Benefits Derived by College Students from Mentoring At-Risk Youth in a Service-Learning Course

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Abstract Service learning is increasingly being used as a pedagogical strategy for promoting the development of civic-mindedness among university students. Despite the use of this strategy, little is known about the benefits derived from specific types of service-learning experiences. Additionally, few notable studies have examined the unique outcomes experienced by mentors of at-risk youth. There- fore, this study examines the civic-related benefits that college students derive from mentoring at-risk youth within a structured, service-learning course. A series of linear regression models were estimated to determine if there were significant post-intervention differences between the treat-ment and comparison condition for the variables of interest, after adjusting for key background factors and pre-intervention levels of all variables. The results indicated that, in comparison to college students who did not participate in the course (n = 258), college student in Campus Corps, a youth mentoring program, (n = 390) had significantly higher scores at post-intervention regarding mentors’ civic attitudes, community service self-efficacy, self-esteem, interpersonal and problem solving skills, political aware- ness, and civic action. Findings hold important implications for youth mentoring programs and future research.

Research Website: none available | Article Published: 09/07/2013