WWC review of this study

Female peer mentors early in college increase women’s positive academic experiences and retention in engineering.

Dennehy T.C., & Dasgupta, N. (2017). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(23), 5964.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    145
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: July 2021

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Year 1 GPA

Peer mentoring program vs. Business as usual

0 Years

Full sample;
145 students

3.11

3.09

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 100%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
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    • P
    • M
    • N
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    • V
    • U
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    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
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    • w
    • y

    Massachusetts
  • Race
    Asian
    17%
    Black
    3%
    Other or unknown
    13%
    White
    67%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    3%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    97%

Setting

The study was conducted at a four-year public university with female students who were entering an engineering major.

Study sample

All of the students in the study were female. Two-thirds (67%) of the students were White, 17.3% were Asian American, 2.7% were African American. Only 2.7% were Hispanic. There was no information about students' financial status.

Intervention Group

Mentor–mentees met in person roughly once a month and mentors kept track of their interactions using online surveys. However, the authors did not provide further details.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition was a business-as-usual condition in which students did not have a mentor.

Support for implementation

No support for implementation was described.

 

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