University & College
A Friendship Program
HOW IT WORKS
The Best Buddies College and University Program pairs students in post-secondary institutions with adults living in the community with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
To be involved in the college and university program, people with intellectual disabilities must be receiving services from a partner community agency.
There are many different ways for schools to run the program but we recommend implementing one of the two following options:
Students with and without an IDD are matched based on shared interests. “Buddy Pairs” have weekly contact (text, social media message, etc.) and get together in school or outside of school. All Chapter participants attend group activities a few times throughout the academic year.
Students are not formally paired. Instead, the entire Best Buddies Chapter meets once a week or bi-weekly for group activities such as playing board games, making crafts, hosting holiday celebrations, going bowling, attending a sporting event, etc.
University and College Chapters are led by a leadership team which includes a Chapter President (or Co-Presidents), Staff Advisors or Host Site Coordinators (community agency staff) and is supported by a Best Buddies staff member.
To Get Started or Join
You can apply to be a part of an existing Best Buddies program. If you are a student, you can start a new Chapter at your school:
- Visit Participating Schools to find out if there is a Best Buddies program at your school or in your area.
- Click on the link below to apply to be part of an existing Chapter:
University & College Online Application English
University & College Online Application French
- Contact us to set up a meeting to help you start a new Best Buddies Chapter at your school!
University & College
A university or college student responsible for the overall leadership of the chapter; tasks include the administration, delegation of responsibility and recruitment of volunteers with the goal of establishing a strong chapter. Also, the main contact for students and Best Buddies staff.
A student who helps the Chapter President to lead, organize and maintain the Best Buddies chapter at their university. An Executive Member can have a specific role within the Chapter Leadership Team, for example, Fundraising Coordinator, Social Media Coordinator or Recruitment Coordinator.
A person with an intellectual disability who is a member of a Best Buddies Chapter and is paired with a student in a one-to-one friendship. All Buddies must apply through the partner agency for a particular Chapter.
A university or college student who is a member of a Best Buddies Chapter and is paired up with an adult or student with an intellectual disability.
A chapter member who is not paired with a Buddy. Associate Members can assist with planning activities and events, fundraising, marketing and can attend group activities.
The Host Site Coordinator (HSC) is a staff member from a partner community agency who works with individuals with intellectual disabilities. The HSC serves as a resource for students who need more information about intellectual disabilities and as a contact for participants if they have concerns. They also act as a general support for the chapter’s Leadership Team.
The Best Buddies program works in collaboration with local organizations such as Associations for Community Living or L’Arche Communities. By working together, Best Buddies is able to maximize its resources while enabling community organizations to broaden their programs and provide additional support for their clients.