Madison Donahue in the J.Kenneth Nesbit Student Success Center

Today, Quincy University announced Success by Design, a series of university-wide programs and changes to help students graduate on time and be fully prepared for careers or further education.

“For decades, universities have too often left students on their own, with students succeeding in part because of good luck or failing because of bad timing,” said Brian McGee Ph.D., president.  “At Quincy University, we don’t want luck or timing to have anything to do with student success.  Success should always be intentional.  Success should always be by design.”

For years, Quincy University has been creating new programs to help students succeed.  Examples of the initiatives already in place at QU include the creation of the J. Kenneth Nesbit Student Success Center, the addition of full-time success coaches for all undergraduates, close monitoring of the academic performance of individual students, a greater emphasis on student retention and increasingly sophisticated use of data to understand barriers to student success.  Beginning in fall 2019, Quincy University simplified college tuition to include all-inclusive pricing, with tuition covering books, parking and technology, to ensure that all students are fully equipped to learn at the beginning of each semester.

Success by Design will add even more resources and additional strategies for student success at QU, including the requirement that every student create and regularly update an individualized student success plan with the student’s advisors.

The new initiative will build on existing and unique features of the QU student experience, including the current requirement that every QU undergraduate has both a student success coach and a faculty advisor.  Success by Design features the care of the whole student, including residence hall programming, health and wellness services, career readiness with the support of QU’s QUEST Center, aid for students in financial distress and campus ministry for students of all faiths.

Students like Madison Donahue, a senior general studies major from Spring Valley, Illinois, have already seen Success by Design in action at Quincy University.  Donahue struggled to adjust to college life for a variety of reasons, including having two learning disabilities and being the first person in her family to attend college.  Through the efforts of her success coach, faculty advisor and student development staff, Donahue has overcome many obstacles and is now serving as the president of the Campus Activities Board and has started a club on campus. She also participated in a service trip to Washington, D.C. and a multicultural trip to Chicago as part of Quincy University’s experiential learning opportunities.

“These trips opened my eyes to the world around me and I was able to learn how to implement change here at QU,” said Donahue.  “I will be able to take these skills and help future students as I plan to go on to graduate school for a degree in college student personnel and someday work at a university.”

Success by Design will be featured in the print and electronic publications of Quincy University.  The university will begin to emphasize Success by Design this month, with the implementation of several new Success by Design programs to take full effect in fall 2020.

“At universities across the country, we know that many, many students will never finish their degrees.  In most cases, we also know the problems that prevented students from graduating, or from graduating on time, could have been avoided,” said McGee.  “For Quincy University, Success by Design is a response to our Franciscan values and our care for every unique individual.  At QU, we want to act boldly to support our students and help each and every one of them earn a degree from this great institution.”

Additional announcements in the coming weeks will provide details about two other new programs at QU that are part of the Success by Design initiative.

“We are proud of the exceptional quality and affordability of education at Quincy University,” said Delmer Mitchell, chair of the Quincy University Board of Trustees.  “To the fullest extent possible, Quincy University is now committed to overcoming any academic, personal, or financial barrier that can prevent one of our students from succeeding.  Success by Design is the next important step in the evolution of an innovative and dynamic Quincy University.”

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University ( is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University Office of Community Relations by calling (217) 228-5275.