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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Monica W. Tracey


Faculty-led, in-class mentoring is an opportunity for larger numbers of undergraduate students to receive additional support. Specifically, this case study researched how embedding mentoring activities in community college business courses would change student perceptions of mentoring. The study addressed three questions: (a) in what way do student perceptions change if they have no experience with mentoring, (b) in what way do student perceptions change if they had a previous positive experience with mentoring, (c) in what way do student perceptions change if they had a previous negative experience with mentoring?

Mentoring is a personal experience as well as a complex concept, it required multiple forms of data and case study design entailed that. This research was conducted Winter semester 2020 and halfway through the study COVID-19 restrictions impacted the ability to complete all components. The data collection methods consisted of a surveys, in-class worksheets, project documents and interviews. Proven instruments as well as research specific surveys were used, due to low participation numbers dependent T-tests were run resulting in no significance. Observations regarding groupings related to the research questions supported previous knowledge on mentoring. Some students without experience and no interest learned from the mentoring workshop but still did not gain mentors appeared to have a predisposition about mentoring. Students with positive mentoring experience also learned from the mentoring workshop and continued with mentors, supporting the concept that positive mentoring perpetuates additional mentoring.

The additional findings were most interesting. Upon deep review of the data four occurrences appeared. First, everything done the first two days of class matters. Curriculum design for high engagement, activity participation and relationship building are imperative. Second, continual communication and awareness of participation for the first three weeks could help motivate low performing students to persist. Third, B and C students appeared to put in as much effort as A students but were missing some foundational skills. Integrating mini assessments to identify deficiencies could help them improve their foundation and grades. Lastly, in regard to teaching mentoring, the information needs to be delivered the first week of class to catch those at-risk students who need it most.

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