Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 2012


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

James Henderson

Committee Member

Carol Parke

Committee Member

Mary C. Assetta


At-risk students, Peer mentoring, School climate, School connectedness


The intent of this research is to determine the impact of a peer mentoring/tutoring program on parent perceptions of school climate and connectedness and standardized test scores, report card grades and attendance of at risk elementary students. Peer mentoring has been found to be effective in addressing some of the concerns regarding at risk student performance in the school environment and eventual school outcomes. This study uses quantitative methods to determine the effect of this intervention on this population. A school climate/connectedness survey completed by parents of the students participants in a Cross Age Peer Mentoring Program (CAPM Program) and standardized test scores, report card grades and attendance patterns were examined prior to and following student participation in the program. Subjects included 32 elementary students with n=10 for first grade, n=6 for second, n=8 for fourth and n=8 for fifth. The students were cross age paired, primary with intermediate to participate in a mentoring program. Parents of participating students were asked to complete the Comprehensive School Climate Inventory prior to and following their child's participation in the program to determine if perceptions of school climate and connectedness changed as a result of their child's participation in the program. Analysis of the survey result, pre and post participation was accomplished using dependent sample t-tests to discern differences in the mean scores for the survey factors, including Safety, Teaching and Learning, Relationships and Institutional Environment and the Unified Scale. Teaching and Learning items were combined to obtain a Climate score and Interpersonal Relationships and Institutional Environment provided a Connectedness measure Climate and Connectedness. The null hypothesis was rejected, with results of the dependent t-tests showing significant differences in all but the Safety and Institutional Environment factors.

Attendance variables were found to be significant for all participants, mentees and a group identified as at risk for attendance. Academic variable for mentors included standardized test results and grade percentages, pre and post for both. Analysis of these scores and grade outcomes provided mixed results, with significant differences noted in standardized test scores, but no difference in the means of grade percentages.