Skip Navigation
Print Evaluations

Impact Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education's Student Mentoring Program

Contract Information

Current Status:

This study has been completed.

Duration:

March 2005 – August 2009

Cost:

$5,600,000

Contract Number:

ED-04-CO-0015/0002

Contractor(s):

Abt Associates
Branch Associates
Moore & Associates
Center for Resource Management

The U.S. Department of Education's Student Mentoring Program was authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act and funded at $47 million in Fiscal Year 2009. The program intended to address the lack of supportive adults in the lives of students in grades four through eight at risk for academic failure and behavioral problems. The program provided funds to schools and to community- and faith-based organizations to create school-based mentoring programs. This study evaluated the impact of this program on student outcomes.

  • Did the program assist students in developing prosocial behaviors (e.g., personal responsibility; community involvement) and in decreasing high-risk and delinquent behaviors?
  • Did the program assist students in developing stronger school engagement (e.g., increased attendance) and higher academic achievement?

The study included approximately 2,573 students from 32 mentoring grantees. The students were randomly assigned either to receive the student mentoring program or not. Outcome data collected after one school year were student self-reports and student school records. Program implementation was assessed through surveys of students, mentors, and grantees.

  • For the full sample of students, the program did not lead to statistically significant impacts on any of the targeted outcomes. Statistically significant subgroup findings included: increased self-reported scholastic efficacy and school bonding for girls, increased self-reported future orientation for boys, decreased truancy for students under age 12, and decreased self-reported prosocial behavior for boys.
  • Approximately a third of the students in the control group received mentoring services from mentoring providers that were not part of the study. Eight-five percent of the mentored students in the treatment group reported meeting with their mentors at least twice a month compared to 66 percent of the mentored students in the control group.

The final report, titled Impact Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education's Student Mentoring Program: Final Report, was released in March 2009.

Other publications from this study are listed below.

A restricted-use file containing de-identified data is available for the purposes of replicating study findings and secondary analysis.