Title: Analysing collegiate academic mentorship program on persistence, leadership development, and academic achievement of underrepresented populations at West Point

Authors: Deborah J. McDonald; Kenneth W. McDonald; Erin Williams

Addresses: Department of Admissions, United States Military Academy at West Point, West Point, NY 10996, USA ' Department of Systems Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996, USA ' Department of Systems Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996, USA

Abstract: Mentorship has been associated with increased retention, improvement of human capital and leader development. Leadership development is another attribute that has been associated with retention and success, but there is a dearth of literature pertaining to academic mentorship programs and leadership growth in college. An excel scholars program (ESP) at West Point is designed to promote personal and professional growth in high-performing cadets from underrepresented minority groups. The ESP uses mentoring to encourage students to strive for higher achievement and successfully compete for post graduate scholarships. This study investigated the ESP mentorship influence on academic achievement, retention, and leadership development of underrepresented minority students. Results indicate that mentorship, through the ESP, is positively correlated with academic achievement. Some evidence is found of a correlation between participation in the ESP and improved graduation rates. The results show no evidence of a relationship between this mentoring program and leadership development.

Keywords: ESP; excel scholars program; graduation rates; leadership; leadership development; mentorship; mentor; post graduate scholarships; underrepresented minorities; united states military academy; west point.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIIE.2022.10047373

International Journal of Innovation in Education, 2022 Vol.7 No.3/4, pp.233 - 250

Received: 17 Aug 2021
Accepted: 19 Nov 2021

Published online: 09 Sep 2022 *

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