Buddy program for elementary level
Reaching out to non-traditional students may require long-term activities. Introducing a buddy program with elementary schools can be one solution for leveling out the impact of family cultures and societal backgrounds.
Breaking educational family cultures
Research shows that parents’ higher educational level predicts the likelihood of children accessing tertiary education. This is closely linked to the parents’ abilities to support their children during schooling (financial and educational), so many kids fall out of the educational system because their parents do not have the resources to support them.
Thus, long-term initiatives are needed to break some practices and strengthen children’s self-confidence into believing that higher education is available for them, too. Especially children from poor and immigrant background families may be at risk.
A Buddy program to prevent children on the lower end of the social hierarchy from dropping out of the educational system much too early can be one solution. In this model, diverse HEI students act as buddies for elementary school children by setting an example for opportunities, encouragement and long-term planning. This means that actions are taken already 10-15 years before a student is able to enter in higher education.