Impact of Youth Mentoring as an Academic Service-Learning Experience for College Students

Rehm, Sasha, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Mintz, Susan, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Lawrence, Edith, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Locasale-Crouch, Jennifer, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Van Hover, Stephanie, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Susan Mintz, Advisor This study examined the relationship between mentor characteristics, beliefs about youth, relational communication skills, and the closeness of the mentoring relationship. To evaluate the effect of youth mentoring on college students participating in an academic service learning experience, it is important to examine positive mentoring outcomes that enhance learning for the mentor, and strengthen the mentoring relationship. College women mentors, age 18 to 22 years, were paired with middle school girls, age 11 to 14 years, for weekly one-on-one and group mentoring in an 8-month, school-based youth mentoring program. For the first 4-months of the program, college women mentors participated in an academic service-learning course where curriculum and instruction were aimed at enhancing students' understanding of and ability to relate to adolescent girls. For the sampled 40 college women mentors participating in the program, mentor's self-reported beliefs about youth and relational communication processes were measured in a pretest-posttest design. The mentor's perception of the closeness of the mentoring relationship was also measured. Through multiple regression analysis, the association between the mentors' youth-centered beliefs, relational skills and the closeness of the mentoring relationship were examined. Although there no were significant changes in neither mentors' beliefs nor mentors' relational communication skills from the beginning to the end of the academic service-learning course, mentors' strong academic standing was positively correlated with both youth-centered beliefs and close mentoring relationships. Finally, higher levels of cultural sensitivity and relational communication skills were positively related to close mentoring relationships. Implications for mentoring academic service-learning programs that use college students as youth mentors are discussed. Departmcm of Curriculum and Itl.'ltruction Curry School of Education University of Virginia CharloUesville, Virginia APPROVAL OF THE DISSBRTATION TI,is dissertation. "Impact of Mentoring as an Academic Servicc-Learning has been approved by the Graduate Faculty orthe Curry School of Education in partial f, lfiUment orthe requirements lor the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Dr. Edith Lawrence, Committee Member Dr. Stc:pbanie Vall Rover, Committee Member Date For all of my inspirational mentors at every level of education.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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