About the Institute

The Summer Institute is on hiatus for 2019, returning 2020.

2018 Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring


Portland State University and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership are proud to cosponsor the Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring. The dates for this year's Institute will be announced soon.


The Summer Institute offers a distinctive educational opportunity for experienced mentoring professionals to engage in highly interactive discussions that provide an in-depth view of the research and examine its implications for program policies and practices. Participants attend an intensive four-day seminar presenting the latest developments in theory and research on youth mentoring. Each session is led by a prominent scholar in the field of youth mentoring and includes time for participants to think critically and creatively about program issues and explore opportunities for innovation.  


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). 


Researchers presenting at the Summer Institute are selected for their expertise and influence in mentoring and youth development. These scholars give presentations and contribute their insights to the discussions throughout the week. The Director of the Summer Institute is Thomas Keller, the Duncan and Cindy Campbell Professor at Portland State University. 

  >>bios for past research fellows


Prospective participants complete a short application and provide a current resume. Space is limited to 25 participants. Participants are expected to attend the entire seminar. 


Tuition for the institute is $550. Tuition scholarships are available and can be requested at the time of application. Hotel accommodations at a discounted rate are available at University Place Hotel.


History of the Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring

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 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  

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 

>> What our participants say about the Summer Institute 


For More Information: Write to siym@pdx.edu