A case study of a mentoring program for at-risk fourth and fifth-grade African American male students

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

John H. Croghan, Committee Chair


This study described a mentor program that was established for at-risk fourth and fifth grade African American male students at Lake Park Elementary School in Naples, Florida. The program was designed to match children with African American adult male professionals from the community. The adult males served as role-models for the students throughout the 1991-1992 school year.Subjects included eleven boys who were selected from criteria which included: children from single-parent homes, standardized test scores, previous grade retentions, self-concept scores, and presence of social/behavioral problems at school. Eleven pairs were observed throughout the program's implementation using a case study approach. Interviews with mentors, proteges, parents, as well as observations of the planned relationships, and school records were used in data collection. The Self-Perception Profile for Children was administered to determine self-concept changes in the proteges. A similar group of students was identified and used for comparison purposes.Narrative descriptions of the mentoring matches, and a cross-case analysis of the interview data were employed on the qualitative data to determine the satisfaction of the relationships.Findings revealed the following: (1) Eight of the eleven matches produced satisfied relationships, based on frequency of interaction, the level of communications and emotional closeness, and the amount of shared commitment and trust. (2) Youth felt better about themselves, their friends, and their school with mentor encouragement, communication, and support. (3) Self-worth scores increased in five of the eight proteges in satisfied relationships, and decreased in two of the three proteges in dissatisfied relationships. (4) Emotional disappointment occurred in students in the three dissatisfied relationships. (5) Academic achievement of the protege group, based on grades, did not change, but scores on the Stanford Achievement Test increased.


Education, Bilingual and Multicultural; Education, Guidance and Counseling; Education, Elementary

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