Mentoring Program Reviews

One of the main activities of the National Mentoring Resource Center Research Board is to review the research about rigorously evaluated mentoring programs to rate their currently demonstrated level of effectiveness.

Program reviews are conducted using the standards and protocols of CrimeSolutions.gov, a resource developed by the Office of Justice Programs.

Following a systematic review of all available research, each program is given an evidence rating using the following key:

 Studying Together

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Effective - Program has strong evidence that it achieves justice-related goals when implemented with fidelity.

Check

Promising - Program has some evidence that it achieves justice-related goals when implemented with fidelity.

Null

No effects – Program has strong evidence that it did not achieve justice-related goals (or had harmful effects).


A single study icon is used to identify programs that have been evaluated with only one study. A multiple studies icon is used to represent a greater extent of evidence supporting evidence rating.

In addition to the overall rating, the National Mentoring Resource Center provides Insights for Practitioners on each program reviewed. These commentaries highlight key takeaways, program design considerations, and implementation tips.

Learn more about the review process for programs, practices, and resources. You can also nominate additional programs, practices, and resources for review and inclusion on this site.

Name Rating Desc Insights
Adolescent Diversion Project (Michigan State University) Effective - Multi-Study

A strengths-based, advocacy oriented program that diverts arrested youth from formal processing in the juvenile justice system and provides them community-based services. This program is rated Effective. The program was associated with a significant reduction in the rates of official delinquency of participating juveniles as compared to juveniles formally processed in the system. However, the program did not significantly affect youths’ self-reported delinquency. N/A*
Better Futures Program Effective - One-Study

A program designed to help young people in foster care with serious mental health challenges prepare for postsecondary education. The program is rated Effective. Youths who received the intervention had significant improvements on self-determination, mental health empowerment, transition planning, career self-efficacy, hope, barriers to education, postsecondary preparation, and transition planning, but not on quality of life or mental health recovery. View Insight
Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Community-Based Mentoring (CBM) Program Effective - One-Study

Offers one-to-one mentoring in a community setting for at-risk youth between the ages of 6 and 18. This program is rated Effective. It was associated with a significant reduction in initiating drug and alcohol use and antisocial behavior among mentored youth. Also, mentored youth had significantly better relationships with parents and emotional support among peers. The program, however, did not have a significant effect on youths’ academic performance (grades and absences) or self-worth. N/A*
Career Academy Effective - One-Study

A school within a school that uses a multifaceted approach to foster academic success, mental and emotional health, and labor market success. The program is rated Effective. The program had a significant, positive effect on earnings among young men in the Academy group. However, there was no significant effect on young women’s labor market outcomes or on all participating youths’ high school completion rate, post-secondary education or attainment, or social adjustment outcomes. N/A*
Eisenhower Quantum Opportunities Effective - One-Study

Also known as the Eisenhower Foundation’s Quantum Opportunities Program, the program is an intensive, year-round, multicomponent intervention for high-risk minority students from inner-city neighborhoods, which is provided throughout all 4 years of high school. The program is rated Effective. Program participants had significantly higher grade point averages, high school graduation rates, and college acceptance rates as compared with control group youths. View Insight
Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care–Adolescents Effective - Multi-Study

A behavioral treatment alternative to residential placement for adolescents who have problems with chronic antisocial behavior, emotional disturbance, and delinquency. This program is rated Effective. It was associated with a significant drop in official criminal referral rates, involvement in criminal activities, and days spent in lock up among MTFC-A boys. Similarly, the program was associated with a significant reduction in delinquency and days spent in lock up among MTFC-A girls. N/A*
Operation Peacekeeper Effective - One-Study

A community and problem-oriented policing program in Stockton, CA, to reduce gang involvement and violence among urban youth (10-18). Youth Outreach Workers served as mentors for youth in neighborhood settings. This program is rated Effective. The program was associated with a significant decrease in the monthly number of gun homicides. Also, when compared to gun homicide trends in other midsize California cities, the reduction in homicides in Stockton could be associated with the program. N/A*
SNAP® Under 12 Outreach Project Effective - Multi-Study

A multisystemic intervention for boys under age 12 displaying aggressive and antisocial behavior problems. This program is rated Effective. It was associated with a significant decrease in children’s delinquency and aggression scores as well as a significant reduction in children’s levels of behaviors such as rule-breaking, aggression, and conduct problems. However, there was no significant effect of the program on the total numbers of convictions. N/A*
Achievement Mentoring Program (AMP) Promising - One-Study

An intervention for urban minority freshmen at risk of dropping out of high school. The goal was to enhance school-related cognitions and behaviors. The program is rated Promising. The program did not significantly impact students’ absences, grade point averages, or decision-making efficacy, but had significant effects on discipline referrals, negative school behavior, performance in mathematics and language arts, and other self-reported outcomes. View Insight
Across Ages Promising - One-Study

A mentoring initiative designed to delay or reduce substance use of at-risk middle school youth through a comprehensive intergenerational approach. This program is rated Promising. The program significantly reduced school absences and had a positive effect on measures of youths’ reactions to situations involving drug use and attitudes toward school, the future, and elders. However, the program did not impact youths’ frequency of substance use or well-being. N/A*
An E-mentoring Program for Secondary Students with Learning Disabilities Promising - One-Study

An e-mentoring program for high school students with mild learning disabilities to improve their ability to identify postsecondary career goals and the steps necessary to achieve them. This program is rated Promising. The program group showed significant improvement in transition competency, social connectedness, and self-determination. However, there were no significant differences on outcome measures of career/educational goals, academic connectedness, and familial connectedness. View Insight
Brief Instrumental School-Based Mentoring Program–Revised Promising - One-Study

This is a school-based, one-on-one mentoring program designed to improve academic performance and life satisfaction, and decrease absences and behavioral infractions among middle school students. The program is rated Promising. The intervention group had significantly fewer unexcused absences, and significantly higher math and English grades and self-reported levels of life satisfaction. However, there were no effects on school-reported behavioral infractions or grades for science or history. View Insight
Cognitive–Behavioral Intervention for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disturbances Promising - One-Study

This cognitive–behavioral mentoring intervention was designed to improve child behavior and family functioning among 8- to 12-year olds with mental health disorders, and their primary caregivers. This program is rated Promising. There were significant differences between the intervention and control groups on measures of child behavior, parenting stress, perceived social support, and attachment to parents. View Insight
Cognitive–Behavioral, Group-Mentoring Intervention for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disturbances Promising - One-Study

This cognitive–behavioral, group-mentoring intervention was designed to improve child behavior and family functioning among 8- to 12-year olds with mental health disorders, and their primary caregivers. This program is rated Promising. Although there were significant improvements on measures of social problem solving and behavior problems, there were no improvements on measures of attachment to parents and social skills among children in the intervention group, compared with the control group. View Insight
Cross-Age Peer Mentoring Program Promising - Multi-Study

The program is a school-based peer mentoring program in which high school students provide one-on-one mentoring to late elementary and early middle school students. This program is rated Promising. The mentored children showed significant improvement on measures of spelling achievement and connectedness to school and to parents compared with the control group. However, mentored and control group children did not significantly differ on connectedness to reading, future, or friends. View Insight
Cure Violence (Chicago, Illinois) Promising - One-Study

A violence prevention program that uses a public health approach, using trained street violence interrupters and outreach workers, public education campaigns, and community mobilization to reduce shootings and killings. This program is rated Promising. The program was associated with significant reductions in shootings, killings, and retaliatory homicides and also appeared to make shooting hot spots cooler in some neighborhoods but not others. N/A*
Early Risers ‘Skills for Success’ Program Promising - One-Study

A multi-component, high-intensity, competency-enhancement prevention program that targeted elementary school children (ages 6 to 10) who were at high risk for early development of conduct problems. This program is rated Promising. The program had a significant, positive impact on youths’ academic achievement and the discipline practices of their parents. However, the program did not have a significant effect on children’s aggression. N/A*
Experience Corps Promising - One-Study

A tutoring and mentoring program to improve the literacy outcomes of elementary school-aged children at risk of academic failure. This program is rated Promising. Program participants made significantly greater gains in reading comprehension scores and teacher-assessed reading skills over an academic year, as compared with the control group. However, there were no significant differences in vocabulary and word attack scores from pre- to postintervention. View Insight
Family Check-Up (FCU) for Adolescents Promising - Multi-Study

A family-centered preventive intervention designed to assist families with high-risk adolescents, ages 11–17. The goal is to reduce the growth of adolescents’ problem behaviors and substance abuse; improve parenting skills; and reduce family conflict. The program is rated Promising. Students who received FCU services showed significantly less growth in antisocial behavior and substance use as well as a stable GPA from the start of middle school into high school. N/A*
Fostering Healthy Futures Program Promising - One-Study

A preventative intervention for preadolescent youth recently placed in foster care due to child maltreatment, with an overall goal of improving child well-being. The program is rated Promising. Evaluation results suggest that the program significantly reduced mental health problems, and measures of dissociation. In addition, treatment group youths living in nonrelative foster homes at baseline were more likely to achieve permanency and experience fewer placements. View Insight
Gang Reduction Program (Los Angeles, California) Promising - One-Study

A comprehensive, multiyear initiative to reduce youth gang crime and violence through a combination of strategies. This program is rated Promising. It was associated with a significant decrease in the number of calls reporting shots fired and gang-related incidents in the target area. However, it did not have a significant effect on the number of calls reporting vandalism or gang or non-gang related serious violence incidents or on attendance levels of elementary, middle, or high schools. N/A*
Home-Visiting Program for Adolescent Mothers Promising - One-Study

This is a community-based program in which adolescent mothers had regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings with trained home visitors, who delivered a parenting and an adolescent curriculum, created connections with primary care providers, and encouraged contraceptive use and school continuation. This program is rated Promising. The intervention was shown to promote positive parenting attitudes and school continuation, but did not affect mental health, contraceptive use, or repeat teen pregnancy. View Insight
KEEP SAFE Promising - One-Study

Formerly known as Middle School Success, it is a multi-component intervention to prevent delinquency and substance abuse among girls in foster care transitioning from elementary to middle school. This program is rated Promising. It was associated with a significant decline in tobacco, marijuana, and overall substance use as well as delinquent behavior. However, there was no impact on girls’ alcohol use, association with delinquent peers, or overall delinquent behavior. View Insight
Reading for Life (RFL) Promising - One-Study

This is a diversion program in which juveniles ages 13–18, who have committed non-violent offenses, study works of literature and classic virtue theory in small groups, led by trained volunteer mentors. The goal is to foster moral development and reduce recidivism. The program is rated Promising. Participants had a lower chance of being prosecuted for any offense (including misdemeanors and felonies) and had fewer arrests than the comparison group. View Insight
Richmond (CA) Comprehensive Homicide Initiative Promising - One-Study

A problem-oriented policing program that offered a broad collection of enforcement and non-enforcement strategies, including a middle school mentoring program, designed to reduce homicide in Richmond, California. This program is rated Promising. It had a significant impact on homicide reduction in Richmond. N/A*
Rochester Resilience Project (RRP) Promising - One-Study

A school-based intervention to improve the social-emotional and behavioral skills of young children (K – 3rd grade) at risk for mental health disorders and substance abuse. This program is rated Promising. The program had a significant, positive effect on measures of children’s task orientation, behavior control, assertiveness, and peer social skills. The program was also associated with a significant decline in the average numbers of suspensions and office disciplinary referrals. View Insight
School-Based Mentoring Program for At-Risk Middle School Youth Promising - One-Study

Offered one-to-one mentoring program to at-risk students in 7th to 9th grades in an urban middle school setting to reduce their discipline referrals and school absences and to improve their school connectedness. This program is rated Promising. The program was associated with a significant decline in the number of office disciplinary referrals and a significant increase in school connectedness. However, the program had no significant impact on unexcused absences. View Insight
Sources of Strength Promising - One-Study

This is a school-based, suicide prevention program designed to build socioecological-protective influences across a full student population, using youth opinion leaders from diverse social cliques to develop and deliver, with adult mentoring, messaging aimed at changing the norms and behaviors of their peers. This program is rated Promising. Peer leaders in the intervention schools showed significant improvements on perceptions and behaviors pertaining to suicide and on social connectedness. View Insight
Woodrock Youth Development Program Promising - One-Study

A combination of intervention strategies, including peer mentoring and support systems, to prevent substance abuse among at-risk and racially diverse youth. This program is rated Promising. It was associated with significantly less drug use among both younger and older youth in the program. N/A*
A Stop Smoking in Schools Trial (ASSIST) Program No Effects - One-Study

This in-school smoking prevention program was designed to spread and sustain norms of non-smoking behavior among 12–13 year olds, using influential peer opinion leaders. The program is rated No Effects. Youths who received the intervention did not differ significantly from youths who did not receive the intervention in their odds of smoking in the last week, at 2 years post-intervention. View Insight
Brief Instrumental School-Based Mentoring Program No Effects - One-Study

A school-based intervention designed for at-risk middle school students that aims to improve academic performance, promote school connectedness, and life satisfaction and to decrease disciplinary actions. This program is rated as No Effects. The program did not significantly affect students’ English, reading, or science grades; measures of teacher or school connectedness; tardiness; or school absences. However, the program significantly increased students’ math grades and life satisfaction. View Insight
CASASTART No Effects - Multi-Study

A community-based, intensive case management model that aims to prevent drug use and delinquency among high-risk adolescents, ages 11 to 13. This program is rated No Effects. It had a few significant effects on behavioral outcomes, but did not have a significant effect on youths’ drug use or involvement in property crime. An evaluation showed negative effects of the program on prevalence and frequency behavioral measures for female participants. N/A*
Challenging Horizons Program – After-School Version (CHP-After School) No Effects - One-Study

This is an after-school intervention designed to help students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) develop, practice, and generalize academic and social skills by using volunteer mentors to deliver skills training to students. This program is rated as No Effects. Academic functioning and parent/teacher ratings of student behavior reflecting ADHD symptoms did not differ significantly between youths in the intervention group and those in the control group. View Insight
Challenging Horizons Program – Mentoring Version (CHP-Mentoring) No Effects - One-Study

This is a school-based intervention designed to help students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) develop, practice, and generalize academic and social skills by using volunteer mentors to deliver skills training to students. This program is rated as No Effects. Academic functioning and parent/teacher ratings of student behavior reflecting ADHD symptoms did not differ significantly for youths in the intervention group, compared with the control group. View Insight
Check & Connect No Effects - Multi-Study

This is a school-based, structured mentoring program designed to reduce school absences and promote student engagement. This program is rated No Effects. One study found students in the program had statistically significant fewer days absent and more days in school. However, program students also had statistically significant lower math scores. There were no other statistically significant differences in outcomes. A second study also found no statistically significant differences N/A*
Early Start to Emancipation Preparation – Tutoring Program No Effects - One-Study

This is a tutoring intervention designed to improve reading and math skills among 14- to 15-year old youths in foster care who were 1 to 3 years behind grade level in reading and/or math. The program also aimed to build a mentoring relationship between the youth and the tutor and provide access to independent living workshops. This program is rated No Effects. There were no significant differences between the intervention and control groups on any of the outcomes assessed. View Insight
Gang Reduction Program (Richmond, VA) No Effects - One-Study

A comprehensive, multiyear initiative to reduce gang crime and violence among youth through a combination of strategies. This program is rated No Effects. The program did not have a significant effect on drug-related incidents or offenses, serious violent incidents or offenses, or school dropout rates in the target area. Additionally, the program did not have a significant effect on gang-related incidents, school attendance, or graduation rates in the target area. N/A*
National Guard ChalleNGe Program No Effects - One-Study

An intensive residential program that provides training and services, including structured one-on-one mentoring, to at-risk youth (ages 16 to 18 years). This program is rated No Effects. The program had a significant, positive impact on employment and GED attainment among participating youth as compared with control group youth. However, the program had no significant effect on youths’ frequency of arrests, marijuana or other illegal drug use, delinquent behavior, or psychological distress. View Insight
Peer Group Connection (PGC) Program No Effects - One-Study

A high school transition program that targets 9th-grade students in urban high schools who are at risk of dropping out. The goal is to improve high school graduation rates among participating youths by having junior and senior high school students serve as peer mentors. This program is rated No Effects since the program did not improve students’ high school graduation rates overall. However, a significant positive effect on the graduation rate among male students only was detected. View Insight
Promotor Pathway Program No Effects - One-Study

This is a program that uses a caring adult, called a Promotor, to provide case management, mentoring, and advocacy for youths. This program is rated No Effects. The intervention had statistically significant positive effects on school enrollment, housing stability, and births, but had statistically significant negative effects on getting into a fight and binge drinking. There were no effects on employment, carrying a weapon, incarceration, marijuana use, or perception of control of one’s life. View Insight
SOURCE (Student Outreach for College Enrollment) Program No Effects - One-Study

This was a mentoring program in which high school juniors had regularly scheduled one-on-one contacts with trained college advisors to increase college attendance rates. The program is rated No Effects. The program was shown to have small positive effects on enrollment rates and number of months enrolled in California State University and University of California campuses, but did not have statistically significant effects on 2-year, 4-year, or overall college enrollment or months of attendance. View Insight
Supporting Adolescents with Guidance and Employment (SAGE) No Effects - One-Study

A violence prevention program targeted at African American male adolescents living in Durham, N.C. which sought to reduce the disproportionate rate of violence among this population through a multifaceted community-based approach, including an Afrocentric guidance and instructional approach with a mentoring aspect. This program is rated No Effects. The program did not have a significant impact on participating youths’ problem, violent, or other-risky behaviors. N/A*
Youth-Nominated Support Team-Version II (YST-II) No Effects - One-Study

Standard treatments for suicidal adolescents (ages 13-17) were supplemented with social support from caring adults. The goal was to reduce youths’ suicidal ideations, depression severity, and feelings of hopelessness and to improve their mood-related adaptive functioning. This program is rated No Effects. The program had no significant impact on participants’ suicidal ideation, depression, negative attitudes about the future, or parent-reported functional impairment. View Insight
Note: Program name hyperlink opens full review on of CrimeSolutions.gov in a new tab/window on your browser.
*Note: N/A in the Insights for Practitioners denotes program reviews completed prior to the creation of the National Mentoring Resource Center and the Research Board; therefore, we will not be posting insights for this program review.

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