Southeast is as successful at helping students find success as we are helping them get their education. The student success story is an important institutional story.

Not only does our student success show the tenacity and quality of our students, but it also speaks to the commitment and dedication of the faculty and staff who support those students every day. While it may be easy to showcase our groundbreaking academic programs, showing the tireless work to assist students in those programs is often more challenging. It can’t be quantified easily with only accreditations but through the individual interactions that are the hallmark of Southeast’s dedication to personal support for every student.

Student Success in Numbers

  • 80%

    Freshmen Retention Rate

    In 2016, Southeast set a goal to retain 80% of its first-time, full-time students within six years. In 2020, we reached that goal. This success was possible through the collaborative work of faculty and staff to support students, particularly in a very difficult academic year. 

  • 24%

    Increase in Freshmen Minority Students

    Ever committed to a diverse campus, Southeast works to help students from all backgrounds find a home at the University. In 2020, we increased our beginning freshmen minority recruitment by 24%, including a 26% increase in African American students and a 67% growth in Hispanic students. 

  • 9

    Learner Success Laboratory Schools

    In 2020, Southeast was selected as one of just nine schools to participate in the American Council on Education’s (ACE) inaugural Learner Success Laboratory to strengthen the University’s mission of student-centered education and experiential learning. 

  • 97%

    Employed or Furthering their Education

    One of the biggest success stories is knowing that 97% of Southeast students are employed or furthering their education within six months of graduation. It speaks to our ultimate goal of graduating competent, confident graduates ready to triumph in their chosen career paths. 


"SEMO is a great school with a lot of options and opportunities. The faculty and staff at SEMO go above and beyond for their students and are dedicated to the success of the students on campus."

Grace Hiller

A portrait of Historic Preservation major, Grace Hiller.

Supporting Students

  • College Access

    Southeast has been a test optional school, but in 2020, we announced we were expanded that and students would now be eligible for institutional scholarships without a test score, meaning students could be both admitted and receive scholarships based only on their high school GPA. In addition, we eliminated our application fee, removing barriers for any student who wants to apply. 
  • Financial Support

    One of the biggest barriers to college can be cost. Southeast has long been an institution that knows the importance of affordable tuition. But in recent years we’ve taken that a step forward by reimagining our scholarship program so that 70% of students are eligible. We also created the Will To Do Award which offers eligible Pell students $0 in tuition and general fees. We changed our endowed scholarship awarding process so we determine eligibility rather than the student having to take those steps. All meaning, with one application, we’re able to make your scholarship offer. 
  • Academic Support

    Our academic advisors work with students to help them both identify a major and stay on course to earning their degree. A peer mentor program (PASS) was established to give students peer-to-peer support. For students needing additional assistance, Southeast offers multiple avenues to get free tutoring. And, for those who want help landing a job, career counselors provide guidance and coaching. 
  • Personal Support

    Who couldn’t use a little extra help? How about a whole team! During your time in college, you’ll have faculty, advisors, coaches, and counselors. Southeast implemented SupportNET powered by Hobsons Starfish to put them all in one place. The technology platform huddles a student’s entire team, so they can motivate and celebrate as well as raise issues and work through concerns. And, students have only one stop to get questions answered. 

Honors Program

Some students need to be challenged more academically. It's how they grow and thrive. The Jane Stephens Honors Program allows those students to take specific honors classes, to work with faculty mentors, and to learn together with specific programs at the Honors House.

Learning Communities

Learning communities are groups of students living and learning together who share special interests. These unique cohorts take classes, participate in activities with faculty, and live on the same residence hall floors together. These programs support students to greater academic achievement and involvement on campus.

Study Abroad

Whether the goal is to better learn a language, immerse in a culture, or gain world experience, Southeast's Study Abroad program opens students up to a literal world of learning at a cost that is affordable. More than 50 destinations are offered in a variety of short-term and semester-long programs.

Academic Hall 138
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 3500
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701