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Abstract of Presentation

This workshop will describe a mentoring program within a First Year Experience course provided by graduate counseling students at a large, urban, diverse, Comprehensive, public university. The training of the graduate students and faculty, the interventions used, and the outcomes of student development with and without mentors will be shared.


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Research Funding

  • State of California Educational Opportunity Program discretionary funds

  • California lottery funds

    • Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs

    • Assessment Program


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Mentoring on the Run

A creative process developed by CSU Northridge faculty and staff [and named by Gordon Nakagawa] who have learned to infuse mentoring into their everyday interactions with students such as through teaching and advising. “Mentoring on the run” is done on an everyday basis, not just by special appointment in formal or one-on-one interactions.


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Three Organizing Principles

  • Emphasizing the significance of “mentoring on the run” and training faculty, staff, and peer mentors in this approach;

  • Building a “community of mentors” to provide a network of support and resources for individual mentors; and

  • Promoting a “culture of mentoring” on our campus to infuse consciousness of mentoring into all aspects of faculty-staff-student interactions.


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Retention and Graduation

CSU-Northridge Educational Opportunity Program Director José Luis Vargas found that the single most important factor associated with high retention and graduation rates for low-income, first-generation college students was their ability to find a mentor at CSUN.


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“Mentoring…is increasingly   looked to today as a retention   strategy and enhancement   strategy for undergraduate   education.”(Jacobi, 1991, p. 505)


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Mentors nurture the potential in students by:

  • helping them make a self-assessment of their strengths and weaknesses,

  • by providing them challenging new situations to promote growth, and

  • by offering support as they take up these new challenges.

    Vicki Orazem, Vice Provost, University of Alaska


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The Primary Reasons for Mentoring (1 of 2):

  • to give students a support system with a mentor and a connection through that mentor to other campus and organizational resources and networks;

  • to provide peer awareness of others in the peer mentoring program in order to diminish protégé’s sense of isolation;


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The Primary Reasons for Mentoring (2 of 2):

  • to provide realistic support and feedback regarding protégés’ current and future status;

  • to develop greater protégé self-awareness of strengths and abilities; and

  • to provide relationship with caring and concerned mentors, enhancing the linkage of protégés to the institution.


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Theoretical Grounding

  • Alexander Astin’s theory of student involvement

  • Vincent Tinto’s theory of social integration

  • Nakagawa’s and Omatsu’s mentoring theories

  • Hirsch’s ‘flashpoint model’


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Graduate Student Mentors

  • First year College Counseling/ Student Services master’s students in CACREP accredited program.

  • Used experience to complete first year counseling contact hours.

  • Supervised by practicum instructor and monitored by graduate program coordinator.


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Mentoring milieu (1 of 2)

  • As part of first semester UNIV-100 (a FYE course) at a large, urban, diverse, comprehensive, public university.

    • Developmental students were represented at same level as institution as a whole.


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Mentoring milieu (2 of 2)

  • Mentors attended the UNIV 100 class each session and also met with students outside the class as a class assignment in order to:

    • Provide support,

    • To discuss current issues of concern

    • To provide campus resources  information.


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Mentor Training

  • Trained by Faculty Mentor trainers (Rie Rogers Mitchell & Glenn Omatsu) during fall practicum course.

  • Focused on listening, accepting, and supporting skills; and preparing for potential problems that may arise.

  • Had advanced CC/SS student share her experiences.


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Research Questions

  • What characteristics do first-year students who meet with a mentor have versus those who don't?

  • Will first-year students with a more internal locus of control seek out a mentor more than those with an external locus of control?


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Anticipated Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire

  • 67 item instrument (Baker & Siryk, 1985)

  • Asks about student’s expectations in terms of their anticipated expectations of adapting to college.

  • Measures various experiences in adapting to college using a 9-point Likert scale.

  • Four sub-scales


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Four sub-scales of the ASACQ

  • Social adjustment (24 items)

  • Academic adjustment (20 items)

  • Personal/emotional adjustment (15 items)

  • Goal commitment/institutional attachment (15 items) [8 items overlap with P/E scale]


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Reliability of the ASACQ

  • Full scale (with five administrations to 327 male and female students) Cronbach alpha coefficient: .93 - .95

  • Subscale reliabilities: .78 - .95

  • Subscale correlations between the three subscales without overlapping items: .36 to .66


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Mentoring Model Classification Tree (1 of 2)

  • The exhaustive CHAID (Chi-squared Automatic Interaction Detector) algorithm of SPSS’ AnswerTree 3.1 was used to derive a classification tree to determine who among freshmen students was likely or not likely to meet with a mentor.


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Mentoring Model Classification Tree (2 of 2)

  • Classification trees are a sub-group of data mining techniques widely used in market segmentation studies. These classification systems are used to predict membership in a group (generally a categorical dependent variable) from a set of predictor variables.


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Predictors Included for Model Building

  • ASACQ Items:

    • Academic Adjustment Scale Score

    • Social Adjustment Scale Score

    • Personal-Emotional Adjustment Scale Score

    • Institutional Attachment Scale Score

    • All 67 ASACQ Items (when none of the scales above were selected as predictors)


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Background Variables (1 of 2)

  • Developmental Student Status

  • UNIV 100 Status

  • High School GPA

  • Ethnicity

  • Place of Residence

  • Commitment to major

  • Hours employed per week

  • Units enrolled


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Background Variables (2 of 2)

  • Likelihood to Complete College

  • Parental Support toward College

  • Parental Support toward CSUN

  • Pre Full Scale Score

  • English as First Language

  • Plan Meeting with Academic Advisor

  • Plan Meeting with Instructor

  • Plan Meeting with Mentor


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Derived Model

  • Slide 25, presents an overall “picture” of the derived classification tree for mentoring.

  • Slide 26, explains how to “read” the tree; and

  • Slides 30-31 present segments of the tree with distinguishing characteristics for students meeting and not meeting with a mentor, along with their respective probabilities.


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Reading the Tree

  • Each of the numbered squares represents a “Node” consisting of cases meeting a specific condition as derived from the predictors.

  • Node “0” shows the number and percentage of cases for students meeting (68%) and not meeting (32%) with a mentor.

  • To read the tree, one starts at an “end node” (i.e., node 3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, & 15) and “reads” upwards to determine which predictors are included in the correct classification of students meeting or not meeting with a mentor.


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Eight variables selected as the best predictors (at p < .05.)[1 of 3]

  • Parental Support toward College

  • Plan to have Meeting with Instructor

  • ASACQ Item 3: “I expect to to keep up to date on my academic work.”

  • ASACQ Item 15: “I expect to to be pleased about my decision to go to college.”


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Eight variables selected as the best predictors (at p < .05.)[2 of 3]

  • ASACQ Item 31: “I expect to to give considerable thought to whether I should ask for psychological services at the University, or from a psychotherapist outside of CSUN.”

  • ASACQ Item 32: “I expect to to have doubts regarding the value of a college education.”


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Eight variables selected as the best predictors (at p < .05.)[3 of 3]

  • ASACQ Item 53:“I expect to to feel that I have good control over my life situation at CSUN.”

  • ASACQ Item 56:“I expect to to feel that I am very different from other students at CSUN, in ways that I don’t like.”


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Continued on next page

Derived Tree (1 of 3)

Q 31 = “I expect to to give        considerable thought        to whether I should        ask for psychological        services at the        University, or from a        psychotherapist        outside of CSUN.”


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Q3 = “I expect to keep up          to date on my          academic work.”

Q53 = “I expect to feel          that I have good          control over my life          situation at CSUN.”

Q56 = “I expect to feel            that I am very            different from other           students at CSUN, in           ways that I don’t           like.”

Derived Tree (2 of 3)

Continued on next page


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Derived Tree (3 of 3)

Q3 = “I expect to keep up to date             on my academic work.”

Q56 = “I expect to be pleased about            my  decision to go to college.”

Q32 = “I expect to have doubts              regarding the value of a              college education.”

Continued from previous page


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Overall, 82% of cases could be correctly classified into their corresponding category

  • 79% correctly classified as meeting with mentor

  • 94% correctly classified as not meeting with mentor


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Significant findings

  • The more supportive parents are toward students attending college, the greater the likelihood that they will meet with a mentor:

    • 72% probability that student will meet if parent is supportive (Node 2); vs.

    • 62% probability that student will not meet if parent is only somewhat/not supportive (Node 1).


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Significant findings (cont.)

  • The more a student “feel[s] different from other students” (Q56), the least likely he/she is to meet with a mentor (Node 5, 6, 8); however, if they also have less personal control (Q53), the more likely they are to meet with a mentor (Node 17).

  • Students planning at the onset of the semester to “keep up” with their academic work (Q3) are more likely to meet with mentor (Node 5, 6, 7), vs. those that don not (Node 8).

  • Students failing to see the value of a college education (Q32) are not likely to meet with a mentor; even when they expect to be pleased with their decision to attend college (Q15).


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Future Mentoring Plans

  • Train CC/SS students in summer before class begins.

  • Coordinate further with UNIV 100 faculty before start of course.

  • Consider also using post-UNIV 100 upper-class students as mentors in courses.

  • Focus on those students who are most amenable to mentoring.


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References(1 of 2)

Baker, R., McNeil, O., & Siryk, B. (1985). Expectation and reality in freshman adjustment to college. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 32, 94-103.

Galbraith, M., & Cohen, N. (Eds.) (1995). Mentoring: New strategies and challenges. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hirsch, G. (2001). Helping college students succeed: A model for effective intervention. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner-Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Jacobi, M. (1991). Mentoring and undergraduate academic success: A literature review. Review of Educational Research, 61(4), 505-532.

Kram, K. E. (1988).Mentoring at work: Developmental relationships in organizational life. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

Murrell, A. J., Crosby, F. J., & Ely, R. J. (Eds.). (1999). Mentoring dilemmas:               Developmental relationships within multicultural organizations (The Applied               Social Research Series). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence-Erlbaum.


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References(2 of 2)

Nakagawa, G. (n.d.) Faculty mentoring resource booklet. Retrieved March 3, 2003 from California State University, Northridge Web site: http://www.csun.edu/eop/htdocs/fmp%20manual.pdf

Omatsu, G. (n.d.) The power of peer mentoring. Retrieved March 3, 2003 from California State University, Northridge Web site: http:/www.csun.edu/eop/htdocs/peermentoring.pdf

Schwiebert, V. L. (2000). Mentoring: Creating connected, empowered relationships. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Thile, E. L. & Matt, G. E. (1995). The ethnic mentor undergraduate program: A brief description and preliminary findings. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 23(2), 116-126.

        Tovar, E. (1999). Use of predictive modeling in the identification of dropout-       prone community college students. Unpublished master’s thesis, California        State University, Northridge.


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Excellence in Graduate Counseling Student Mentoring within First Year Experience Courses

Merril Simon, Ph.D., NCCC, RPC and

Rie Rogers Mitchell, Ph.D., ABPP

California State University, Northridge

Esau Tovar, M.S.

Santa Monica College

American Counseling Association Annual Conference

March 24, 2003 • Anaheim, California


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