Academic Access and Leadership Development

McNair Scholars seated at 33rd Annual McNair Scholars Conference and Luncheon

The Office of Academic Access and Leadership Development enhances MU’s ability to engage and impact students from underrepresented and underserved populations throughout the various stages of the K-20 pipeline; thereby positively affecting student access, development and educational and career outcomes.

Current Initiatives

K-12 Engagement, Outreach and Access Initiatives


Missouri College Advising Corps Group Photo

The Missouri College Advising Corp (MCAC), founded in 2008 at the University of Missouri-Columbia in partnership with College Advising Corps, is a college access and career readiness program that recruits, intensively trains, and places recent college graduates as full-time, near-peer college advisers in partner high schools across urban and rural communities of the state with low college enrollment rates and high percentages of underrepresented students, including students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

 

High School Men and Women of Color, Honor and Ambition (MOCHA and WOCHA): Providing personal, academic, cultural, social, professional and leadership development to high school students in Missouri, the high school MOCHA and WOCHA program positively impacts academic success, increases retention and develops successful leaders of tomorrow.

 

Emerging Leaders Conference is a four-day campus experience for Missouri high schools students, representing the combined efforts of IDE and the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Foundation. Divided into two parts, this conference extends the opportunity for high school students to build a foundation for success as leaders in their schools and communities by fostering leadership and advocacy skills.

 

2022 MAC Scholars pose for group photo

MAC Scholars Summer Honors Academy: Partnering with Columbia Public Schools (CPS), the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity provides up to 50 academically competitive multicultural CPS scholars with a summer academic and enrichment program. The program takes place on the MU campus, with MAC Scholars living in residence halls and experiencing instruction within a college environment. The goal of the program is to help students envision themselves as future college students. 

 

STEM Cubs Middle ConnectionsSTEM Cubs are free engineering camps that serve mid-Missouri students in grades K-8. The programs emphasize the importance of exposing all students to exploratory and experiential learning. The programs seek to engage elementary and middle school students, particularly those historically underrepresented in STEM education and career fields, to hands-on STEM activities. A collaboration between the College of Engineering, College of Education & Human Development, and the Office of Access & Leadership Development, STEM Cubs takes place three times per year: summer, fall and spring.

 

Undergraduate Pipeline Programs


Discover Program designed to assist Mizzou freshmen and sophomores from underrepresented groups interested in graduate education, the Discover Program helps students examine graduate education opportunities and career trends, discover the benefits of pursuing an advanced degree in their fields, explore strategies for academic success both as an undergraduate and a graduate student, and learn about paid summer research opportunities. The program also serves as a pipeline initiative for the McNair Scholars Program.

 

2021-2022 McNair Scholars Group Photo

McNair Scholars prepares students from traditional underrepresented groups and first-generation students for academic and professional success throughout their undergraduate careers. A main focus of the program is to provide enriching experiences, such as research opportunities, that prep students for graduate and professional programs.

 

 

MOLSAMP Student posing with Dr. Dorner in group photo

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), sponsored by the National Science Foundation, seeks to significantly increase the number of underrepresented minority students in Missouri who complete undergraduate and advance degrees in STEM fields. LSAMP weaves in integral pieces for creating well-rounded academic and professional experiences, including internships, opportunities to conduct research, and network with other STEM students and working professionals.

Undergraduate Access, Leadership and Outreach Initiatives


 

MOCHA Scholar receiving Dale Carnegie Certificate

Men of Color, Honor and Ambition (MOCHA) is a one-year initiative open to all undergraduate MU students between their second and fifth academic years of study who identify as men, but is specifically designed through the lens of male students of color. Students participate in a series of monthly workshops offered by faculty, staff and community leaders that foster a sense of community and bonding with each other and other role models of color through social outings and wellness activities.

 

Student Success Coaching Academic Access and Leadership Development Student Success Coaching seeks to intentionally support students from underrepresented groups and marginalized communities to improve their success at Mizzou and beyond. This Student Success Coaching Model works by utilizing large group presentations and individual and group sessions to help students develop key skills, habits, and knowledge that contributes to their success in all areas of life, personal and professional.

WOCHA Scholars at Senior Send Off

Women of Color, Honor and Ambition (WOCHA) is a one-year initiative open to all undergraduate students who identify as women between their second and fifth academic years of study. The program, which is specifically designed through the lens of students of color, aims to positively impact academic efforts and develop successful leaders of tomorrow. Selected students participate in a series of monthly workshops offered by faculty, staff and community leaders. These workshops aim to provide personal, academic, cultural, social, professional and leadership support.

 

 


Mizzou Black Men’s Initiative (MBMI) is a one-year leadership & identity development undergraduate program that aims to articulate the benefits of higher education, expectations and values of the university while promoting a sense of belonging and engagement in the curricular and co-curricular life for students who identify as Black men at Mizzou. MBMI provides a foundational environment that enhances growth, development, and opportunities that can lead to the retention and persistence of participants to pursue their educational goals.

 

Mizzou Black Women’s Initiative (MBWI) is a one-year leadership & identity development undergraduate program designed to assist new and returning students who identify as Black women in making a successful transition to Mizzou, both academically and personally. MBWI aims to foster a sense of belonging, promote engagement in the curricular and co-curricular university life, encourage critical thinking, and seeks to help students develop and apply essential skills, explore interest, abilities, and values that are essential to student success.

Graduate Student Professional Development Programs


 

2021-22 GSE Cohort in a group photo at Mizzou RecGraduate Scholars of Excellence (GSE) was created to help streamline efforts of graduate student organizations serving underrepresented graduate students. These efforts include retention and success resources, and the provision of programming that furthers professional development and community building among underrepresented graduate students committed to inclusive excellence. This initiative also seeks to engage, support, mentor and guide current and prospective underrepresented undergraduate students who have expressed an interest in attending graduate school.

 

Southern Region Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholar Program: The goal of the Southern Region Education Board Doctoral Scholar Program is to increase the number of minority students who earn doctorates and choose to become faculty at colleges and universities. The program has long partnered with SREB-region states to provide services that help minority scholars attain doctorates.