Women of Color, Honor and Ambition (WOCHA)

The Women of Color, Honor and Ambition (WOCHA) program is a one-year initiative open to all MU undergraduate students who identify as women and are between their second and fifth academic years of study, but is specifically designed through the lens of women of color.

Students will

  • participate in a series of monthly workshops offered by faculty, staff and community leaders;
  • foster a sense of community and bonding with each other and other women of color as role models through social outings; and
  • support their health awareness and development through their participation in wellness activities.

Application Process

Within the online application, students will be asked to respond to the following prompts:

  • Discuss an event that has had a significant impact on your life and/or your academics? (300 word minimum)
  • Within the context of the five foundational pillars of WOCHA (ambition, achievement, integrity, service, health and wellness) please respond to the following prompts: (300 word minimum)
    • Why do you want to be in the WOCHA program?
    • How would the WOCHA program benefit you?
    • How would your participation benefit the WOCHA program?

Additionally, students will need to

  • Upload a cover letter and resume (as a single Word document or PDF)
  • Send the online reference form to be completed on your behalf by one faculty or staff member (MU preferred, but not required) before the application deadline: https://bit.ly/mochawocha_reference

Applicants are strongly encouraged to write and review their responses to the two essay questions, as well as their cover letter and resume, prior to beginning the online application.


The WOCHA program seeks to provide personal, academic, cultural, social, wellness, professional and leadership development to undergraduate women enrolled at Mizzou, to positively impact academic success, increase retention, and develop successful leaders of tomorrow.


WOCHA participants will achieve academic excellence, graduate from college and be empowered to become successful leaders and role models in their respective careers and communities. Scholars will actively engage in the University of Missouri campus and the surrounding community.

Program Goals

  • Increase the retention rates of women of color.
  • Foster a sense of community among participants.
  • Support and challenge women of color to achieve academic excellence.
  • Develop an increased awareness surrounding academic support mechanisms, business acumen, professional attire, etiquette and various social activities.

The five pillars of WOCHA

  • Ambition
  • Achievement
  • Integrity
  • Service
  • Health and Wellness

Eligibility requirements

To be considered for WOCHA, an applicant must:

  • Complete an online application.
  • Be an undergraduate between the second and fifth academic years of study at MU.
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or above.
  • Make a personal commitment to both attendance and academic excellence.

Personal Commitments

  • Program participants must pledge to attend no less than 80% of WOCHA events
  • Program participants must pledge to strive for a 3.0 GPA or better during their year of participation
  • Program participants must complete a community service project
  • Program participants must attend the weekend leadership retreat during each semester

Contact us

Answers to many questions regarding the WOCHA program can be accessed in the frequently asked questions section below. If you have questions or concerns regarding your application, please email us at academicaccess@missouri.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

What can students gain from WOCHA?

WOCHA is dedicated to providing the tools necessary for the development of successful leaders. This initiative will create an environment dedicated to growth and leadership by providing mentorship and life changing experiences, with the goal of equipping participants with the necessary tools for personal, professional and academic success.

Through the monthly workshops, students will develop a set of core competencies:

  • Ambition (e.g. perseverance and career ambition),
  • Achievement (e.g. priority setting and time management),
  • Integrity (e.g. ethics and values),
  • Service and health and wellness (e.g. work/life balance and conflict management)

Beyond skill development, students will gain a cohort of peers and receive mentorship from various community leaders. WOCHA members who complete the program and meet the programmatic goals will receive a tailored suit at the end of the program.

Is there anything needed beyond the eligibility requirements listed above and on the application?

Eligibility requirements listed on the application include:

  • A grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (minimum)
  • A personal commitment to attending no less than 80% of WOCHA’s workshops, health and wellness activities, and social gatherings
  • A personal commitment to strive for a 3.0 GPA or better during the year of participation in MOCHA

Beyond these requirements, students should:

  • Demonstrate high academic performance;
  • Provide leadership to units with a significant impact on services and resources of the university;
  • Demonstrate interest in personal and professional development;
  • Have the ability to attend all sessions and activities of the program; and
  • Be willing to serve as a “peer coach” to others in the program.
What happens after a student applies?

After the application period closes, students will be notified of their selection within the communicated timeline.

What will participation in the program cost students?

In an effort to ensure equitable and inclusive membership, WOCHA membership will come at no cost to the student. All travel and accommodations will be incorporated into the MU Office of Academic Access & Leadership Development budget.

Where will monthly workshops be held?

Seminars will primarily take place in-person on MU’s campus, as virtual meetings, or within the broader community.

When will the schedule of workshops be available?

Dates and times for the upcoming academic year of WOCHA workshops will be distributed to potential participants at or prior to the orientation for selected students. When finalized, the schedule will be posted in Canvas.

How does WOCHA benefit the University of Missouri?

WOCHA will work to increase access and success for historically underrepresented/underserved populations; this outcome aligns with the Inclusive Excellence Framework, a framework designed to help the university incorporate diversity efforts into the core of its function, so MU students can be served by the educational benefits of diversity.

In the short term, WOCHA benefits the campus and the broader community as participants engage in campus and community service, one of the five pillars of WOCHA. In the long term, participants will use the skills and values they developed through their participation in WOCHA to positively impact their respective careers and communities.

Reviewed 2023-02-16