Rural Alaska Mentoring Project (RAMP)
International Journal on School Disaffection Volume 8, Number 1, ISSN 1478-8497
For over two years the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) at Clemson University has been supporting the Lower Kuskokwim School District (LKSD) in NW Alaska with their efforts to reduce high school dropout in 23 remote Yup'ik Eskimo villages. The Rural Alaska Mentoring Project (RAMP) provides school-based E-mentoring services to 164 high-needs students in grades 4 through 8 in Alaska's most remote schools, with a special focus on high-needs students who are at the greatest risk of dropping out of school. The E-mentoring program is run through the District's Social Work Department. Mentoring is one of 15 "Effective Strategies" advocated by the NDPC to help solve the dropout problem in schools, as well as help promote peer support, social competence, self-determination, and leadership skills. The rural Yup'ik Eskimo villages in the LKSD have been particularly vulnerable to high school dropout and the resulting negative effects that include high incidences of truancy, teen pregnancy, drug use/abuse, and suicide. Obviously, due to the time and distance issues between the remote villages, face-to-face mentoring and peer support is problematic. Using a computer-mediated process to communicate with one another eliminates the time and distance barrier.
Cash, T. (2011). Rural Alaska Mentoring Project (RAMP). International Journal on School Disaffection, 8(1), 35-37.