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This research presents a viable way to encourage students in informal settlements to transit from high schools to tertiary institutions by focusing on the case of the Macheo Mentoring Programme of Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya. The aim was to investigate how the Macheo Mentoring Programme contributed to the academic success of final year students, with a focus on subjects and overall performance. Though Macheo has other aims, such as provision of life skills, the research examined mainly academic performance, providing insight to how universities can structure their own high-school mentoring programs, the processes that need to be in place and possible challenges they may experience. The research contributes to the literature on the university’s role in encouraging student participation. Information was gathered from a cross-sectional survey questionnaire of 72 parents and 76 students. Other qualitative information was gathered to provide insight to what could have contributed to students’ success and further augmented quantitative responses. The conclusion was that there is a link between mentorship and students’ success. Though this finding is similar to that of most studies undertaken in the Global North, this study aims to combat the dearth of such research in the Global South. The research indicates implicit connections between the university and community, which can be leveraged if they work together as partners.
Keywords: university-community service; mentoring; transition to tertiary institutions; informal settlements
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