Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Second Advisor

Douglas Jones

Third Advisor

James Tucker


Problem. The Seventh-day Adventist church/North American Division initiated a Tutoring and Mentoring project in response to President Clinton’s America Reads literacy campaign. This study documents the efforts of the church and the first cohort of trainees as they sought to establish tutoring projects in their home locales.

Method. The author of this study was involved as a co-trainer and a participant-observer during the initial 1-week training session held at the North American Division Headquarters. This training was intended to equip the participants to become tutors of children and trainers of tutors in a primary-level tutoring project. During the school year immediately following the training, two of the original participants were successful in establishing tutoring projects. Their successes were examined in-depth by observations and interviews and reported through case studies. The other initial trainees did not establish projects during the first year. The author maintained contact with a majority o f the trainees by telephone, and reported their frustrations by telling fictional composite stories based on their accounts.

Results. A framework of critical components was developed as a result of a literature review which examined characteristics of successful programs. The two successful projects which were established were analyzed using this framework. Most characteristics of successful programs were evident and documented in these fledgling projects. Other themes related to their successes were elucidated and added to the framework. The lack of successful implementation by the other trainees was primarily due to critical components that were neglected or not accessible.

Conclusions. The two trainees who were able to immediately implement tutoring projects had many of the necessary skills and resources already available to them. The training they received acted as a catalyst which enabled them to establish projects. The other trainees expressed concerns related to the lack of personal confidence immediately following the initial training session, and these concerns were never sufficiently addressed. Their primary concerns regarding the need for more training and the lack of resources need be considered if the initiative is to realize its ambitious goals.

Subject Area

Tutors and tutoring, Volunteer workers in education.


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