News & Events

Dr. Alexandra Werntz to be featured speaker at 2024 Summer Mentoring Institute on Youth Mentoring

Dr. Alexandra Werntz to be featured speaker at 2024 Summer Mentoring Institute on Youth Mentoring

May 6, 2024 - MentorPRO Research Director, Dr. Alexandra Werntz, will be a featured speaker at the 15th annual Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring will be held in-person at Portland State University July 22-25, 2024. The upcoming Summer Institute will address the intentional focus of activities within the mentoring relationship. Sessions with leading scholars will explore how the choice of activities is influenced by needs, goals, and attitudes at the participant level and also by priorities and outcomes emphasized at the program level. The Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring offers an intensive four-day seminar for experienced mentoring professionals to engage in highly interactive discussions providing an in-depth view of theory and research and examining implications for program policies and practices. Ideal participants have several years of experience in the field of youth development and are seeking an advanced professional development opportunity. The Summer Institute is co-sponsored by MENTOR and MENTOR Canada.Featured speakers for 2024 will include Allison Cloth (University of British Columbia), Kristian Jones (University of Washington), Davi Lakind (Mercer University), Michael Lyons (University of Virginia), Sam McQuillin (University of South Carolina), Manolya Tanyu (American Institutes for Research), and Alexandra Werntz (Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring and MentorPRO). To learn more and to apply, please visit the Summer Institute website (http://www.pdx.edu/youth-mentoring/) Space is limited, and the application deadline is May 10, 2024. Learn more about this topic.

MentorPRO co-founder Jean Rhodes receives 2024 American Psychologist Association Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research in Community Psychology Award

MentorPRO co-founder Jean Rhodes receives  2024 American Psychologist Association Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research in Community Psychology Award

May 2, 2024 - MentorPRO is excited to announce that Dr. Jean Rhodes has been chosen to share the 2024 Award for Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research in Community Psychology. The Award for Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research in Community Psychology is presented annually to an individual whose career of high quality and innovative research and scholarship has resulted in a significant contribution to the body of knowledge in Community Psychology. This award was initiated in 1974. Jean has devoted her career to improving the practice of both natural and assigned mentoring. Learn more about this topic.

MentorPRO Co-Founder, Professor Jean Rhodes, Appointed to Editorial Board of the Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition

MentorPRO Co-Founder, Professor Jean Rhodes, Appointed to Editorial Board of the Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition

April 10, 2024 - Boston, MA – MentorPRO, a pioneering, evidence-based platform dedicated to enhancing student success through mentorship, is thrilled to announce that our co-founder, Frank L. Boyden Professor of Psychology Jean Rhodes, of the University of Massachusetts Boston, has been appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, a leading publication that focuses on the challenges and opportunities of the first-year college experience. Professor Rhodes' expertise in mentorship and her innovative perspective on student success will greatly contribute to the journal's mission of promoting effective strategies to support students during this pivotal time.

Co-founder Jean Rhodes to deliver keynote address at the European Mentoring Summit

Co-founder Jean Rhodes to deliver keynote address at the European Mentoring Summit

April 24, 2024 - Mentoring is among the most popular forms of volunteering in the world. But how can programs expand their reach while retaining quality and effectiveness. Striking this balance is not easy—and there has been a tendency, particularly in the US, to privilege rhetoric and growth over reality and rigor. The truth is that mentoring programs have the capacity to be enormously effective, and to bridge service gaps in ways that democratize wellness and opportunity. Nonetheless, far too few programs are sufficiently grounded in science to deliver on this promise. This talk will provide an overview of past failures and successes and provide a blueprint for expanding effective mentoring without sacrificing quality.

New insights on mentor-mentee matching

New insights on mentor-mentee matching

February 21, 2024 - At the First Year Experience conference in Seattle, Washington, MentorPRO presented findings on mentoring and student outcomes when mentors and mentees were matched based on different characteristics. Matching based on underrepresented minority status, first-generation status, and international student status predicted higher student GPA. Matching may be a valuable practice generally for promoting GPA.  Learn more about this topic.

Webinar Series - Recognizing and Supporting Immigrant Origin Students

Recognizing and Supporting Immigrant Origin Students

February 8, 2024 - Immigrant Origin students are the fastest growing student population in higher education, now making up 31% of our students across the U.S. Yet, they are often unrecognized and lost in other overlapping, distinct, and incomplete designations (e.g., first-generation to college; racial-ethnic groups; undocumented students). In this webinar, Dr. Suárez-Orozco discussed new data about immigrant-origin students in higher education.  Learn more about this webinar.

Jean Rhodes is a plenary speaker at the Mentoring Institute’s recent conference

Jean Rhodes is a plenary speaker at the Mentoring Institute’s recent conference

February 5, 2024 - Dr. Rhodes' session, titled Supportive Accountability Mentoring: A New Model of Improving Connections and Outcomes, discussed how mentoring relationships can pull from supportive accountability models, and provided insights on how mentoring programs can incorporate such practices. She also discussed how MentorPRO can help facilitate supportive accountability models for mentoring programs serving young adults. Learn more about this topic.

MentorPRO team co-leads a workshop on best practices and innovations for mentoring underrepresented college students

MentorPRO team co-leads a workshop on best practices and innovations for mentoring underrepresented college students

January 26, 2024 - Megyn Jasman and Dr. Alexandra Werntz co-led a workshop (at the 2024 National Mentoring Summit) alongside Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring alumni and colleagues Drs. Matthew Hagler, Sarah Schwartz, and Elizabeth Raposa titled “Degrees of Success: Best Practices and Innovations for Mentoring Underrepresented College Students.” The workshop presented research demonstrating the challenges underrepresented students face in understanding colleges’ “hidden curriculum” and the key role mentors can play in demystifying it. Best practices and cutting-edge innovations in this area were highlighted, such as using mobile technology and youth-initiated mentoring strategies to facilitate mentee engagement and help-seeking. Sample slides can be found below. Learn more about this topic.

Webinar Series - Entering the World of Work: Strategies for Mentoring Immigrant-Origin Latino/a College Graduates

Entering the World of Work: Strategies for Mentoring Immigrant-Origin Latino/a College Graduates

December 7, 2023 - This talk explored how college-educated immigrant origin Latino/a young adults transitioned into the world of work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Longitudinal qualitative data was used to underscore how immigration policies, COVID-19, education-occupation mismatches, and low socioeconomic origins complicate the workforce transitions for college-educated Latinos/as. Implications of the research were discussed.  Learn more about this webinar.

Mentor Minute – New report highlights disparities in access to mentoring

Mentor Minute – New report highlights disparities in access to mentoring

November 23, 2023 - A new report from Gallup and Amazon sheds important light on the pivotal role mentorship plays in the career trajectories of young adults, particularly those from low-income backgrounds. Researchers polled 3,792 adults aged 18-40 about their adolescent experiences with career education and role models. Learn more about this topic.

News Archive

Our Publications

Youth Interventions With and Without Supervised Practice: A Second-Order Meta-Analysis

Christensen, K., Assink, M., van Dam, L., and Stams, G. , Poon, Y.S., Astesano, J., & Rhodes, J. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. (2023)
Supervised practice pairs behavioral rehearsal (i.e., the practice of skills) with constructive and supportive feedback so that learners can enact new skills accurately and develop the motivation to consistently apply these skills. The current review study takes stock of the literature on supervised practice through second-order meta-analysis, a rigorous quantitative method used to aggregate overall effects from previous meta-analyses.

Student Loans, Employment Readiness, and Labor Market Outcomes

Hull, T., Krishnan, K., & Rhodes, J. Journal of Applied Business and Economics. (2023)
Authors study whether student debt impacts individuals’ ability to adequately prepare for the labor market. Using no-loans financial aid policies as an exogenous shock to student loans, we find that student loans negatively impact students’ ability to have an internship that is related to the student's chosen major.

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Enhanced Mentoring Program Practices for Children of Incarcerated Caregivers: Assessing Impacts on Youth and Match Outcomes

Stelter, R. L., Stump, K. N., Rhodes, J. E., & Kupersmidt, J. B. Journal of Community Psychology. (2023)
Parental incarceration is an adverse childhood experience that is associated with heightened risk for negative outcomes in youth. Mentoring programs seek to mitigate this risk by providing children of incarcerated parents (COIP) with a supportive relationship that fosters positive outcomes. The current study presents findings from a longitudinal evaluation of enhanced mentoring program practices designed for supporting COIP.

Mentoring Relationships

Rhodes, J. E., Lowe, S., R., Schwartz, S. E., & Jasman, M. Reference Collection in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology. (2023)
Despite its global popularity as an intervention strategy, research on mentoring has yielded mixed results. Overall effects tend to be modest, and the impact of mentoring relationships can vary based on adolescent, mentor, relationship, and contextual characteristics, as well as quality and practices of programs. In this article, the authors review the empirical literature on mentoring for adolescents and make recommendations for the field.

Trauma-Informed Mentoring and Related Approaches

Hagler, M., & Rhodes, J. The Future of Youth Violence Prevention: A Mixtape for Practice, Policy, and Research. (2023)
This book features scholars anchored in applied practices who can ground these forward-thinking strategies in the substantive base of research and theory that has produced successful interventions across multiple disciplines.

Teaching to Fish: Impacts of a Social Capital Intervention for College Students

Schwartz, S., Parnes, M. Browne, R. Austin, L., Carreiro, M. Rhodes, J., Kupersmidt, J., Kanchewa, S. American Educational Research Journal. (2023)
The study evaluates the impacts of a one-credit college course aimed at enhancing student help-seeking behaviors and social capital within a racially diverse college student sample. The course was designed to shift students' attitudes towards help-seeking and to foster their ability to identify, initiate, and maintain relationships with mentors and other sources of social capital.

Implementation of a technology-enhanced peer mentor referral system for first-year university students

Werntz, A., Jasman, M., Simeon, K., Gunasekaran, H., Yowell, C., & Rhodes, J. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science. (2023)
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted college administrators to re-evaluate approaches to student support. The authors advocate for technology-enhanced mentoring to provide targeted peer support for young adults transitioning into their first year at college.

Providing Human Support for the Use of Digital Mental Health Interventions: Systematic Meta-Review

Werntz, A., Amado, S., Jasman, M., Ervin, A, & Rhodes, J. Journal of Medical Internet Research. (2023)
Digital mental health interventions (DMHIs) have demonstrated efficacy across various evaluations for improving mental health symptoms. However, user retention rates are low, minimizing DMHIs' full impact. In this paper, the authors aimed to evaluate the effects of providing human support for digital mental health intervention (DMHI) use.

Striking the Balance: The Relative Benefits of Goal- and Youth-Focused Approaches to Youth Mentoring Relationships

Werntz, A., Poon, C. Y. S., & Rhodes, J. E. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. (2023)
The study delves into the benefits of goal- and youth-focused approaches in youth mentoring relationships. While targeted, goal-focused mentoring has shown to improve behavioral and mental health outcomes compared to more recreational, non-specific approaches, it's essential to balance this with mentees' preferences. The research emphasizes the importance of considering the mentee's perspective in these relationships.

Deconstructing “Risk” in Youth Mentoring Programs: How Environmental Stressors and Presenting Challenges Shape Mentoring Relationship Outcomes

Deconstructing “Risk” in Youth Mentoring Programs: How Environmental Stressors and Presenting Challenges Shape Mentoring Relationship Outcomes Journal of Early Adolescence. (2022)
This research explores the variability in challenges faced by youth referred to mentoring programs. The study aims to understand the patterns of these challenges and their implications for mentoring outcomes.

Someone Who ‘Gets’ Me: Adolescents’ Perceptions of Positive Regard from Natural Mentors

Ben-Eliyahu, D., Sykes, L. A. Y., & Rhodes, J. E. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning. (2021)
A survey of 1,860 15-year-olds from across the United States found that mentees’ perceived positive regard from caring adults was associated with a range of personal, school, and civic outcomes. A structural equation modeling analysis found that for youth who have a mentor or other caring adults that they feel gets them, this perceived positive regard was positively related to youth’s sense of purpose and effort in school.

Cross-age peer mentoring for youth: A meta-analysis

Burton, S., Raposa, E.B., Poon, C.Y., Stams, G, & Rhodes, J. American Journal of Community Psychology. (2021)
The study delves into the growing trend of cross-age peer mentoring programs, which leverage the availability of youth mentors to foster positive outcomes in their younger counterparts. The research employed a multilevel meta-analytic approach to gauge the efficacy of these programs and to identify potential factors that might influence their effectiveness.

Paraprofessional Youth Mentoring: A Framework for Integrating Youth Mentoring with Helping Institutions and Professions

McQuillin, S. D., Hagler, M. A., Werntz, A., & Rhodes, J. E. American Journal of Community Psychology. (2021)
The article addresses the growing demand for child mental health services, which currently surpasses the supply. To bridge this gap, the authors propose a framework for paraprofessional youth mentors.

A Longitudinal Investigation of First-Generation College Students’ Mentoring Relationships During Their Transition to Higher Education

Hagler, M. A., Christensen, K. M., & Rhodes, J. E. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice. (2021)
First-generation college students are characterized as college students in which neither of their parents completed a Bachelor’s/4-year degree, increasing their risk for dropout and other undesirable educational outcomes. Mentoring relationships may provide first-generation students with support and social networks as they transition to college.

Youth Initiated Mentoring: A Meta-analytic Study of a Hybrid Approach to Youth Mentoring

van Dam, L., Blom, D., Kara, E., Assink, M., Stams, G., Schwartz, S., & Rhodes, J. E. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. (2021)
Youth-Initiated Mentoring (YIM) is a mentoring approach that empowers mentees to identify and recruit natural mentors within their existing social networks. This method aims to target the benefits of informal mentorships while maintaining the structure and support of formal mentoring programs. This study aims to evaluate the relationship between YIM programs and various mentees outcomes.

Predictors of close faculty−student relationships and mentorship in higher education: Findings from the Gallup−Purdue Index

Raposa, E., Hagler, M., Liu, D., & Rhodes, J. E. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. (2020)
Faculty-student relationships may promote students' development and academic success, particularly for first-generation college students and those attending larger institutions. This study investigates the factors that influence the formation of student college mentoring relationships.

Non-specific versus targeted approaches to youth mentoring: A follow-up meta-analysis.

Christensen, K., Hagler, M., Raposa, M., Stams, G. J., & Rhodes, J. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. (2020)
The study delves into the effectiveness of youth mentoring programs, comparing non-specific, relationship-focused approaches to targeted, problem-specific interventions. Historically, mentoring programs have emphasized the importance of the mentor-mentee bond, suggesting that a strong relationship alone can foster positive developmental change. This research evaluates this presumption.

Youth interventions with and without supervised practice: A second-order meta-analysis

Christensen, K., Assink, M., van Dam, L., and Stams, G. , Poon, Y.S., Astesano, J., & Rhodes, J. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. (2020)
The study reviews the literature on supervised practice through a second-order meta-analysis, a method used to aggregate overall effects from previous meta-analyses. Supervised practice pairs behavioral rehearsal (practice of skills) with constructive and supportive feedback, enabling learners to enact new skills accurately and develop the motivation to consistently apply these skills.

Role of athletic coach mentors in promoting youth academic success: Evidence from the Add Health national longitudinal study

Christensen, K., Raposa, E., Hagler, M., Erikson, L., & Rhodes, J. E. Applied Developmental Science. (2019)
Many youth participate in organized sports, with many sports coaches becoming mentors to the young athletes. This research delves into the potential of athletic coaches as mentors in promoting academic success among youth.

The Effects of Youth Mentoring Programs: A Meta-analysis of Outcome Studies

Raposa, E. B., Rhodes, J., Stams, G.J., Card, N., Burton, S., Schwartz, S., Sykes, L.Y., Kanchewa, S., Kupersmidt, J., & Hussain, S. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. (2019)
Formal mentoring programs pair youth mentees with supportive adults to foster positive youth outcomes. While such programs can increase access to supportive services, more research is needed to fully understand its level of effectiveness, and what conditions make it most effective.

The Long-Term Impact of Natural Mentoring Relationships: A Counterfactual Analysis

Hagler, M. A., & Rhodes, J. E. American Journal of Community Psychology. (2018)
Overall, this article delves into the enduring effects of natural mentoring relationships on mentees. While previous research has shown that such relationships can lead to improved functioning across several domains, this study aims to understand the long-term impact of these relationships beyond early adulthood.

Birds of a feather: Is matching based on shared interests and characteristics associated with longer youth mentoring relationships?

Raposa, E., Eli-Yahu, A., Olsho, L., & Rhodes, J. Journal of Community Psychology. (2018)
Length of mentor-mentee match may influence mentee outcomes, some studies demonstrating negative consequences, suggesting the need for programs to find ways to increase the likelihood of long-lasting mentoring relationships. In response, this study investigates the influence of mentor-youth similarities on the duration of mentoring relationships.