Date of Award

12-1991

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Stanley Olson

Second Advisor

Dr. Larry Schlack

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield

Abstract

Adult education encompasses a broad spectrum of institutions and activities which share a universal problem of retaining participants. Dropouts from adult high school completion programs are at a particular disadvantage economically. The literature is inconclusive on the causes of or remedies for program attrition. Although mentoring has been promoted and researched as a component of adult development, its use as a dropout prevention strategy for adult high school completion students is not reported in the literature.

An experimental study was conducted to test the relationship between peer mentoring and the dropout rate in an adult high school completion program. The study was conducted in the eight adult high school completion programs in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, with three sites acting as control groups and five sites acting as treatment groups. The data were collected during the second semester of the 1990-91 school year on 142 subjects over the age of 18 who had never been enrolled in an adult high school completion program before the study. The study collected data on attendance, age, gender, ethnic origin, and employment status of the subjects. The study supported the hypothesis that there is a relationship between peer mentoring and the dropout rate in an adult high school completion program. Chi-square statistical analysis showed a significantly lower dropout rate in the treatment group which received peer mentoring. The study did not support a relation ship between dropout and age, gender, or employment status. The study supported a relationship between dropout and ethnic origin for the sample population, but not for the treatment group, with non-Whites having a significantly higher dropout rate than Whites.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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