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Vol. 16 No. 1 (2021)

Follow the Money or Follow the Mentors? The Impact of Mentoring on Absenteeism and Achievement in High Poverty Schools

  • Judy Jackson May
  • Diane Conway
  • Andrea D. Guice
January 25, 2021


Since the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, over 300 billion dollars have been funneled to schools through Title I funds. Qualifying school districts receive Title I funds to address disparities between disadvantaged students' academic achievement and their less impoverished peers. Substantial research has focused on the impact of funding and other significant factors on student achievement. One such significant factor impacting student achievement is chronic absenteeism, which is associated with lower student performance. Students from disadvantaged environments are more likely to miss school than students from higher-income families. This causal-comparative examination investigates the effects of a mentoring program on disadvantaged students in an urban secondary school. The findings reveal that students participating in mentoring for extended periods demonstrate significantly fewer absences, resulting in higher grade point averages. These findings indicate that low-budget school mentoring programs have a positive impact on absenteeism and student achievement.