This qualitative descriptive study included a pool of 22 middle and high school students who participated in the Stand By Me Mentoring Program during the 2010-2011 school year, exploring their perceptions related to the positive and negative aspects of their mentoring relationship, the positive and negative aspects of the impact of their mentoring relationship, and the positive and negative aspects of the mentoring program. Focus group interviews were used to collect data from the participants. Questions asked during the focus group interviews were modified with permission from What's Working? Tools For Evaluating Your Mentor Program, by Saito (2001) for The Search Institute. The interview questions were semi-structured, which allowed the researcher to engage in an authentic conversation with the participants and also allowed the researcher to probe the participants' reasoning for their answers, if needed. After the focus group interviews were complete, the researcher engaged in a multiple step data analysis process that involved qualitative coding and sorting. Five key positive themes (trust, help, academic support, support system, and care) and 1 key negative theme (a fear of disappointment) were related to the first research question. Three key positive themes (acknowledgement, trust building, and academic support) were related to the second research question. Only 1 key positive theme (never needed support: students responded that they never experienced a difficult time in their mentoring relationship with which they needed their mentoring facilitator to help them resolve) was related to research question 3. The researcher drew 3 conclusions from the findings, as well as 5 recommendations for mentoring practice and 3 recommendations for future mentoring research.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership, administration, and policy; Mentoring in education

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Rumack, Jennifer;