According to Dr. Chance Lewis*, “What most intrigued me was the utilization of mentors all across the world to support the process of learning that was customized for each student. My evaluation was not part of a larger study; I was brought on as a consultant to independently evaluate the impact of the program."
Overall, teachers mentors and students “…reported a positive experience…” .... All groups said the program helps students … "navigate their academic journey though their secondary school experience with firm aspirations for pursuing postsecondary options and careers after their educational attainment ... students improve their social skills, specifically teamwork, critical thinking and written communication."
They also noted an increase in students’ desire to become proactive, self-directed learners, knowledge of the workplace and integration of knowledge across subjects. “The students learned the importance of good communication and its impact on achievement of goals. They also learned about meeting deadlines and the consequences that may result from not meeting those deadlines – a very important lesson to learn before entering the workplace.” ... “students had to think in the program, solve problems and collaborate…[They] engage in deep thought about their work and at a deep level of learning.”
The majority of mentors agreed with teachers that students’ written communication skills improved, as well as their research skills. Mentors also reported student improvement in the areas of collaboration with others and time management... students gained an awareness of how to build a professional support network and an understanding of the professional work environment. ... While both teachers and mentors emphasized how much students improved their communication skills, a little less than half (49.8%) of the students surveyed said they felt their writing skills improved, but 65% did report they have a better understanding about why they need to be good at reading and writing.
The Educational Policy Institute was founded in 2002 to inform policymakers, educators, and other stakeholders on issues related to education and educational opportunity and equity. Over the years, EPI has conducted policy and evaluation work for such organizations as the US Department of Education, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Lumina Foundation, and school districts and colleges and universities around the United States and Canada.
Education at both the compulsory and postsecondary levels is a critical public concern and remains one of the largest budget items for governments. The increasing cost of educating our youth and the burgeoning cost of college is a concern in times of constricted public budgets. Policymakers require better tools and information in order to make prudent decisions about how best to spend taxpayer funds and serve the public interest. EPI, focuses on conducting research that can arm policymakers with better information and serve society to the best of their ability.
Chance W. Lewis, Ph.D. is the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Full Professor of Urban Education in the College of Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Additionally, he is the Provost Faculty Fellow for Diversity, Inclusion and Access and Founding Executive Director of the UNC Charlotte Urban Education Collaborative, which is dedicated to disseminating the next generation of research on the improvement of teaching and learning in urban schools. Dr. Lewis formerly served on the faculty at Texas A&M University and Colorado State University.
Also, Dr. Lewis is the Chief Executive Officer of The CTQ Group, a comprehensive School Improvement Firm, with an intentional focus on School Turnaround of Low-Performing Schools.
Finally, Dr. Lewis is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lewis App Solutions, a full-service tech company that provides Mobile App and Web Design Solutions to businesses and non-profit organizations across the United States.