Extensive research confirms that a high school diploma has a lasting value on future educational opportunities and career goals. Some students, in their transition to high school, can harm grade point averages to such a degree that future opportunities for rigorous courses or post-high school opportunities are diminished. Caring relationships are a critical element in the motivation and encouragement of most of life’s endeavors and the purposeful creating of this type of relationship within the school day could have a positive impact on a students’ success. The improvement in semester grades for the first semester of high school could only serve to increase the probability of future success in school.
This quantitative study, utilizing a quasi-experimental design, looked at the immediate impact of using teachers as mentors for struggling students during the first semester of their transitional year of high school at a suburban, middle-class high school in the Pacific Northwest. The students were not aware that the teacher had been assigned to them, hence the term invisible mentor, in order to examine the impact of natural forming relationships.
Two-sample t-tests were conducted on the mean grade point averages of the struggling students who had invisible mentors for their transitional semester into high school. The results conclude that such a mentoring program had a positive impact on the first semester grades of the first semester of high school. Linear regression scatter plots showed positive relationship between the frequency of interactions that an invisible mentor has with a mentee and their academic improvement, as measured by GPA. This study scratches the surface into the impact of invisible mentoring for struggling students in this suburban, Pacific Northwest school district. Additional research may serve to strengthen these initial findings that promote the academic improvement of struggling students.