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Apply to MOCHA

Complete our Qualtrics form by April 29, 2019, to submit an application or nominate a student for participation for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Program description

Men of Color, Honor and Ambition (MOCHA) is a one-year systemwide initiative open to all undergraduate students MU, UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL students who identify as men and are between their second and fifth academic years of study, but is specifically designed through the lens of male students 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 male role models of color through social outings; and support their health awareness and development through their participation in wellness activities.

Eligibility requirements

Applicant must:

  • Be an undergraduate male between the second and fifth academic years of study at MU, UMKC, Missouri S&T or UMSL.
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 (minimum) or 2.75 (preferred).
  • Make a personal commitment to both attendance and academic excellence.

In addition, a personal statement (applying) or a recommendation (nominating a student) is required.


MOCHA exists to provide personal, academic, cultural, social, professional and leadership development to undergraduate males at MU, UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL, in an effort to positively impact academic success, increase retention and develop successful leaders of tomorrow, today.


MOCHA participants will achieve academic excellence, graduate from college and be empowered to become successful leaders and role models in their respective careers and communities. These men will be actively engaged in the University of Missouri System, their campuses and their communities, and will forever be committed to achieving in every phase of human endeavor.

Program goals

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

The five pillars of MOCHA

Personal commitments


Applicants must pledge to attend no less than 75% of MOCHA events, if accepted into the program.

3.0 Pledge

Applicants must pledge to strive for a 3.0 GPA or better during their year of participation, if accepted into MOCHA.

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

Contact us

Answers to many questions regarding the MOCHA program can be accessed in the frequently asked questions section below. If you have questions or concerns regarding your application, please contact Carla Klein at

Frequently asked questions

What can students gain from MOCHA?

MOCHA 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. These competencies include 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. MOCHA members who complete the program and meet the programmatic goals will receive a personally tailored suit and shirt at the end of the program to observe their achievement.

What campuses are included in the program?

Since MOCHA is a systemwide initiative, students from all four campuses within the UM System (MU, UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL) will be accepted into the program.

Do students have to have a nomination to apply?

A nomination is not required to fill out an initial application.

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) or 2.75 (preferred);
  • A personal commitment to attending no less than 75% of MOCHA’s workshops (includes course and community service activities), 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. We like to call it our “3.0 Pledge;” and
  • A statement:
    • If applying: A personal statement of 500 words (maximum) regarding the importance of MOCHA’s foundational pillars to your personal, professional and academic leadership development.
    • If nominating a student: A recommendation statement regarding the student’s academic performance, leadership, service, interest in personal and/or professional development or other reason the faculty or staff member is nominating the student for 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 or is nominated?

After the application period closes, students will be contacted to set up in-person interviews during the months of April and May. After interviews are concluded, final selections will be made and students will be notified of their selection or rejection before the start of the fall semester.

Who will interview candidates during the review process?

Interviews and selections will be conducted by Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Dr. Kevin McDonald as well as NaTashua Davis, executive director of the Access and Leadership Team and Jerome Young, Graduate Assistant for MU's Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. 

What will participation in the program cost students?

In an effort to ensure equitable and inclusive membership across the system, MOCHA membership will come at no cost to the student. All travel and accomodations will be incorporated into the UM System Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion budget.

Where will monthly workshops be held?

In an effort to accommodate students throughout the system, there will be four weekend seminars; the schedule for these seminars will be released at a later date. Seminars will rotate between all four campuses (located in Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, and St. Louis) within the system. During the months that there are no weekend seminars, participants will be expected to attend monthly Telepresence meetings on their respective campuses.

When will the schedule of workshops be available?

Dates and times for the upcoming academic year of MOCHA workshops will be distributed to potential participants prior to the start of the school year. When finalized, the schedule will be posted online. These dates will be made available to students before the final decisions on program participation will be made.

How does MOCHA benefit the University of Missouri System?

MOCHA 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 UM System students can be served by the educational benefits of diversity.

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

Reviewed 2019-08-05