Academic Mentoring and Dropout Prevention for Students in Math, Science and Technology

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Published: 
Nov. 01, 2011

Source: Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Vol. 19, No. 4, November 2011, 419–439.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)


The authors examined the effect of a new academic mentoring program on student academic integration, success and persistence.

Specifically, the authors focused on the MIRES program (Mentoring for the Integration and Success of Science Students) aimed at preventing student dropout in math, science and technology.
The MIRES program was implemented in two colleges in the Quebec City area, with the aim of helping students persevere within math, science and technology (MST) programs.

The authors hypothesize that students randomly assigned to the MIRES program will show greater levels of motivation in their science studies, be better adjusted to college life, have a more positive career decision profile and show greater levels of success and perseverance in their science program than students randomly assigned to a control group condition. 

Participants and Procedure

The sample of this study included three hundred and seven students newly admitted into science and technology programs in the fall of 2006 at two colleges in the Quebec City area.

The participants were randomly assigned to experimental group and control group.
One hundred and fifty students were assigned to the program (experimental group) and 157 to a control group (i.e., the regular academic path followed by first-year college students).

Eighty percent of the 307 participants were enrolled in natural science programs, 12% in a science and art program, and 8% were in computer science.
Fifty-three percent were women and the average age was 16.7 years old.
 

Discussion

The results showed that participation in the MIRES programs had positive effects on motivation, career decision profile (decidedness, comfort, self-clarity and knowledge of the field), college adjustment and academic success and persistence of students.

The findings also revealed that the MIRES program had a greater impact on the perseverance of male, rather than female students.

The findings suggest that academic and vocational mentoring is useful in enhancing motivation for MST careers and preventing students from dropping out from this field.

Updated: Jul. 08, 2013
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