School of Teaching and Learning Faculty Publications

Document Type

Book Chapter


Despite repeated calls for teacher education programs to become more field-centric and develop stronger collaborative partnerships, little scholarship describes sustained mentoring partnerships between teacher education programs and school or community partners. In addition, despite strong documentation of the low levels of literacy among youth labeled “at-risk” in the juvenile justice system, there is limited research on university undergraduate mentoring programs that specialize in training pre-service teachers to provide reading mentorship to incarcerated youth. This chapter focuses on the evolution of a program, Mentoring In Literacy Enhancement (MILE), developed as a team effort by university researchers, administrators from the juvenile residential center, and undergraduate education majors who served as mentors. Grounded in this collaboration, this study is driven by the following questions: How did the collaboration of the participants shape the development of the organizational structure of the MILE program? How did the collaboration impact planning, instructional decision-making, and reflective practice? This collaborative approach has the potential to foster greater literacy growth and reading skills among incarcerated youth, but also serves as a strong rationale for including mentoring opportunities in teacher education programs.

Publication Date


Publication Title

Literacy Across the Community: Research, Praxis, and Trends


Taylor & Francis

Available for download on Tuesday, June 04, 2024