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Learning Center.

Welcome to the Mentor Learning Center

Impact Summary

Since its founding in 1999, iMentor has matched more than 29,000 students with mentors. During the 2016-2017 school year, iMentor partnered with 20 high schools and matched more than 5,000 mentee-mentor pairs in New York City, Chicago and the Bay Area. iMentor measures the impact of its program through annual pre-post surveys, data collection in partnership with our schools, and independent evaluation. We believe the results below show that participation in iMentor significantly improves college outcomes for the students and schools we serve. 

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iMentor Impact on College Outcomes

iMentor provides the personalized support that first-generation college students need to successfully navigate the college process (exploration, application, selection, financial aid, and matriculation). Mentors help ensure that mentees make thoughtful college decisions that are aligned to each student’s ambitions, financial needs, and abilities. When the college application and matriculation process is managed effectively, students are more likely to enroll in college and successfully persist toward college graduation. 

iMentor students enroll in and persist through college at greater rates than other first generation college students from low-income communities.

  • 75% of iMentor’s 2013 high school graduates enrolled in college. College enrollment at these schools prior to iMentor was 67% (2010-2011). The national college enrollment rate for low-income students is 51%.
  • 67% of students enrolled in 4-year institutions. 33% of students enrolled in 2-year institutions.
  • 75% of iMentor students who entered college in 2013 persisted into their second year. 2nd year persistence at these schools prior to iMentor was 69% (2010-2011). 2nd year persistence nationally for low-income students is 66%.
  • 82% of students who enroll in college stay enrolled without taking off a semester.
  • 42% of iMentor’s 2009 college entrants graduated college within 4 years

During high school, mentors nurture a college aspiration that is idiosyncratic to each student’s aspirations for the future. We prompt mentors to share their own academic, collegiate, and professional experiences, which can help students craft a more concrete vision of their own path to success.

  • 93% of students indicated that they want to go to college.
  • 88% of students indicated that they expect to go to college.
  • 88% of students indicated that they expect to earn a college degree.
  • 89% of students said a bachelor’s degree was the minimum level of education they needed to live the life they want.

Mentors help students explore college, apply to college, and secure financial aid.

  • 97% of students completed college applications.
  • 87% of students completed FAFSA.
  • 83% of students planned to enroll in college in the fall.

Mentors help students matriculate successfully to college. With guidance from iMentor, mentors help students project manage the many tasks and deadlines associated with matriculation.

  • 83% of students reported that their financial aid process was complete by the first day of class.
  • 95% of students registered for all classes by the first day of class.
  • 95% of students attended a college orientation over the summer.

iMentor’s Impact on Personal Relationships, Non-Cognitive Skill Development, and Connection to Enrichment Opportunities

iMentor provides the training and support necessary for mentors to be effective. iMentor’s curriculum creates a baseline of conversations and experiences for all pairs. iMentor’s case managers (trained and certified college counselors) provide the ongoing support pairs need to develop strong relationships and achieve the outcomes articulated in our program model. Mentors help students nurture a college aspiration, develop the non-cognitive skills critical for college success, connect to additional resources and opportunities, and effectively manage the college process. 

We build strong personal relationships that position mentors to serve as early warning systems and help students navigate unexpected challenges.

  • 93% of students indicate that their mentor is someone they can depend on and trust.
  • 91% of students report being satisfied with their match.
  • 84% of students feel comfortable sharing their worries and concerns with their mentor.
  • 81% of students indicate that their mentor is someone they seek out for support.
  • Mentor-mentee pairs averaged 38 hours of interaction during the school year.

We help students develop key non-cognitive skills, focusing our curricula on 7 core non-cognitive skills that research cites as critical for college success.  

  • On average, students in iMentor demonstrated growth on 3 out of the 7 non-cognitive skills from pre-test to post-test.
  • Largest gains were seen in:
    • Help-seeking & self-advocacy
    • Perseverance
    • Problem Solving/Critical thinking

We support our mentors in connecting students to additional resources and enrichment opportunities.

  • 85% of mentors reported helping their mentee research summer jobs or internships.
  • 71% of students participated in a summer enrichment program prior to 2012.

Profile of iMentor’s Students, Mentors, and Schools

iMentor partners with high schools that need additional support to prepare students for college and matches every student in the school with a mentor. iMentor students are primarily first-generation college students. iMentor mentors are college graduates willing to dedicate a minimum of three years to an individual student. 

iMentor partners with high schools that need additional support to prepare students for college. In NYC, iMentor partner schools are below citywide averages for college readiness and college completion, while serving a higher percentage of English Language Learners.   

MeasurePartner SchoolsNYC Average
Title 1100%80%
NYC College Readiness Index*18%26%
College Completion10.7%14.9%
English Language Learners23%13.3%

*Percentage of graduating cohort that met the NYC college readiness standard

iMentor provides mentors for first-generation college students from low-income communities. 

  • 83% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
  • 79% of students will be first-generation college students.
  • 36% of students were not born in the United States.
  • 93% of students are students of color.

iMentor recruits mentors willing to make an initial 3-4 year commitment to a single student. After this initial commitment, all pairs have the option to extend their relationship through college completion. 

  • 43% are mentors of color.
  • 15% of mentors were first generation college students themselves.
  • 7 corporate partners in NYC enroll 50+ mentors annually.
  • Mentor attrition for 2013-2014 program year was 13%

iMentor mentors are satisfied with the program, aligned to our goals, and learning from their experiences.  

  • 97% of mentors report getting to know their mentee through the iMentor program has been a positive experience.
  • 93% of mentors report receiving the support needed from iMentor to have a successful mentor-mentee relationship.
  • 91% of mentors report their mentee has the potential to succeed in college.
  • 96% of mentors report having a better understanding of the challenges low-income students face in going to college.

Independent Evaluation

iMentor has undertaken two independent evaluations of its program. One study is completed and one is underway. Below is a summary of both studies.

2011-2018 Independent Evaluation

In 2011, iMentor launched a 7-year independent evaluation with Jim Kemple and NYU’s Research Alliance for New York City Schools. This evaluation includes 2,400 students at 8 NYC high schools. iMentor will begin releasing annual reports from this evaluation in the spring of 2015. NYU’s Research Alliance for New York City Schools is conducting a mixed-methods, longitudinal evaluation. The study is designed to provide summative information about the initiative’s impact on a range of important student outcomes, as well as both formative information that can help guide implementation and ongoing program development. The evaluation will measure:

  • An assessment of impacts on academic outcomes reflected in college readiness indicators based on student grades, credit accumulation, New York state standardized exam scores, and on-time high school graduation.
  • An assessment of impacts on non-academic outcomes, including: strength of mentoring relationships, students’ college aspirations, the development of 7 distinct non-cognitive skills, and effective navigation of the post-secondary process.
  • The link between non-academic outcomes and academic performance.

2007-2008 Independent Evaluation

A 2007-2008 independent evaluation showed participation in iMentor had a statistically significant impact on academic engagement and performance (attendance, New York state exam scores, English and Math grades). This study was conducted by Kim Sabo Flores and included 425 students at 14 partner schools. Findings include:

  • Low-attending students improved attendance after one year of participation in iMentor. Students entering iMentor attending school 70% of the time or less increased attendance by an average of 7.95%. This increase was statistically significant. Overall, iMentor students attended school more regularly than the comparison group.
  • iMentor students scored 7 points higher than the comparison group on the New York state standardized English exam (70.47% - 63.98%). This difference was statistically significant.
  • iMentor students increased math grades by 7 points (73.69% to 81.96%) and English grades by 5 points (72.04% to 77.39%). The comparison group’s grades increased slightly, but the change was not statistically significant.