Evaluating the Impact of a Mentoring Program for Gifted and Talented Students: Insights From Mentees, Mentors, and Teachers — Nielsen Pereira, Hernán Castillo-Hermosilla, Zafer Ozen, & Sarah Bright
Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 8:00 – 9:00 am, Lawrence D. McHugh Hall, Room MCHU 201
Mentoring programs are an effective service option for gifted students and are known for promoting personal and academic growth among participants (Hopp et al., 2020; Stoeger et al., 2019). However, limited research results exist focusing on the multifaceted dynamics of these programs from multiple vantage points. This study examines the efficacy of a mentoring program through an in-depth analysis of the experiences and perspectives of ten mentees, eight mentors, and six teachers involved in the program. The mentoring program was developed as part of a federally funded project aimed at providing in-school STEM enrichment opportunities to gifted students from underrepresented populations. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather rich, firsthand insights from key stakeholder groups. Students, mentors, and teachers highlighted how the mentoring program provided guidance about potential career pathways and opportunities to complete a challenging and real-world project under the guidance of content experts. Mentors and teachers emphasized how the mentoring program provided advanced enrichment opportunities to students from underserved populations who would otherwise not have had access to this type of opportunity. Presenters will discuss implications for similar mentoring programs in schools and other educational contexts.