Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Terrence A. Tollefson

Committee Members

Patricia Robertson, James H. Lampley, Glenn Bettis


Students without caring, positive role models often make poor decisions. School personnel are aware of the need to help these students be productive members of society; therefore, they examine strategies and reforms to reach them. A mentoring program is one such intervention that is gaining in popularity.

This research study examined a mentoring program entitled the LISTEN (Linking Individual Students To Educational Needs) Mentoring Program that I developed in 2003. For the purposes of this research, the mentoring program was developed and implemented in one middle school in Northeast Tennessee. The goal of the LISTEN mentoring program was to identify at-risk students and provide them with positive adult role models, who were not necessarily their classroom teachers. The mentors worked with the students to assist in developing positive behaviors and better decision making skills.

The implementation of LISTEN was assessed throughout this study. The second component of the investigation focused on program perceptions by teachers and students. The final component of this research centered on recommendations for improving the program and enhancing the program's components for further development.

This experimental study analyzed archival data from 2004-2005 to determine the effects of the LISTEN mentoring program on identified at-risk students in grades 6 through 8 in a Northeast Tennessee middle school. Specifically, the study investigated the effects of a mentor program on students' grade-point average, discipline referrals, and attendance records.

Findings indicated that there were significant differences in students' grade-point averages, school attendance, and discipline referrals from 1 school year to the next among students who participated in the LISTEN mentor program. Students' grade-point averages increased significantly from 2003-2004 to 2004-2005 for 5 of the 6 six-week grading periods and for the entire year. Mean numbers of student discipline referrals and days absent decreased significantly for 5 of the 6 six-week grading periods from 2003-2004 to 2004-2005 and for the entire year. Contrary to typical at-risk behavior, this study showed that 54 of the original 57 participants returned to the school in the 2004-2005 school year, while only 3 students transferred to other schools.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.