have better school work and test scores. 5. come to school better prepared (on time, homework done, etc.). 6. have better classroom behavior (such as paying attention and no t being disruptive). 7. have better attendance in school. Boundaries and Expectations 8. feel others see him/her as more responsible. 9. feel s/he has a number of good qualities. 10. have higher expectations of him/herself. Empowerment 11. feel s/he has more future options. 12. feel s/he is a more confident person. 13. think s/he is a better person.

PAGE 252

239 14. What do you think your mentee will gain or learn through your relationship? 15. What do you think you will gain or learn through your relationship? Section B: Perceptions of the Qu ality of the Mentoring Program We are always seeking ways to improve our e-mentoring program. Please choose one answer for each item pertaining to the qua lity of the program up to this point. SA A N D SD 16. The goals of the e-mentoring program were clearly stated. 17. The goals of the e-mentoring program were easy to understand. 18. The application was easy to complete. 19. If I had questions about completing the application, I knew who to ask for assistance. 20. When you asked questions about the program, they were answered to your satisfaction. 21. How did you learn about th e e-mentoring program? 22. Why did you decide to become an e-mentor? 23. Are there any changes you would ma ke to improve the program so far? This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program, by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @ 2001.

PAGE 253

240 Appendix N Mentee Survey 1 We would like your feedback about the e-ment oring program in which you are involved. This information will help us understand what you think of the program, how it might affect you, and what you think we can do to make it better. All of the information reported on this survey will be kept anonymous. Section A: Perceptions of the Effects of the Mentoring Relationship on the Mentee We are interested in how you think you might change, or not change, because of your mentoring relationship. Please check one respon se for each item using the following coes for your answers: SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree N: Neither Agree or Disagree D: Disagree SD: Strongly Disagree Because of my relationship with my mentor, I think I will SA A N D SD Support 1. feel like there are adults who care about me. 2. feel like there are people who will help me. Commitment to Learning 3. have a better attitude about school. 4. have better school work and test scores. 5. come to school better prepared (on time, homework done, etc.). 6. have better classroom behavior (such as paying attention and not being disruptive). 7. have better attendance in school. Boundaries and Expectations 8. feel others will see me as more responsible. 9. feel that I have a number of good qualities.

PAGE 254

241 10. have higher expectations of myself. Empowerment 11. feel like I have more options for my future. 12. feel more confident in myself. 13. feel I am a better person. 14. have a better idea of what I want to do after I graduate. 15. What do you think you will learn through your relationship with your mentor? 16. What do you think your mentor will l earn through your relationship with you? Section B: Perceptions of the Qu ality of the Mentoring Program We are always seeking ways to improve our e-mentoring program. Please choose one answer for each item pertaining to the qua lity of the program up to this point. SA A N D SD 17. The goals of the e-mentoring program were clearly stated. 18. The goals of the e-mentoring program were easy to understand. 19. The application was easy to complete. 20. If I had questions about completing the application, I knew who to ask for assistance. 21. When you asked questions about the program, they were answered to your satisfaction. 22. My teacher is supportive of the program. 23. How did you learn about th e e-mentoring program? 24. Why did you decide to pa rticipate in the program? 25. Are there any changes you would ma ke to improve the program so far? This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program, by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @ 2001.

PAGE 255

242 Appendix O Instructor Survey 1 We would like your feedback about the ment oring program in which your class is involved. This information w ill help us understand your perceptions of the program, the benefits to you and your students, and sugge stions for improving it. All of the data reported on this survey will be kept anonymous. Section A: Perceptions of the Effects of the Mentoring Relationship on the Mentee We are interested in your perceptions of the impact on your stude nts in the following areas that you think might result because of your mentor ing relationship. Please check one response for each item using the following codes for your answers: SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree N: Neither Agree or Disagree D: Disagree SD: Strongly Disagree Because of the mentorin g relationshi p think my students will SA A N D SD Support 1. feel like there are more adults who care about him/her. 2. feel like there are more people who will help him/her. Commitment to Learning 3. have a better attitude about school. 4. have better school work and test scores. 5. come to school better prepared (on time, homework done, etc.). 6. have better classroom behavior (such as paying attention and not being disruptive). 7. have better attendance in school. Boundaries and Expectations 8. feel others see him/her as more responsible. 9. feel s/he has a number of good qualities.

PAGE 256

243 10. have higher expectations of him/herself. Empowerment 11. feel s/he has more future options. 12. feel s/he is a more confident person. 13. think s/he is a better person. 14. What do you think your students will ga in or learn through their mentoring relationship? 15. What do you think you will gain or l earn through the mentoring program? Section B: Perceptions of the Qu ality of the Mentoring Program We are always seeking ways to improve our e-mentoring program. Please choose one answer for each item pertaining to the qua lity of the program up to this point. SA A N D SD 16. The goals of the e-mentoring program were clearly stated. 17. The goals of the e-mentoring program were easy to understand. 18. When I asked questions about the program, they were answered to my satisfaction. 19. If my students had questions about completing the application, I could help them. 20. If my students had questions about the program, I could answer them. 21. I am supportive of the program. 22. How did you learn about th e e-mentoring program? 23. Are there any changes you would ma ke to improve the program so far? This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program, by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @ 2001.

PAGE 257

244 Appendix P Mentor Survey 2 We would like your feedback about the mentoring program in whic h you are involved. This information will help us understand your perceptions of the program, the benefits to you and your mentee, and suggestions for improving it. All of the data reported on this survey will be kept anonymous. Section A: Background Information On average, how many times per week do you e-mail your mentee? ____ On average, how many times per week does your mentee-mail you? ____ Section B: Perceptions of the Effects of the Mentoring Relationship on the Mentee We are interested in your perceptions of the impact on your mentee in the following areas that you think might result because of your mentoring relationship. Please check one response for each item using the following codes for your answers: SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree N: Neither Agree or Disagree D: Disagree SD: Strongly Disagree Because of our relationship, I think m y mentee SA A N D SD Support 1. feels like there are more adults who care about him/her. 2. feels like there are more people who will help him/her. Commitment to Learning 3. has a better attitude about school. 4. has better school wo rk and test scores. 5. comes to school better prepared (on time, homework done, etc.). 6. has better classr oom behavior (such as paying attention and not being disruptive). 7. has better attendance in school. Boundaries and Expectations 8. feels others see him/her as more responsible.

PAGE 258

245 9. feels s/he has a number of good qualities. 10. has higher expectations of him/herself. Empowerment 11. feels s/he has more future options. 12. feels s/he is a more confident person. 13. thinks s/he is a better person. 14. What do you think your mentee has gained or learned through your relationship? 15. What do you think you have gained or learned through your relationship? Section C: Perceptions of the Qu ality of the Mentoring Program We are always seeking ways to improve our e-mentoring program. Please choose one answer for each item pertaining to the qua lity of the program up to this point. SA A N D SD 16. The online training material was easy to access. 17. The online training material was easy to understand. 18. The online training material was helpful. 19. The website is easy to access. 20. The website offers helpful information. 21. I understand my role as a mentor. 22. The e-mail program is easy to use. 23. There is technology support available if a problem occurs. 24. There is support from the program coach to help me m eet the challenges of online mentoring. 25 I feel connected to the other mentors. 26 If I have questions, I know who to ask in order to find the answers. 27 The e-mails from the program coach are helpful.

PAGE 259

246 28. How long did it take you to complete the online training? 29. Do you feel the traini ng was adequate? Explain. 30. How often do you refer to the online training materials? 31. How often do you refer to the website? 32. Which sections of the website do you access? 33. Do you participate in the di scussion groups? Why or why not? 34. Do you participate in the blogs? Why or why not? 35. Are there any changes you would make to the program so far? 36. Is there anything else you want us to know about this program? This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program, by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @ 2001.

PAGE 260

247 Appendix Q Mentee Survey 2 We would like your feedback about the mentoring program in whic h you are involved. This information will help us what you th ink about the program, how it has affected you, and what you think we should do to make it better. You will remain anonymous when completing this survey. Section A: Background Information On average, how many times per week do you e-mail your mentor? ____ On average, how many times per week does your mentor-mail you? ____ Section B: Perceptions of the Effects of the Mentoring Relationship on You We want to know how you think you have changed, or not changed, because of your mentoring relationship. Please check one answ er for each of the following statements using the following codes: SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree N: Neither Agree or Disagree D: Disagree SD: Strongly Disagree Because of my relationship with my mentor, I SA A N D SD Support 1. feel like there are adults who care about me. 2. feel like there are people who will help me. Commitment to Learning 3. have a better attitude about school. 4. have better school work and test scores. 5. come to school better prepared (on time, homework done, etc.). 6. have better classroom behavior (such as paying attention and not being disruptive). 7. have better attendance in school. Boundaries and Expectations 8. feel others see me as more responsible.

PAGE 261

248 9. feel I have a number of good qualities. 10. have higher expectations of myself. Empowerment 11. feel I have more options about my future. 12. feel more confident in myself. 13. think I am a better person. 14. have a better idea of what I want to do after I graduate. 15. What do you think you have lear ned through your relationship? 16. What do you think your mentor has learned through your relationship? Section C: Perceptions of the Qu ality of the Mentoring Program We are always seeking ways to improve our e-mentoring program. Please choose one answer for each item pertaining to the qua lity of the program up to this point. SA A N D SD 17. The online training material was easy to access. 18. The online training material was easy to understand. 19. The online training material was helpful. 20. If I have questi ons, I can access the online training materials. 21. The website is easy to access. 22. The website offers helpful information. 23. I understand my role as a mentee. 24. The e-mail program is easy to use. 25. I am able to check my e-mail during my school day. 26. I am able to check my e-mail outside of school. 27. If there is a problem with the technology, it gets fixed in a day or two. 28. I feel my personal information is kept confidential. 29. If I have questions about the e-mail software, I can ask my teacher. 30. My teacher allows me to e-mail my

PAGE 262

249 mentor during class. 31. Do you feel connected to the other mentees? 32. The e-mails from the program coach are helpful. 33. How long did it take you to complete the online training? 34. Do you feel the training was helpful? Explain. 35. How often do you refer to the online training materials? 36. How often do you refer to the website? 37. Which sections of the Web sitesite do you access? 39. Did you participate in the blogs? Why or why not? 40. Are there any changes you would make to the program so far? 41. Is there anything else you want us to know about this program? This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @ 2001.

PAGE 263

250 Appendix R Instructor Survey 2 We would like your feedback about the mentoring pr ogram in which your class is involved. This information will help us understand your perceptions of the program, the benefits to you and your students, and suggestions for improving it. All of the data reported on this survey will be kept anonymous. Section A: Perceptions of the Effects of the Mentoring Relationship on the Mentee We are interested in your perceptions of the im pact on your students in the following areas that you think might result because of your mentoring relationship. Please check one response for each item using the following codes for your answers: SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree N: Neither Agree or Disagree D: Disagree SD: Strongly Disagree Because of the mentorin g relationship, my students SA A N D SD Support 1. feel like there are more adults who care about him/her. 2. feel like there are more people who will help him/her. Commitment to Learning 3. have a better attitude about school. 4. have better school work and test scores. 5. come to school better prepared (on time, homework done, etc.). 6. have better classroom behavior (such as paying attention and not being disruptive). 7. have better attendance in school. Boundaries and Expectations 8. feel others see him/her as more responsible. 9. feel s/he has a number of good qualities. 10. have higher expectations of him/herself. Empowerment 11. feel s/he has more future options.

PAGE 264

251 12. feel s/he is a more confident person. 13. think s/he is a better person. 14. What do you think your students have gained or learned through their mentoring relationship? 15. What do you think you have gained or learned through the mentoring program? Section B: Perceptions of the Qu ality of the Mentoring Program We are always seeking ways to improve our e-mentoring program. Please choose one answer for each item pertaining to the qua lity of the program up to this point. SA A N D SD 16. I am able to answer my students questions regarding the mentoring program. 17. I am able to answer my students questions regarding the e-mail software. 18. I am able to ask questions of the program coordinator. 19. I receive information from the program coordinator. 20. I use the information provided on the Web sitesite. 21. I am supportive of the program. 22. Do you allow your students to check their e-mail during class? (If the answer is no, skip to question 25) 23. Do you allow your students to send e-mail messages to their mentors during class? 24. Are there specific times during class that you allow your students to send messages to their mentors or receive messages from their mentors?

PAGE 265

252 25. Do you allow your students to access the Web site during the school day? 26. Is the communication between you and the program coordinator adequate? Why or why not? 27. What changes could we make to the program so far? 28. Is there anything else you want us to know about this program or your students who are participating in the program? This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @ 2001.

PAGE 266

253 Appendix S Mentor Survey 3 We would like your feedback about the mentoring program in whic h you are involved. This information will help us understand your perceptions of the program, the benefits to you and your mentee, and suggestions for improving it. All of the data reported on this survey will be kept anonymous. Section A: Background Information On average, how many times per w eek did you e-mail your mentee? ____ On average, how many times per week did your mentee-mail you? ____ Section B: Perceptions of the Effects of the Mentoring Relationship on the Mentee We are interested in your perceptions of the impact on your mentee in the following areas that you think might result because of your mentoring relationship. Please check one response for each item using the following codes for your answers: SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree N: Neither Agree or Disagree D: Disagree SD: Strongly Disagree Because of our relationship, I think my mentee SA A N D SD Support 1. feels like there are more adults who care about him/her. 2. feels like there are more people who will help him/her. Commitment to Learning 3. has a better attitude about school. 4. has better school work and test scores. 5. comes to school better prepared (on time, homework done, etc.). 6. has better classroom behavior (such as paying attention and not being disruptive). 7. has better attendance in school. Boundaries and Expectations 8. feels others see him/her as more responsible.

PAGE 267

254 9 feels s/he has a number of good qualities. 10. has higher expectations of him/herself. Empowerment 11. feel s/he has more future options. 12. feel s/he is a more confident person. 13. think s/he is a better person. 14. What do you think your mentee has gained or learned through your relationship? 15. What do you think you have gained or learned through your relationship? 16. Has your relationship cha nged your attitudes, values and understanding of young people today and the realities facing them? If so, in what ways? 17. What is easy about having a mentee? 18. What is hard about having a mentee? Section C: Perceptions of the Qu ality of the Mentoring Program We are always seeking ways to improve our e-mentoring program. Please choose one answer for each item pertaining to the qua lity of the program up to this point. SA A N D SD 19. I had enough information about the program before I began. 20. The goals of the program were clearly identified. 21. The application process was easy to follow. 22. The online training prepared me for becoming a mentor. 23. I had enough interaction with the program coordinator during the program. 24. When I had questions, I could get answers.

PAGE 268

255 25. Communicating with other mentors was helpful. 26. The Web sitesite provided additional information that helped me meet the goals of the program. 27. The e-mail program was easy to use. 28. There was technology support available if a problem occurred. 29. There was support from the program coach to help me meet the challenges of online mentoring. 30. The blogs helped me feel connected to the other mentors. 31. If I had questions, I know who to ask in order to find the answers. 32. The e-mails from the program coach were helpful. 33. What changes do you think would improve this program? 34. Is there anything else you want us to know about the program, your experience in it, or your mentee? If so, what? This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program, by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @ 2001.

PAGE 269

256 Appendix T Mentee Survey 3 We would like your feedback about the mentoring program you are involved in. This information will help us understand what you think about the program, how it has affected you, and what you think we can do to make it better. The things you tell us will not be shared with your me ntor and will be kept anonymous. Section A: Background Information On average, how many times per w eek did you e-mail your mentor? ____ On average, how many times per w eek did your mentor e-mail you? ____ Section B: Perceptions of the Effects of the Mentoring Relationship on You We want to know how you think you have changed, or not changed, because of your mentoring relationship. Please check one answ er for each of the following statements using the following codes: SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree N: Neither Agree or Disagree D: Disagree SD: Strongly Disagree Because of my relationship with my mentor, I SA A N D SD Support 1. feel like there are adults who care about me. 2. feel like there are people who will help me. Commitment to Learning 3. have a better attitude about school. 4. have better school work and test scores. 5. come to school better prepared (on time, homework done, etc.). 6. have better classroom behavior (such as paying attention and not being disruptive). 7. have better attendance in school.

PAGE 270

257 Boundaries and Expectations 8 feel others see me as more responsible. 9 feel I have a number of good qualities. 10 have higher expectations of myself. Empowerment 11 feel I have more options about my future. 12 feel more confident in myself. 13 think I am a better person. 14 have a better idea of what I want to do after I graduate. 15 What do you think you have lear ned through your relationship? 16. What do you think your mentor has learned through your relationship? Section C: Perceptions of the Qu ality of the Mentoring Program We are always seeking ways to improve our e-mentoring program. Please choose one answer for each item pertaining to the qua lity of the program up to this point. SA A N D SD 17 I had enough information about the program before I began. 18. The goals of the program were clearly identified. 19. The application process was easy to follow. 20. The online training prepared me for becoming a mentee. 21. I had enough interaction with the program coordinator during the program. 22. When I had questions, I could get answers. 23. Blogging with other mentees was helpful. 24. The Web sitesite provided additional information that helped

PAGE 271

258 me during the mentoring program. 25. The e-mail program was easy to use. 26. If there was a problem with the technology, it was fixed in a day or two. 27. There was support from my teacher during the program. 28. I felt connected to the other mentees involved in the program. 29. If I had questions, I knew who to ask in order to find the answers 30. The e-mails from the program coach were helpful. 31. What changes do you think we coul d make to improve the program? 32. Is there anything else you want tell us about the program, your experience in it, or your mentor? If so, what? This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program, by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @ 2001.

PAGE 272

259 Appendix U Instructor Survey 3 We would like your feedback about the ment oring program in which your class is involved. This information w ill help us understand your perceptions of the program, the benefits to you and your students, and sugge stions for improving it. All of the data reported on this survey will be kept anonymous. Section A: Perceptions of the Effects of the Mentoring Relationship on the Mentee We are interested in your perceptions of the impact on your stude nts in the following areas that you think might result because of your mentor ing relationship. Please check one response for each item using the following codes for your answers: SA: Strongly Agree A: Agree N: Neither Agree or Disagree D: Disagree SD: Strongly Disagree Because of the mentoring relationship, my students SA A N D SD Support 1. feel like there are more adults who care about him/her. 2. feel like there are more people who will help him/her. Commitment to Learning 3. have a better attitude about school. 4. have better school work and test scores. 5. come to school better prepared (on time, homework done, etc.). 6. have better classroom behavior (such as paying attention and not being disruptive). 7. have better attendance in school. Boundaries and Expectations 8. feel others see him/her as more responsible. 9. feel s/he has a number of good qualities. 10. have higher expectations of him/herself.

PAGE 273

260 Empowerment 11. feel s/he has more future options. 12. feel s/he is a more confident person. 13. think s/he is a better person. 14. What do you think your students have gained or learned through their mentoring relationship? 15. What do you think you have gained or learned through the mentoring program? Section B: Perceptions of the Qu ality of the Mentoring Program We are always seeking ways to improve our e-mentoring program. Please choose one answer for each item pertaining to the qua lity of the program up to this point. SA A N D SD 16. The goals of the e-mentoring program were clearly stated. 17. If I had questions, I knew how to find the answers. 18. If my students had questions about the program, I knew how to help them. 19. I was able to answer my students questions regarding the e-mail software. 20. I received adequate communication from the program coordinator. 21. I used the information provided on the Web sitesite. 22. I am supportive of the program. 23. In general, I believe this program helped my students. 24. Did you allow your students to access the computers during class to check their email? (If the answer is no, skip question 25). 25. Did any problems arise when your st udents accessed their e-mail during class? 26. What changes could we make to the program? This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @ 2001.

PAGE 274

261 Appendix V Mentor Focus Group Questions Introduction Hello, my name is Diane Culpepper and I am the program coordinator for the ementoring program. We are curre ntly in the process of eval uating the mentoring program that you are involved in. We want to hear from you about your perceptions of what is going well, what needs improvement, and a ny feedback you might have about whether the process, the technology, and the support you receive assists you in being an effective mentor. We also want to know if you think you are having an impact on your mentee. This information will not be shared directly wi th your mentee It will be used to help the us improve the program. Background 1. How often do you e-mail your mentee? 2. How often does your mentee e-mail you? 3. Where did you do your e-mentoring? 4. Why did you decide to become a mentor? 5. Have you helped your mentee in any way? 6. Has what you learned through this program changed your attitudes, values, and understanding of young people today and the realities facing them? If so, what? Ease of Implementation 7. What do you think the goals of this progr am are? (P Managing Expectations) 8. How were you recruited to become a mentor? (PRecruiting) 9. Was the application easy to complete? (P Recruiting) 10. As you know, we randomly matched you with your mentee. Should we have matched you with your mentee using a different method? (P Matching) 11. Is there something you should have known up front that would have better prepared you for this mentoring experience ? (PManaging Expectations) 12. Was the information provided in the on line training material appropriate and useful? (PS Training)

PAGE 275

262 13. Did you ever refer to the online traini ng material if you had a question about mentoring? IF so, how often? What questions did you have? Did you find the answer in the material? (PS Training) 14. Do you think it would have been beneficial to have a face-to-face training? If so, would it be an option? Would it be in lieu of the online traini ng? (PS Training) 15. Were the coaching sessions helpful? Is there anything I could do to improve them? (PS Coaching) 16. Were the discussion starters helpful? Is there anything I could do to improve them? (PS Coaching) 17. Do you feel connected to the other mentors? (PS Co mmunity Building) Impact of Technology 18. Was the online training material easy to access? (PS Training) 19. Was Gaggle.Net easy to use? Did you have any problems using it? (PS Training) 20. Did you receive support with the technology when you needed it? (PS Coaching) 21. Did you access the Web site? If so, what information did you find useful? If not, why not? (PS Training, Coaching) 22. Did you feel connected to the program coach via e-mail? Why or why not? (PS Coaching)

PAGE 276

263 Flexible Design Revisions/Impl ications for Design Changes 23. How many e-mentees do you think you could handle at one time? 24. What other type of information woul d you like to see on the Web site? (A Formative, Summative) 25. What changes could we make to improve the program? (A Formative, Summative) 26. Is there anything else we should know about the program? (A Formative, Summative) 27. Would you try e-mentoring again? (A Formative, Summative) 28. What advice would you give next years e-mentors? (A Formative, Summative) This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @2001.

PAGE 277

264 Appendix W Mentee Focus Group Questions Introduction Hello, my name is Diane Culpepper and as you know, I am the program coordinator for the e-mentoring program. We are currently in the process of evaluating the mentoring program that you are involved in. We want to hear from you about your perceptions of what is going well, what needs improvement, and any feedback you might have about whether the process, the technology, and the s upport you receive assists you in being an effective mentor. We also want to know if you think you are having an impact on your mentor. This information will not be shared dire ctly with your mentor It will be used to help the us improve the program. Background 1. How often do you e-mail your mentor? 2. How often does your mentor e-mail you? 3. What do you like about having an e-mentor? 4. What dont you like about having an e-mentor? 5. What does your family think a bout you having an e-mentor? 6. If a friend asked you about what it is lik e to have an e-mentor, what would you say? Ease of Implementation 7. What do you think the goals of this ementoring program are? (P Managing Expectations) 8. Was the application easy to complete? (P Recruiting) 9. As you know, we randomly matched you with your mentor. Should we have matched you with your mentor using a different method? (P Matching) 10. Was the information provided in the on line training material easy to understand and useful? (PS Training)

PAGE 278

265 11. Did you ever refer to the online traini ng material if you had a question about mentoring? If so, how often? What questions did you have? Did you find the answer in the material? (PS Training) 12. Do you think it would have been beneficial to have a face-to-face training? If so, would it be an option? Would it be in lieu of the online traini ng? (PS Training) 13. Do you feel like your teacher supports the program? How do you know? (PS Coaching) 14. If you had to ask for assistance (regardi ng filing out the application, accessing the Web site, using the e-mail program, et c.) during the e-mentoring program, who did you ask? (PS Coaching) 15. Were the coaching sessions helpful? Is there anything I could do to improve them? (PS Coaching) 16. Do you feel connected to the other mentees? (PS Community Building) 17. Is it important to feel connected to the other mentees? (PS Community Building) Impact of Technology 18. Was the online training material easy to access? (PS Training) 19. Was Gaggle.Net easy to use? Did you have any problems using it? (PS Training) 20. Did you receive support with the technology when you needed it? (PS Coaching) 21. Did you access the Web site? If so, what information did you find useful? If not, why not? (PS Training, Coaching) 22. Did you feel connected to the program coach via e-mail? Why or why not? (PS Coaching) Flexible Design Revisions/Impl ications for Design Changes 23. Has your mentor helped you in any way so far? If so, how? If not, is there anything he or she could he or she do that would be helpful?

PAGE 279

266 24. What other type of information woul d you like to see on the Web site? (A Formative, Summative) 25. What changes could we make to improve the program? (A Formative, Summative) 26. Is there anything else we should know about the program? (A Formative, Summative) 27. What advice would you give next years e-mentees? (A Formative, Summative) This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @ 2001.

PAGE 280

267 Appendix X Instructor Focus Group Questions Introduction Hello, my name is Diane Culpepper and I am the program coordinator for the ementoring program. We are curre ntly in the process of eval uating the mentoring program that your students are involved in. We want to hear from you about your perceptions of what is going well, what needs improvement, and any feedback you might have about whether, and in what ways, your students are benefiting from their e-mentoring relationship. We will use this information we gather to improve the program. This information will not be shared directly with the mentees or the mentors. Background 1. How many of your stude nts have mentors? 2. Do you allow your students to e-mail thei r mentors during class? When and how often? 3. How much time do you allow your students to e-mail their mentors during class time? 4. Do your students tell you about their mentors or their experiences they were having with their mentors? 5. Has there been any disruption to the cl assroom when students are e-mailing their mentors? Ease of Implementation 6. What do you think the goals of this ementoring program are? (P Managing Expectations) 7. Was the application easy for your stud ents to complete? (P Recruiting) 8. Do you feel you had enough information abou t the program to assist your students when they had questions? Why or why not? (P Managing Expectations) 9. Has the communication and interaction with the program coordinator been adequate? If not, why? (PS Coaching) Impact of Technology

PAGE 281

268 10. Did your students have any technology issues when accessing the online training materials? (PS Training) 11. Was Gaggle.Net easy for your students to use? Did you have any problems with it? (PS Training) 12. Did you receive support with the technology when you needed it? (PS Coaching) 13. Did you access the Web site? If so, what information did you find useful? If not, why not? (PS Training, Coaching) 14. Did you feel connected to the program coach via e-mail? Why or why not? (PS Coaching) Flexible Design Revisions/Impl ications for Design Changes 15. Are there any changes you would make in the level or type of communication you received from the program coach ? (A Formative, Summative) 16. Is there any other information you thi nk you should have had about the program before it began or during the course of the program? (A Formative, Summative) 17. What other type of information woul d you like to see on the Web site? (A Formative, Summative) 18. What changes could we make to improve the program? (A Formative, Summative) 19. Is there anything else we should know about the program? (A Formative, Summative) 20. Would you recommend e-mentoring be av ailable to other teachers who are considering it for their students? Why or why not? 21. Is there anything else you want to sh are with me about your students, their mentors, or the program itself? (A Formative, Summative) This survey was adapted with permission from Whats Working? Tools for Evaluating Your Mentoring Program by Rebecca N. Saito, copyright @ 2001.

PAGE 282

About the Author Diane Walsh Culpepper earned her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Central Florida in Business Administration. Af ter a period of time in the business world, she began teaching business tec hnology education cla sses at the high scho ol level. After earning her Masters of Edu cation in Vocational Education from the University of Central Florida, Diane served as a district level administrato r in the department of career and technical education for Orange County Pub lic Schools. For the past six years, she has been the director of a technical center a nd loves working with students and teachers!


xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader nam Ka
controlfield tag 001 002000952
003 fts
005 20090424124720.0
006 m||||e|||d||||||||
007 cr mnu|||uuuuu
008 090424s2008 flu s 000 0 eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a E14-SFE0002517
035
(OCoLC)319167563
040
FHM
c FHM
049
FHMM
090
LC5215 (Online)
1 100
Culpepper, Diane W.
0 245
Determining the quality and impact of an e-mentoring model on at-risk youth
h [electronic resource] /
by Diane W. Culpepper.
260
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
2008.
500
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 268 pages.
Includes vita.
502
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
504
Includes bibliographical references.
516
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
520
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research was twofold. Since e-mentoring is relatively new, there have been very few studies that have explored the impact of an e-mentoring program on both the academic and psychological outcomes of its participants. In addition, there is little research on the quality of implementing, or what we will call the working quality, of an e-mentoring model. This study addressed both. First, the study examined whether or not e-mentoring had an academic and psychological impact on 32 high school students who were at-risk of dropping out of school. The students were enrolled in a GED Exit Option program at two technical centers in a large urban school district in Florida. Each student was matched with a mentor who was a business partner and involved with one or both of the technical centers in an advisory capacity. The students and mentors were randomly matched and never met face-to-face during the program.All of their communication and mentoring was done online using a secure e-mail program. Second, the working quality of the e-mentoring model was addressed. By using the design experiment methodology during the course of the study and examining the quality of each component of the e-mentoring model as it was being implemented, revisions were made as problems were identified during each component of the e-mentoring program. The structured e-mentoring model used was based on a review of the literature and specifically on the research of Single and Muller (1999). The students, mentors, and instructors who participated were co-participants in the design and analysis and provided input using surveys and focus groups at several intervals throughout the e-mentoring program.The design experiment approach was intended to help researchers deal with and learn from events in classrooms where it is impossible to control many variables and where the objective of the research is to refine a system (e.g., an e-mentoring program) or a curriculum. Analysis of the data showed there were no significant differences between the participants and the non-participants in the program as it related to self-esteem, career indecision, attendance, and academic achievement. However, the rich dialogue that occurred throughout the program allowed the researcher to examine the working quality of the program in progress. The modifications and improvements made to the e-mentoring process will provide an excellent foundation for future e-mentoring programs.
538
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
590
Advisor: William E. Blank, Ph.D.
653
High school dropouts
Online mentoring
Self-esteem
National Mentoring Partnership
GED Exit Option
690
Dissertations, Academic
z USF
x Adult/Career and Higher Ed
Doctoral.
773
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856
u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?e14.2517