WWC review of this study

The effects of an ethnic-based mentoring model on college adjustment, grade point average, and retention among first-year African American college students attending a predominately White institution.

Thomas III, E. N. (2005). Michigan State University.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    80
     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

Cumulative GPA

Ethnic-based mentoring model vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
80 students

2.50

2.41

No

--
Progressing in college outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Retention

Ethnic-based mentoring model vs. Business as usual

0 Semesters

Full sample;
80 students

0.96

1.00

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: 58%
    Male: 43%
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    Michigan
  • Race
    Black
    100%

Setting

The study was conducted at Michigan State University.

Study sample

All 80 study participants were freshmen at Michigan State University in 2003. All participants identified as Black. There were 34 men and 46 women in the sample. Eighteen participants came from households whose total annual income was $80,000 or more. Seventeen participants came from households whose annual income was between $45,000 and $79,999.

Intervention Group

The mentoring program occurred during the 2003-2004 academic year. Random assignment of participants occurred in October 2003 and the mentoring intervention began after participants were assigned to the intervention group. The intervention was an ethnic-based mentoring model, wherein juniors and seniors who identified as Black mentored incoming freshmen who also identified as Black. Mentors were expected to meet with their mentees once a week for an hour during the fall and spring semesters, and to take their mentees to an event once a month.

Comparison Group

Members of the comparison group were contacted once every three weeks by phone or email. Comparison group members were asked how they were doing in college but were not actively mentored. After comparison group members completed their follow-up survey, in March and April 2004, they were offered a mentor for the final month of their freshman year.

Support for implementation

Mentors received bi-weekly training and participated in a training retreat.

 

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