Why Mentoring Matters: African-American Students and the Transition to College


  • Dr. Keonya Booker College of Charleston
  • Ernest Brevard College of Charleston




At the postsecondary level, the process of mentoring involves academic guidance and social support. The purpose of this study was to explore how first-year African-American students experienced a year-long mentoring program at a mid-sized liberal arts college. Fifty-eight undergraduate African-American students were surveyed at the conclusion of the mentoring program. Findings revealed the majority of students regarded the mentoring program as worthwhile and a positive part of their transition to college. Some first-year students who were paired with older students had a mixed experience. Implications for mentoring programs using a combination of faculty, staff, and upperclassmen mentors are discussed.

Author Biographies

Dr. Keonya Booker, College of Charleston

Dr. Keonya Booker is Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Booker can be reached at bookerkc@cofc.edu.

Ernest Brevard, College of Charleston

Ernest Brevard is the Campus Outreach and Student Development Coordinator with Multicultural Student Programs and Services at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. He can be reached at brevarde@cofc.edu.


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