Quality for the Ultimate Educational Success Today (QUEST)

From our experience, we have found that students do better when they understand what is expected of them in their quest for educational success. The Quality for the Ultimate Educational Success Today (QUEST) program is a year-long experience of academic and personal development for underrepresented first-time incoming college freshmen at the University of North Florida, the highlight of which is a two-and-a-half week intensive summer program. The aim of QUEST is to ease the transition from high school to college by helping students acclimate to the academic and social aspects of college life.  

Apply QUEST 2016-2017 HERE!


Are you interested interested in becoming a QUEST Peer Mentor? Apply here!   

What is QUEST?

There are two components to the QUEST Program. Students who participate in QUEST will be awarded a scholarship upon full participation and completion of the program.

QUEST Intensive: June 15 - July 1, 2016 (Monday-Friday, 9am - 3pm)

The QUEST Intensive is a two-and-a-half week orientation to UNF, which includes:QUEST2015 1(1)

  • Building skills essential to college success, including English, Math, Computer, and Study Skills
  • Becoming familiar with university services and resources, such as the library, academic tutoring, and career services
  • Connecting with opportunities for involvement in campus life and student activities
  • Connecting with other incoming and returning UNF students, including a peer mentor

QUEST and Beyond: Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 Semesters 


QUEST Participants will meet monthly throughout the academic year to build community, develop skills, and receive ongoing support, including:

  • Building an ongoing relationships with a peer mentor who has succeeded at UNF
  • Leadership and personal development in monthly seminars in areas of time management, career development, civic engagement and study skills
  • Participation in campus-wide events
  • Access to a full-time professional to advise and support personal growth

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify to participate in the QUEST program, students must:

  • Be formally admitted to the University of North Florida (UNF) for Summer B or Fall 2016 as an incoming college freshman
  • Be a resident of the State of Florida 
  • Identify as a student of color or other under-represented group
  • Be available for the entire duration of QUEST Intensive, June 15 - July 1, 2016
  • Be able and willing to participate in Quest and Beyond during the academic year
  • Submit all application materials outlined below.

Application Materials and Deadline

All applications should be submitted no later than Friday, May 20, 2016. To complete your application, submit the following:

  • Application Form

  • High school transcript 

  • One letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor
  • One page essay on "What Academic Success Means to Me"
Any questions should be directed to Naomi Karp, Intercultural Center for PEACE Coordinator. Application materials can be e-mailed, mailed or personally delivered to:  
University of North Florida
Intercultural Center for PEACE
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224-2645
Attn: Naomi Karp Tilman (SU 58E/1103)
(904) 620-2482


QUEST Peer Mentors

Each participant is paired with a Peer Mentor, a returning student who has successfully navigated UNF and is willing to share their insights with incoming students. 


Mentor responsibilities:QUEST2015 18

  • Mentors must be available for Mentor training and during QUEST Intensive to meet mentee
  • Maintain regular contact with mentee throughout the fall and spring semester
  • Be available as an ongoing resource for mentees
  • Attend regular Mentor check-ins with ICP Coordinator
  • Respond to communication from mentee and ICP Coordinator in a timely manner
  • Communicate with ICP Coordinator regarding any mentee issues/concerns
  • Emphasize the importance of involvement on campus and taking responsibility and initiative for one’s own individual growth and development
  • Organize one informal activity each semester for the QUEST group

Mentor Qualifications

  • Must be at least a second year student, have a GPA of 2.5 or higher, and be in good standing with the university
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including active listening
  •  Appreciation for, and sensitivity to, cultural differences
  • Knowledge of campus resources and support systems
  • Maturity in dealing with confidential and personal information
  • Willing to be a role model, both socially and academically
  • Reliable and accountable
  • Self-reflective, able to help evaluate the program and identify areas for improvement
  • Approachable and nonjudgmental