Author: Cornell Alexander Gray
MEASURING THE IMPACT OF A MENTORING PROGRAM: PREPARING AFRICAN AMERICAN MALES FOR SUCCESS BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL
The academic struggles befalling countless African American male youth have been the source of consternation in many homes, schools, and communities across America. When compared to males from other ethnic groups, as well as females, Black males often lag behind in many academic categories from elementary school through college. As a result of their educational failures, parents, educators, and even government officials have been exploring ways to resolve this dilemma. While a number of solutions have been proposed and even implemented by a variety of stakeholders, too few seem to offer reasonable rates of success to address what appears to be a growing problem among this at-risk Black male youth population.
This study examined the impact of mentoring on academic improvement and college preparation for African American teenage males participating in an organized mentoring program. Young men who took part in the New Brunswick (NJ) Kappa League mentoring program, as well as their parents, were the focus of the study. Utilizing quantitative and qualitative measures, the study evaluated the Kappa League’s success in positively impacting student academic performance while in high school, as well as the ability to help students pursue college as an after-high school option. The study found mentoring to be a viable alternative to combat some of the struggles Black males face during their high school years and when making the transition into the college arena.