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BIG Ideas on School-Based Mentoring: Evaluation of the Big Brothers Big Sisters - Greater Twin Cities School-Based Mentoring Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2015
55 pages
This report summarizes findings of the evaluation of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities' (BBBS-GTC's) school-based mentoring program, based on qualitative and quantitative data collected during 2013 and 2014.
Overall, evaluation findings showed that BBBS-GTC is implementing 36 of 39 effective practice elements that were assessed, as stated in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. Eleven of the 50 elements stated in that publication were not assessed. Nine key findings resulted from the evaluations. First, younger mentors ("Bigs") were less experienced, more diverse, and more likely to be female. Second, high school Bigs expressed more positive attitudes about the youths ("Littles"), compared to other Bigs. Third, adult Bigs were more likely to continue a relationship with their Littles and were more equally balanced between girls and boys. Fourth, high numbers of Bigs were satisfied with the application, interview, and match processes, as well as training, program structure, and match support. Fifth, BBBS-GTC is effectively managing expectations for most Bigs. Sixth, Bigs wanted additional training in relationship-building strategies, such as working with challenging Littles, cultural competency, and ending matches. Seventh, meeting Littles during lunch/recess was more challenging than meeting at other times. Eighth, struggling Bigs may need more effective problem-solving or coaching from match support coordinators that is developmentally tailored for both the Big and Little. Ninth, in surveys, Bigs strongly agreed that they received effective match coordination, with isolated concerns with match coordination. Five recommendations are offered for improving the mentoring program. 11 figures, 5 tables, and 6 references

Date Published: June 1, 2015