SB 5637 requires the six four-year higher education institutions to create and implement, by September 1, 2016, a peer mentoring program modeled after the pilot program launched in fall 2009 at Western Washington University. The goals of the program are delineated, including, Encourage at-risk elementary school students to complete high school and attend college; provide positive role models for at-risk students and allow college students the opportunity to perform community services; strengthen relationships between the communities, the universities, the public schools, and area youth; and introduce at-risk students to college and provide them an opportunity to experience their pubic colleges and universities; and increase the number of youth who view going to college as both necessary and achievable.
The six institutions will partner with at least one community or technical college, to encourage at-risk elementary school students to complete high school, and attend college. Together all partners are to submit a report, that includes an evaluation and outcome measurements, to the legislature by December 1, 2017, and thereafter on December 1 of odd-numbered years. The six four-year institutions will recruit college students to mentor elementary students and identify at least one elementary school that is in need of a peer mentoring program. The office of student financial assistance may award grants to eligible institutions of higher education that cover both student wages and program administration cost.