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The Study of Mentoring in the Learning Environment (SMILE): A Randomized Evaluation of the Effectiveness of School based Mentoring
Michael J. Karcher
This randomized policy trial investigates the effect school-based mentoring (SBM). 516 students from 19 schools were randomly assigned to two groups: one group received simple supportive services, while the other group received SBM in addition to supportive services. Findings suggest SBM provides benefits to self-esteem, social support, and “connectedness to peers.” No academic performance benefits were found. Further, they find the most likely groups to receive benefits are elementary-aged males and high-school-aged females.
The findings indicate that school-based mentoring provides social and emotional benefits, more so than academic benefits. Further, the findings highlights demographics that are more likely to benefit from mentoring. These results indicate that policies should be mindful of both the outcomes they expect, as well as the groups they target.
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