A 12-hour online program to complement a master’s degree or begin a career in college and career readiness or student services. Courses may also be applied toward the M.Ed. in Higher Education


The graduate certificate program in College Access, Student Success, and Student Services Leadership (CASSL) will provide participants an opportunity to pursue a career in student services related to college and career readiness. The program will prepare college preparation professionals to establish partnerships with K-12 institutions, community colleges, 4-year institutions, community agencies, and private college preparation agencies to establish defined academic and career pathways and mentoring systems for elementary, middle school and high school students. The goal is to prepare all students for success, whether they choose to pursue a college degree, vocational training, or transition to the workforce immediately following high school.

The graduate certificate program will also provide student support professionals with the necessary tools to intercede and provide the appropriate psychological, social and emotional supports during the critical developmental phases of childhood and adolescence to empower minority youth in underrepresented communities and disadvantaged populations to become contributing members of society.

Utilizing the insight gained from this program, participants can also pursue entry-level staff positions related to student affairs administration. Students will develop the requisite knowledge and skills upon completion of a 12-hour curriculum.

Who Should Apply

  • K-12 Teacher Leaders who want to transform the college access and career readiness culture
  • Professionals interested in staff and leadership roles related to pre-collegiate programming in 2- and 4-year institutions
  • Professionals interested in staff and leadership roles in private agencies that provide college access services to students in urban communities
  • Professionals who want to establish partnerships with community leaders and community agencies to promote college access and vocational programming and funding initiatives
  • Professionals who are interested in serving as transition support specialists for K-12 students who express an interest in career options immediately following high school
  • Professionals interested in staff and leadership roles related to student support services in 2- and 4-year institutions

Career Options


  • K-12 College and Career Coach
  • Child Advocacy, Victimization, and Trauma Support Professional (for K-12 and Postsecondary Students)
  • College Readiness Advocate (College Bound/AmeriCorps, Wyman Center, College Advising Corps)
  • Educational Liaison for K-12 and Postsecondary Education
  • Independent College and Career Readiness Professional (Private Practice)

Postsecondary Education:

  • Precollegiate Programming (TRIO, Bridge, Talent Search, Upward Bound, etc.)
  • Student Services Staff and Administration (University Student Support, Precollegiate Programs, Residential Life, Financial Aid, Student Activities, Student Conduct, Admissions and Recruitment, Disability Access Services, etc.)
  • Academic Affairs (Academic Advising, Registration, Student Conduct, Research Compliance, Grants and Contracts, Alumni Development and Fundraising, Institutional Research, Faculty Development and Support, etc.)
  • College Access Policy Development Professional (with State and Federal Agencies such as MDHEWD and Office of Postsecondary Education)

Applicants must be admitted to Graduate School and must submit all transcripts. A GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale is required. International students are required to document English proficiency by providing scores from an internationally accepted standardized examination before a decision is made on admission.

Plan of Study

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the NC-SARA state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.