Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School Administration


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Hurley, Dennis A.


Counseling in middle school education--New Jersey; Mentoring in education--New Jersey; Peer counseling of students--New Jersey


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


The purpose of this study was to provide at-risk students with peer mentors to guide students as they make the transition from the intermediate school level to the middle school level. The study resulted in the creation of a program that formed a partnership between 7th-grade at-risk students and honor roll 8th-grade students who participate in after-school programs. Subjects were 35 7th-grade students, identified as at-risk students, at the Egg Harbor Township Middle School in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. The subjects' grades, incidences of discipline referrals, and attendance were analyzed. After the at-risk students were identified, 35 8th-grade students were chosen to act as mentors for the at-risk students. The 8th-grade students all were honor roll students who participated in at least one extracurricular activity. The 8th-grade students were trained to be mentors and then met regularly with the at-risk students. Results of the study showed that a significant amount of the at-risk students improved their grades, attendance, and incidences of discipline. In addition, the mentors began to perceive themselves as leaders. The peer mentoring program had a significant impact on the students involved.