Orientation Checklist

  • Dress casually and wear comfortable shoes.
  • Display your parking permit clearly when you park on-campus.
  • Check-in between 7:45-8:55 am. 
  • Please plan on being on campus until approximately 5:00 p.m. on your First STEP day.
  • Be sure to have a transcript of any trasnfer, AP, or dual enrollment credit you have earned.
  • Arriving late or leaving early may delay or postpone your enrollment.

Is First STEP orientation required for all incoming students?

First STEP is required for all incoming students coming directly from high school or with under 24 transferrable hours. It is an enjoyable day packed with information about classes, housing, college life, and a multitude of other topics regarding your time at Southeast. First STEP orientation is designed for students with fewer than 24 completed credit hours. If a student has 24 credit hours or more, he or she has the option of signing up for one of our Transfer Orientation sessions.

How do I sign up for First STEP?

It is very easy to sign up for First STEP! Within a student's Admission Packet, there is a First STEP Orientation flyer. This flyer contains the list of dates of upcoming First STEPs as well as a link to visit to register online. Once you register for First STEP, a confirmation will be sent to your Southeast e-mail address. You will receive a confirmation packet with an agenda of the day, a parking permit, and other important materials approximately two weeks before your scheduled First STEP date. If you need to change your First STEP date, please call our office at 573-651-5166 or e-mail us at nsp@semo.edu.  

How much does First STEP cost?

The university charges a $100 fee to attend First STEP. The fee goes toward paying for food, personnel, and other resources used during the day. You will not have to pay the fee during the day, but rather a charge will be assessed to the student's account after they attend First STEP Orientation.

What do I wear to First STEP?

During First STEP, you are welcome to wear comfortable clothes. Most of the day is spent in the University Center. There are campus tours available to families wishing to get a more personalized glimpse of the campus. Depending on the weather conditions, you may want to dress accordingly (e.g. an umbrella is always a good idea on those rainy days). We want your experience at First STEP to be both enjoyable and comfortable, so bringing a light jacket or sweater if rooms are chilly is a great idea as well. 

Where do I park?

Orientation events take place in the University Center on the corner of Henderson Street and Normal Avenue and parking is provided at the designated orientation parking lot at the corner of Henderson Street and Broadway. Additionally, there is very limited parking in a Visitor Parking Lot right across from the University, but that space usually fills up quickly. Make sure to diplay the provided permit! If you did not receive it, see the Orientation parking attendant, or any Orientation Leader. If for some reason you receive a parking ticket during the day of First STEP, simply notify one of the Orientation Leaders or a member of the Orientation Staff. We will be more than happy to take it!

How long does First STEP last?

First STEP starts promptly at 9 a.m. and lasts until approximately 5 p.m. Times will vary depending on advising times. Optional tours are available at the end of the day for students and guests who are interested in seeing the campus. Those tours do include a stop at the residence halls!

Are there any meals or snacks provided during First STEP?

Absolutely! We have refreshments throughout the day. When you arrive in the morning, you will find a light, continental-style breakfast and beverages available while you are waiting for the sessions to begin. At lunch, you have the choice of tuna, turkey, or ham sandwiches with chips, pasta salad, and fresh-baked cookies. Sodas and water will be provided. Through the remainder of the day, additional snacks and beverages will also be provided. Please let us know as soon as possible if you have any dietary restrictions. 

Will I have a class schedule by the end of the day?

By the end of the day, students will have a class schedule in your hands! During our Jumpstart and Advising sessions, students learn about the General Education (general education) system, class requirements, and other useful information about a student's first-semester schedule! After absorbing the information and browsing some of the information provided in the handbook and via the student Portal, students will have an opportunity to work with their advisor, to tailor their partially-developed schedule to their individual needs. 

Will I have a good schedule of classes if I come to one of the later First STEP sessions?

It is difficult to predict which classes will be available during your First STEP visit, but there are a variety of courses from which a student can choose. Departments will open new class sections if they see an overwhelming demand for certain classes. While there may be a greater range of class options at earlier sessions, students will still be allotted the chance to develop a schedule, which meets the student's needs.

If I already have college credit from high school or another institution, will the advisors take that into consideration when I select my classes?

The advisors will consider any earned college credit form high school or any other institution when the student is creating his or her schedule. To ensure the advisors have the information they need, it is important the student report all credit they will have during the registration process, and bring a copy of their transcript to First STEP. Doing so will ensure that the advisors can help place students in the appropriate classes. First and foremost, students should have earned credit transferred to Southeast as soon as possible. If you have a question about what a course may transfer to at Southeast, you can go to the Transfer Course Conversion page.

Will I still get classes if I enroll during the summer months?

You will still get classes even if you enroll during the summer months. Although, you may not have as many options in terms of classes, times, and sections. We encourage you to sign up for a First STEP at your earliest convenience!

Where might family members get information on how to deal with their child leaving home?

There are several different resources available to you. Of course, you can always speak with the staff in New Student Programs!

  • When Kids Go to College: A Parent's guide to Changing Relationships by Newman
  • Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Today's College Experience by Coburn and Treeger
  • Don't Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years by Johnson and Schelhas-Miller
  • How to Survive in an Empty Nest: Reclaiming Your Life when Your Children Have Grown by Lauer
  • Almost Grown: Launching Your Child from High School to College by Pasick
  • Empty Nest, Full Heart: The Journey from Home to College by Van Steenhouse and Parker


Academic Hall 100D
New Student Programs
One University Plaza, MS 3550
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701