Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Morgen Houchard


This phenomenological study examined the mentoring experience of five students involved in a community-based mentoring program developed to guide high ability, low-socioeconomic students from sixth grade through high-school graduation and on to college acceptance and graduation. This study explored, from student perspectives, how each student experienced and interpreted their personal mentoring relationship. Additionally, it explored each student’s perception of how the mentoring experience influenced his or her academic achievement and academic self-efficacy. The study followed an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach and was guided by Rhodes’s mentoring model and Bandura’s work with self-efficacy. Following the analysis protocol developed by Jonathan Smith, semi-structured, in-depth interviews were used as the data source. The researcher conducted several readings of the interview transcripts in order to identify emerging themes. Connected themes were organized into higher-level superordinate themes. A complete analysis was conducted for each interview transcript before moving to the next transcript. After all transcripts were analyzed with themes and superordinate themes having been identified, the researcher looked for connections and patterns between the transcripts as a whole. The quality of mentoring relationship emerged as the most significant superordinate theme, as it influenced the other superordinate themes of mentee social-emotional, cognitive, identity, and self-efficacy development. The superordinate theme of external moderating influences included the mentoring program, the individual mentee’s dispositions, and the mentees’ parents shaped the atmosphere that either facilitated or hindered the mentoring relationship. Few studies have examined the mentoring experience from the mentee’s perspective, particularly as it influences self-efficacy and academic outcomes. As such, this study addressed the gap in the literature as it relates to student perspectives of mentoring outcomes.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.