Quincy University announces the establishment of the new Student Success Peer Mentoring Program, PREPARE (Peer Retention Efforts: Promoting academics, relationships and engagement), which started this fall. This new program pairs successful, upperclassmen students from at-risk backgrounds with incoming freshmen from similar backgrounds. Selected freshmen are paired with their mentor approximately a month prior to the beginning of fall semester classes, giving them an informal and accessible advocate for their transition to college. The Peer Mentoring Program will serve approximately nineteen, first generation, low-income students this fall.

The Peer Mentoring Program specifically focuses on developing student efficacy, defined as the belief in one’s capabilities to achieve a goal or an outcome. Peer mentors will work in tandem with Professional Student Success coaches already in place at Quincy University.

“The overall goal of this program is to ensure that all nineteen students in the program are successful and grow both academically and as individuals during their first year of college. We hope that those students will want to become mentors themselves,” said Christine Tracy, director of the J. Kenneth Nesbit Student Success Center. “The mentoring program is a great retention tool for the university, as it helps to ensure the success of incoming students.”

The Peer Mentoring Program at Quincy University was made possible by grants from the JW Gardner II Foundation and the Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI). The J.W. Gardner II Foundation was established in 2000 and supports a variety of non-profit causes in the Quincy area. ACI is a collaboration of 22 private, nonprofit, residential colleges and universities. The organization works with business and community leaders to help first-generation, minority and low-income students succeed, and it works to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of independent higher education.
In the fall of 2016, the university welcomed the largest freshman class in more than two decades with 287 new students. This class also brings more first-generation college students to the QU campus well as more low-income students than ever before.

For more information, contact Christine Tracy at tracych@quincy.edu or 217-228-5432 ext. 3353.