TeamMates: Providing Emotional and Academic Support in Rural Schools

Jody C. Isernhagen


Numerous studies have found that mentoring has a positive effect on students who participate in it. Mentorship for students in rural communities is both necessary and challenging given the uphill battle these schools and communities face to improve their students’ academic achievement and emotional well-being. Through examining teacher, parent, and student perceptions of the TeamMates Mentoring Program in a rural Nebraska district, this study concluded that TeamMates is providing necessary social and emotional support to its mentees in rural schools, as well as encouraging them to improve their grades. However, TeamMates must continue to heighten its support of low-achieving students and to help fulfill students’ long-term goals.


Bandura, A. J. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Beeson, E., & Strange, M. (2000). Why rural matters: The need for every state to take action on rural education. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 16, 63-140.

Benard, B. (1991). Fostering resiliency in kids: Protective factors in the family, school, and community. San Francisco: West End.

Benard, B. (1995). Fostering resiliency in children. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EDO-PS-95-9).

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Converse, N., & Lignugaris/Kraft, B. (2009, January/February). Evaluation of a school-based mentoring program for at-risk middle school youth. Remedial and Special Education, 30(1), 33-46.

Creswell, J. (2005). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Curtis, T., & Hansen-Schwoebel, K. (1999). Big Brothers Big Sisters school based mentoring: Evaluation summary of five pilot programs. Philadelphia: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Dappen, L., & Isernhagen, J. C. (2006, March). Urban and nonurban schools: Examination of a statewide student mentoring program. Urban Education, 41(2), 151-168.

DeYoung, A. J., & Lawrence, B. K. (1995). On Hoosiers, Yankees, and mountaineers. Phi Delta Kappan, 77(2), 104-122.

Foster-Bey, J., Dietz, N., & Grimm, R., Jr. (2006). Volunteers mentoring youth: Implications for closing the mentoring gap. Washington, DC: Corporation for National & Community Service. Retrieved from

Gay, L. R., Mills, G. E., & Airisian, P. (2009). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and applications (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Grossman, J. (1999). The practice, quality, and cost of mentoring. In J. Grossman (Ed.), Contemporary issues in mentoring (pp. 5-10). Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.

Grossman, J., & Garry, E. (1997, April). Mentoring: A proven delinquency prevention strategy (OJJDP Bulletin). Washington, DC: U.S. Retrieved October 7, 2010, from

Guetzloe, E. (1997). The power of positive relationships: Mentoring programs in the school and community. Preventing School Failure, 41(3), 100-104.

Haas, T., & Lambert, R. (1995). To establish the bonds of common purpose and mutual enjoyment. Phi Delta Kappan, 77(2), 136-142.

Haas, T., & Nachtigal, P. (1998). Place value. Charleston, WV: Appalachia Educational Laboratory.

Herrera, C. (1999, September). School-based mentoring: A first look into its potential. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.

Herzog, M. J. R., & Pittman, R. B. (1995). Home, family, and community. Phi Delta Kappan, 77(2), 113-119.

Howley, C. B., & Howley, A. A. (2004, September 24). School size and the influence of socioeconomic status on student achievement: Confronting the threat of size bias in national data sets. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 12(52), 1-34.

Jekielek, S. M., Moore, K. A., Hair, E. C., & Scarupa, H. J. (2002). Mentoring: A promising strategy for youth development (Research Brief). Washington, DC: Child Trends. Retrieved April 1, 2010, from

Johnson, F. (1989, March). Assigning type of locale codes to the 1987-88 CCD public school universe. Paper presented to the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED312113).

Kannapel, P. J., & DeYoung, A. J. (1999). The rural school problem in 1999: A review and critique of the literature. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 15, 67-79.

Larsh, E. (1983). Touch and go in Lincoln County. Phi Delta Kappan, 65(4), 263-264.

Manza, G. (2005). Mentoring in America 2005: A snapshot of the current state of mentoring. Alexandria, VA: MENTOR. Retrieved April 5, 2010 from

Mecca, A. M. (2001, May). Mentoring works! Presentation at the National Mentoring Conference, Alexandria, VA.

Mentoring Institute (The). (2010). TeamMates mentoring program: Program management manual. Lincoln, NE: TeamMates Mentoring Program.

Mihalynuk, T. V., & Seifer, S. D. (2007, August). Higher education service-learning in rural communities .Scotts Valley, CA: National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. Retrieved April 8, 2010, from

Nachtigal, P. M. (1982). Education in rural America: An overview. In P. M. Nachtigal (Ed.), Rural education: In search of a better way (pp. 3-13). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

National Center for Educational Statistics. (2010). Common core of data (CCD): Identification of rural locales. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Retrieved April 1, 2010 from

Osborne, T. (2000, November 28). Student mentoring. A presentation at a TeamMates of Nebraska Auction and Dessert Benefit, Seward County Ag Pavilion, Seward, NE.

Rhodes, J. E. (2002). Stand by me: The risks and rewards of mentoring today’s youth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Rhodes, J. E., Grossman, J. B., & Resch, N. L. (2000, November/December). Agents of change: Pathways through which mentoring relationships influence adolescents’ academic adjustment. Child Development, 71(6), 1662-1671.

Sánchez, B., Esparza, P., & Colón, Y. (2008). Natural mentoring under the microscope: An investigation of mentoring relationships and Latino adolescents’ academic performance. Journal of Community Psychology, 36(4), 468-482.

Seal, K. R., & Harmon, H. L. (1995). Realities of school reform. Phi Delta Kappan, 77(2), 119-125.

Seebach, M. (1992). Small towns have a rosy image. American Demographics, 14(10), 1-25.

Shepard, J. (2009, Fall). Campus Kids mentoring program: Fifteen years of success. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 18(3), 38-43.

Stern, J. (1994). The condition of education in rural schools. Washington, DC: Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement.

TeamMates Mentoring Program. (2009). TeamMates annual report 09 (p. 2). Lincoln, NE: TeamMates Nebraska.

Tierney, J. P., & Grossman, J. B. (1995). Making a difference: An impact study of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.

Truscott, D. M., & Truscott, S. D. (2005, October). Differing circumstances, shared challenges: Finding common ground between urban and rural schools. Phi Delta Kappan, 87(2), 123-130.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Publication of the National Rural Education Association -

Report problems or questions about to the website to