Wright, Mellissa Kay (2019). Mentorship matters: The role of mentorship in social capital building and student achievement outcomes.
A number of qualitative studies examining student achievement outcomes in higher education show that access to social capital is an important predictor of student success. Critical Race Theory (CRT), and other qualitative studies, examining student outcomes have operationalized social capital in terms of access to information. Most of these qualitative studies found that a student's social class and race mediated their access to quality mentors who could provide access to critical social capital. In this study, data from the longitudinal ADD Health Study was used in order to test the generalizability of findings in the CRT and qualitative literature. Logistic regressions using odds ratios were used to examine the relationship between individual characteristics found to be at risk of early attrition in higher education and types of mentors identified by the respondents. Logistic regressions using odds ratios were also used to determine if there were any relationship between individual characteristics found to be protective against early attrition and types of mentors identified by respondents. Finally, a variety of regressions were run in order to determine if there were any relationships between individual risk factors, protective factors, mentors, and educational outcomes including access to higher education in Waves 3 and 4, attrition, completion, and educational aspirations. Final results show that mentorship does matter, but not always in ways expected. The results both support and fail to support the qualitative literature. The findings encourage further exploration into individual and institutional contextual variations that impact mentoring, as well as other potential sources of mentorship.
Wright, Mellissa Kay
Michigan State University
City of Publication
Ann Arbor, MI