Journal of Educational Research and Practice


On average, the college graduation rates for minority and/or high-need students are generally low. To address this situation, a Mid-Atlantic Consortium recently secured a grant to improve 4-year graduation rates of high-need students (i.e., new first-time students and transfer students who qualify as low-income students, first-generation college students, adult students, and/or students of color) by 20% over each selected college’s baseline. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the experiences of students and faculty mentors toward accomplishing this goal. Data were transcribed, coded, and analyzed thematically. Some of the effects identified in this study included enhanced academic and career planning, strengthening relationships between mentors–mentees through enhanced communication and trust building, enhanced research skills, development of mentorship skills, development of intellectual curiosity, and improved academic outcomes. We discuss implications for practice, policy, and further research.