Natissia has more than 27 years of service with the University of Missouri-St. Louis and serves as Vice Provost for Access, Academic Support, and Workforce Integration. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication from Southeast Missouri State University and dual master's degrees in Secondary School Education-Adult Education and Counseling from UMSL. She obtained her doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership from UMSL. Her campus responsibilities include college access initiatives and programming, academic support, tutoring, unique student population services, mentoring, and cultural enrichment programming. She provided the vision, oversight, and leadership for UMSL’s Division of Student Academic Support Services unit which houses the departments of Precollegiate Student Support Services (Bridge Program), Multicultural Student Support Services, Student Enrichment and Achievement, TRIO Student Support Services, Office of Workforce Integration, University Tutoring Center, and the Computer Education & Training Center.
She works directly with all constituents to establish strong collaborative partnerships across campus and the St. Louis community to promote college access, student support services, and retention initiatives to aid in closing the achievement gap. As a result, she has led the University in gaining local, state and national recognition serving more than 5,000 students and families in the St. Louis community annually through precollege programming. She is committed to creating an inclusive community for all constituents that personifies respect, accountability and acceptance while empowering students to achieve degree completion and lifelong success.
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.