Search Google Appliance

About the Institute

The Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring brings top mentoring researchers and experienced practitioners from around the world to Portland State University for an intensive week-long seminar presenting the latest developments in theory and research on youth mentoring.


The 2015 Summer Institute will be held July 20-24, at Portland State University. Responding to training priorities identified by programs around the country, the 2015 Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring will address the theme of match support. We will focus on how programs can be effective in promoting the development of strong mentoring relationships and facilitating positive experiences for mentors and mentees. 

The Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring has become one of the premiere professional development opportunities in the field of youth work. The Institute is under the leadership of Thomas Keller, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Research and Campbell Professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University. Each week-long Institute features leading mentoring researchers in a small-group format. The result is a think-tank atmosphere for delving deeply into program practice and innovation. The issues and themes discussed are wide-ranging, including all aspects of quality practice in recruiting, training, matching and supporting mentors and mentees. Each Institute also focuses on a theme of high importance to the field, such as mentoring in juvenile justice and child welfare systems, diversity in mentoring relationships, and mentoring in school settings (view publications and video presentations in our Learning Hub). The Institute venue is on the campus of Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. In addition to the Institute, we hold community events to disseminate the discussions from the Institute to practitioners and policy leaders. The effectiveness of the Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring is the subject of a recent article in  Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement.  >>download article  


Institute Director Thomas Keller, and participant McKeever Moham of the Dallas County Juvenile Department, explain the Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring and discuss how the Institute model successfully bridges research and practice. 

Research Fellows and Featured Speakers

Research fellows are selected for their expertise. Each fellow is an influential scholar who has made important contributions to the field of mentoring. Fellows give presentations and contribute their insights to the discussions throughout the week. 

>> Researchers who have participated in the Summer Institute



To encourage an active exchange among professional peers and with researchers, the Summer Institute seminar is limited to 25 participants. Ideal participants have several years of experience in the field of youth development and are seeking an advanced level of professional development. They are experienced professionals who hold positions enabling them to influence the training and supervision of staff, the development of program models, and the implementation of service delivery changes based on the latest advances in the field (e.g., CEO’s, program directors). Prospective participants complete a short application and provide a current resume. Space is limited to 25 participants. Participants are expected to attend the entire week-long seminar.

>> Applying for the Summer Institute

>> What our participants say about the Summer Institute

Our partners and sponsors

In addition to researchers and advanced practitioners, each Institute includes presentations by national (and international) technical assistance providers such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, MENTOR, the National Mentoring Center, Friends for Youth Mentoring Institute, the Australian Youth Mentoring Network and Oregon Mentors. Several organizations also sponsor scholarships for attendees, including BBBSA and the Oregon Community Foundation.

>> Find out more about our partners and sponsors

For More Information

Write to or visit