Natissia Small serves as Assistant Provost for Access and Academic Support in Academic Affairs at the University of Missouri–St Louis (UMSL). She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Southeast Missouri State University and dual master degrees in Secondary School Education-Adult Education and Counseling from UMSL. Small obtained her doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership from UMSL as well. Small’s campus responsibilities includes oversight for college access initiatives, academic support services, tutoring, at-risk student support, mentoring, and cultural enrichment programming. She implemented and provides leadership for UMSL’s Student Academic Support Services unit which houses the departments of Precollegiate Student Support Services (Bridge Program), Multicultural Student Support Services, Student Enrichment and Achievement, and launched the newly created University Tutoring Center. She holds more than 25 years of higher education experience.
Small works directly with all constituents to establish strong collaborative partnerships across campus and the St. Louis community to student success through college access, academic support services, and retention initiatives to aid in closing the achievement gap. As a result Small has led the university in gaining local, state, and national recognition. She is committed to creating an inclusive community for all constituents that personifies respect, accountability and acceptance while empowering students to achieve degree completion.
Under her leadership, the Office of Precollegiate (Bridge) Program have experienced growth and increased community impact throughout St. Louis. The Bridge Program serves more than 5,000 students and families in the St. Louis community annually. Since 2003, 100 percent of Bridge participants have successfully matriculated to public and private post-secondary institutions. Through strong partnerships with local K-12 institutions, community organizations and parents, the Bridge Program provides effective and distinctive precollegiate services.
Small has led college access efforts at the university receiving notable recognitions. The Bridge Program received recognition in 2008 from the Missouri Senate for “excellent contributions and outstanding dedication to the community,” the National Dr. Asa G. Hilliard Award from the College Board, Focus on St Louis What’s Right with the Region and many more. Small has successfully led support service units in decreasing the achievement gap of minority students by eliminating barriers that impede degree completion. Small has received various individual award recognitions including the University of Missouri–St Louis Women’s Trailblazer Award, UMSL National Society of Leadership Excellence in Service to Students Award, North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice Youth Task Force Mentor of the Year Award, North County Incorporated “Thirty Leaders in their 30s” award, City of Florissant Making a Difference Award, St. Louis American’s Salute to Excellence in Education Award, and the North County Incorporated Community Development Leadership Award.