Course Description

This session presents theory and research focusing on youth mentoring relationships, particularly those created and supported through formal youth programs. Conceptual frameworks regarding the distinctive nature of mentoring relationships, processes involved in their development over time, and their influence on youth mentees are highlighted with relevant evidence. Attention also is devoted to contextual and systemic factors that support or hinder positive mentoring experiences, including consideration of social networks and the importance of mentoring program practices. The discussion will address implications for further research as well as enhancing program models and practices.

Instructor Bio

Thomas E. Keller (currently a Visiting Professor with the University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work) is the Duncan and Cindy Campbell Professor for Children, Youth, and Families in the School of Social Work at Portland State University. He directs the Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring and the Center for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Research and is principal Co-Investigator of the BUILD EXITO initiative, a major NIH-funded project to support undergraduates from traditionally underrepresented student populations in preparing for graduate studies in biomedical and health sciences research.

Dr. Keller’s research interests include the development and influence of mentoring relationships, social networks in mentoring interventions, evaluation of program innovations and enhancements, the professional development of program staff, and the mentoring of undergraduates in science, biomedical, and health fields. His projects have been supported by the National Institutes of Health, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Spencer Foundation, and William T. Grant Foundation. Prior to earning his Ph.D., he worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Seattle as a caseworker, supervisor, and program director.

Course Details

By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • Identify distinctive features of youth mentoring relationships
  • Identify factors and processes affecting mentoring relationship development
  • Identify ways in which mentoring relationships influence youth development

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