رابطه برنامه مشاوره مبتنی بر کار برای عملکرد تحصیلی و رفتار دانشجویان آمریکایی آفریقایی تبار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|8292||2001||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6491 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 59, Issue 3, December 2001, Pages 310–325
Using a sample of 202 African American students from four urban high schools, this study examined participation in a work-based mentoring program in relation to academic performance and behavior. Based on the program's academic goals, the unique characteristics of mentoring programs, and social learning theory, it was anticipated that participating in the program would be related positively to grades and attendance. Results indicated that participating in the program for more than half the academic year had a significant, positive relation with students' grade point averages and attendance rates after controlling for their previous-year GPA and attendance. This relation was not significant for those who participated in the program over a shorter period of time. Implications of the results for the career development of African Americans are discussed and areas for future research are identified.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The results of this study may be evidence that participating in awork-based mentoring program that targets improved academic performance is related positively to student grades and school attendance. If this relationship is found in further studies, these types of programs could help to minimize some of the school-side obstacles faced by many Black students in their transition from school to work. These results are noteworthy in light of the belief that improving academic skills and enhancing academic outcomes are both very challenging objectives for workbased learning programs (Hughes & Moore, 1999; Hughes, Moore, & Bailey, 1999; Stern, 1997). The positive relation between longer term participation and the grades of the African American students in this study may be evidence that programs like these also can be a step in achieving a longer term objective of academic equality across racial populations. Equally important, the program may be related positively to the students’ motivation to learn, as evidenced by their improved school attendance. Thus, participation in these programs may help to dispel further the inaccurate stereotype that African American students have lower motivation to learn than do White students (Graham, 1994).Although encouraging, the positive relation of work-based mentoring to academic performance and behavior may not be solely attributable to the mentor– student interaction, since directly assessing the mentor’s impact on the student was outside the scope of this study. It is plausible that these results are due to some other facet of the program. For example, mentors had to prepare a detailed plan to integrate the work experience of the student with the student’s academic curriculum. This process alone may have contributed to the enhancement of the students’ grades, an outcome consistent with the contextual learning perspective of school-to-work programs (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Raizen, 1989). Another alternative explanation for the findings is that the selection process used by the employers acted as a mechanism to choose the most qualified students.If true, the results may be due more to the quality of the students chosen in the first half of the year than to the duration of the students’ interaction with their mentors. To test this, a subsample of only those students placed with mentors was created and two regression models were run. In the first, 1997 GPA was regressed on the longer program duration variable, along with the school variables, gender, lambda, and 1996 GPA; in the second model, 1997 attendance was regressed on the same control variables and the previous year’s attendance instead of GPA. In both models, the duration variable was not significant thus indicating that the employer selection process did not initially weed out the poorer performing and less motivated students. The present results also may be due to a selection effect alone, attributable not to mentoring, but to simply being selected to participate in the program. Although this explanation is feasible, both the nonsignificant program participation variable and the significant, longer term program duration variable for both grades and attendance may indicate that the results are not merely due to being selected for the program. The positive relation between longer term participation and academic outcomes may suggest that a mentor’s influence may take time to develop or the other features of these programs need sufficient time to show results. The length of time needed to produce these results also may differ across individuals, which raises important issues concerning the common practice of tying school-to-work programs to an academic calendar.Other limitations of the study include its nonexperimental design. Although Heckman’s sample selection term was used to mitigate the effect of the quasiexperimental design on the internal validity of the study, it does not completely offset the limitations of a field study design of this type (LaLonde, 1986). Additionally, the fact that participating in the program for less than half a year was not related significantly to the outcomes may be attributable to measuring student grades and behavior over an entire year. A relationship between these outcomes and shorter term contact with a mentor may be found if the outcomes are measured over shorter durations. Despite these limitations and alternative explanations, the positive results of this study are in contrast to the literature that paints a rather bleak picture of the present and future academic achievements of many African American students. This literature not only highlights the academic underachievement of African American students as a group (Bankston & Calas, 1997; Keith & Benson, 1992; Mickelson, 1990; Steinberg, Dornbusch, & Brown, 1992), but also has indicated that working while in high school may be more detrimental to the academic outcomes of African American and Latino students than it is for White or Asian students (Oettinger, 1998). Oettinger (1998) suggested that these differences may be due to the types of jobs held by racial minorities. Typically, these jobs do not complement the academic curriculum as well as do jobs held by White or Asian students. As such, they crowd out the time students otherwise could use for studying. The findings of the present study suggest that school-to-work programs that integrate work and the school curriculum and offer quality work experiences with adult mentors could resolve some of these issues for Black students.Testing the influence of the mentor on the student should be a critical component in any future research that assesses program effectiveness. For example, racial and gender similarity/dissimilarity between the adult and student may be antecedents of academic outcomes, just as they have been in prot´eg´e attitudes toward their mentors (Ensher & Murphy, 1997). Such similarities and differences between mentors and prot´eg´es have been an area of study in the organizational literature (Ragins, 1997a, 1997b; Thomas, 1993); if these effects also were found in adult– youth relationships, one implication may be that it takes longer to produce and detect benefits of mentoring in dissimilar, adult–youth dyads than in similar pairs. This would suggest program administrators should consider using longer terms for their programs (more than an academic year) to allow mentoring relationships to develop fully before measuring outcomes of dissimilar mentor–prot´eg´e pairs. This study also can help guide future research related to the career development of African Americans and, in particular, the applicability of social cognitive theory to African American students.Work-based, adult mentoring programs provide opportunities for vicarious learning and social persuasion, both of which are believed to be significant determinants of self-efficacy (Lent, Brown, & Hackett,1994). Although some previous research has shown evidence that mentoring does not have a direct influence on self-efficacy (Seibert, 1997), the present results suggest at least this particular type of mentoring may be related to specific academic outcomes. These outcomes, in turn, may enhance prot´eg´e self-efficacy beliefs. Future research perhaps should focus on the feedback effects of enhancing academic performance and behavior for students’ self-efficacy beliefs and subsequently their career interests, goals, and behavior (Lent, Hackett, & Brown, 1999).Social cognitive theory also posits that both distal and proximal contextual barriers affect early learning experiences and later choice behavior throughout an individual’s career (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 2000). These barriers are construed as obstacles to the development of positive outcome expectations and are based on the individual’s perception of the environment. Future research with African American and other racial minority students should examine how improved academic outcomes may affect an individual’s outcome expectations and perceptions of the barriers imposed by racial discrimination (Brown, 1995; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 2000; Leong & Brown, 1995). In sum, this study has provided initial evidence that work-based programs, at least those with a longer duration, with clear academic goals are related positively to academic outcomes for African American students. This not only has implications for the career development of African Americans, but may also encourage more businesses to participate in school-to-work initiatives. These, and other early work experiences, are part of students’ anticipatory socialization to work (Greenhaus, Callanan, & Godshalk, 2000) and, if properly managed, may help reduce turnover at the entry level. As businesses demand greater skills for their entry-level positions, not only must programs that demonstrate a clear relationship to student learning continue to operate and be studied, but additional research testing their longer term effects should be done as well