First Advisor

Robert B. Everhart

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Administration


Educational Leadership




Mentoring in education -- Oregon -- Milwaukie; High school dropouts -- Oregon -- Milwaukie -- Attitudes; High school students -- Oregon -- Milwaukie -- Attitudes; School attendance -- Oregon -- Milwaukie; Academic achievement -- Oregon -- Milwaukie



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, xi, 241 leaves)


This study examined the effect of a staff-mentoring program with students identified as at-risk of becoming early leavers. This mentoring program, Caring About Kids Effectively (CAKE), was implemented at a suburban secondary school in Oregon serving grades 9 through 12.

The study of the CAKE program had four research components: (a) indicators of school success (GPA, attendance, and attitudes toward school) were compared between at-risk students and those not at-risk; (b) indicators of school success were analyzed over the time at-risk students were mentored to find any significant change; (c) indicators of school success and enrollment status at graduation was compared between students at-risk, with and without mentors; and (d) participants' perceptions of the mentoring program, using a researcher-constructed questionnaire given to mentees and mentors to determine activities that were successful and those which needed reevaluation.

Using analysis of covariance, the findings showed: (a) a significant difference (p < .05) in attitudes, GPA, and attendance at the beginning of the study between two groups of students identified as at-risk and not at-risk; (b) a significant difference (p< .05) in attitude toward school at the end of Year 1 between those students at-risk with mentors scoring higher than at-risk without mentors and not at-risk students; (c) GPA and attendance declined for at-risk students, with or without mentors, although at-risk students with a mentor seemed to lessen the decline; and (d) no significant differences (E< .05) in GPA and attendance between at-risk with or without mentors, although more at-risk students with mentors continued in school or received GEDs after four years. Finally, students and staff agreed (75%) that they were “satisfied” that the mentor program helped at-risk students develop positive attitudes toward school; however, only half were satisfied concerning their participation, and felt that administrative support and time available to meet with students were crucial to the success of a mentor program.

Based upon these findings, it was concluded that the CAKE staff-mentoring program had a positive influence on attitude toward school and retention of at-risk students.


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