Experimental Design Details
The selection of our study subjects, mentors, randomization, and data collection are conducted as follows:
Our study subjects are all the grade 12 students (equivalent to upper secondary school seniors) who satisfy the following criteria:
(i) The student should go to one of the 35 secondary schools that are in proximity to six TVET institutes: TTI Khuruthang, TTI Samthang, IZC Thimphu, TTI Thimphu, and IZC Trashiyangste. We consider proximity as less than 3-hour drive distance, which is based on Google Map.
(ii) The student should complete the baseline survey.
We recruit about 140 mentors who satisfy the following criteria:
(i) The mentor should be TVET students or domestic/overseas workers who graduated from TVET program in the following institutes: TTI Khuruthang, TTI Samthang, IZC Thimphu, TTI Thimphu, and IZC Trashiyangste
(ii) The mentor should have secured a minimum of 45% in overall academic performance in grade 12.
(i) We randomly choose 17 schools from the list of 35 secondary schools, stratified by geographic area, school size (total students), and public/private status.
(ii) From these schools, we randomly choose 700 students (potential mentees). The number of mentees chosen from each school depends on mentor availability in the same geographic area.
(iii) Potential mentees are randomly paired with mentors in the same geographic area. Each mentor has at most five mentees.
(i) The baseline survey: We collect the information about students (e.g., demographics and other baseline information including academic performance, whether or not they have taken any TVET courses, preferences and beliefs about tertiary education and future employment, as well as subjective assessment on their knowledge about different aspects of tertiary education) in the online survey. It is a census survey, although it is expected that some students will not take the survey.
(ii) The endline survey: We collect similar information about students in the online survey, with additional questions on knowledge about entry requirements and application process to TVET institutes. It is a census survey, although it is expected that some students will not take the survey.
(iii) The mentor report form: We collect information on the mentoring progress on identifying career issues, understanding the importance of TVET education, understanding the courses/study options, understanding the life of a typical student, understanding the career path of graduates, and the entry requirements and admission process to TVET.
(iv) Administrative data on test score in the lower secondary school graduation exam “Bhutan Higher Secondary Education Certificate” (BHSEC) will be shared by the Ministry of Education in Spring 2022.
(v) We will collect the data about their actual educational choices from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labor and Human Resources in Summer-Fall 2022.