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First STEP

There's a lot to do when you enroll. 

It starts with First STEP. 

At Southeast, we are committed to making the transition to college life easier. We encourage students and their family members to ask lots of questions, actively participate in sessions, develop friendships and learn everything you can about Southeast.

We understand your transition to college is changing. We're all learning new processes, and in true Southeast Missouri State fashion, at least we're learning them together.

The format for 2021 orientation and enrollment events are listed below in the slide out for each semester. Please carefully review the options prior to registering for a session. More detailed information will be shared in the confirmation. 

During this time, we're more committed than ever to helping you navigate college and stay on track to join us in the fall. We have a robust orientation process- and that won't change- because we want to promote your educational, career, professional and social deveopment while helping you understand your options and resources.

First STEP Orientation introduces you to the personal support systems in place to set you up for amazing achievements in your time on campus. We give you the time and place to meet with your academic advisor in one of our groundbreaking academic areas that will help you launch an extraordinary career. We can't wait to see what you do!

It takes less than five minutes to register for orientation...what are you waiting for?

Select your first semester of enrollment below. 
If you need to reschedule or update your information, please call 573-651-5166.

For Summer and Fall 2021 enrollment, two options will be offered:

  • Face-to-face events
    • Virtual pre-enrollment module required in advance of orientation date through campus learning management system, Canvas
    • Half-day sessions (AM/PM) with 1:1 virtual advising appointments in the other half of the day or the day prior to orientation, based on advisor availability
    • Virtual appointments can be completed from a lab on campus with assistance or remotely
    • Supplemental content to presentations at the event and other areas shared after completion of pre-enrollment processes
    • Due to current venue capacities, there is a strict limit of one guest per student participant.
  • Fully virtual option
    • Self-paced
    • Completed through campus learning management system, Canvas
    • After completion of pre-advising module and activities, 1:1 virtual or phone advising appointments scheduled with professional advisor through SupportNET
    • Remaining required modules unlock after completion of advising.
  • Additional details will be shared on timeline, schedule, and instructions after you register.
    • First access to the fully virtual course will be shared in early May for students who register for this session by mid-April and on a rolling bi-weekly basis after.

Remaining Dates: 

  • Fall 2021 Virtual FirstSTEP
    • Students registered for this event by mid-April will begin enrollment and orientation activities in early May. 
    • Students registered for this event after mid-April will begin enrollment and orientation activities on a rolling basis within two to three weeks of their submitted registration.  
  • All face-to-face events have passed.

Got all that? Register Now!

Students who plan to complete a tryout, interview, or audition for an academic department, scholarship, or team on the same day as orientation should make New Student Programs aware as soon as possible so that we can appropriately schedule your advising appointment time.  

Enrollment Fee

All New, First-Time Undergraduate Domestic Students (not exclusively at a regional campus or in a fully online degree program) will be charged a $150 enrollment fee on their first semester bill to Southeast. There is no separate charge for orientation. 


For Spring 2021 enrollment, two events will be offered:

  • Details on events for Spring events (location, format, etc.) will be released soon.
    • You should plan on events for orientation being a full day, on campus, on the date that you select.
    • Events will include presentations about campus programs and services, advising, and enrollment in your first semester of college coursework on our campus.
    • Additional details will be shared on timeline, schedule, and instructions after you register and no later than 3 weeks of your scheduled event. 

Spring 2021 Dates: 

  • Friday, November 12, 2021
  • Thursday, January 13, 2022

Got all that? Register Now!

Students cannot complete a tryout, interview, or audition for an academic department, scholarship, or team on the same day as orientation. Please contact New Student Programs as soon as possible so that we can reschedule your orientation date.   

Enrollment Fee

All New, First-Time Undergraduate Domestic Students (not exclusively at a regional campus or in a fully online degree program) will be charged a $150 enrollment fee on their first semester bill to Southeast. There is no separate charge for orientation. 

Event details and dates coming soon.

Students, you will:

  • Be guided on your transition to Southeast
  • Be introduced to programs and services to enhance your success and experience at Southeast.
  • Be able to identify the rights and responsibilities you have as a Redhawk for your own engagement and academic success
  • Meet and interact with other new students
  • Learn how to access and use a variety of campus technology resources
  • Understand the purpose and process of academic advising and course selection
    • Complete the registration process
    • Be introduced to campus tools like Degree Maps and Degree Works
    • Identify major completion milestones in your major
    • Meet with a faculty or staff member from your desired major
    • Get information about your assigned academic advisor and how to contact them
  • Learn about major and career exploration
  • Be more confident and excited in your decision to attend Southeast!

 Family members and guests, you will:

  • Be introduced to strategies to help your student be successful
  • Learn about policies related to Southeast Missouri State University and how these policies are enforced and addressed on campus for the student population
  • Meet and interact with other families in transition
  • Be more confident and excited about your student’s decision to attend Southeast!

For All FirstSTEP Orientation Events (all formats):

The Orientation Handbook

As entering Southeast students, information about all the university resources can become overwhelming. To help you along, we have created an Orientation Handbook which lists information on classes, advising and enrollment, campus living, financial aid, and other institutional resources. All students (and their parents or guests!) will receive their handbook when they check in at First STEP Orientation or as a link in their virtual orientation course. It can also be accessed here.  
(The Orientation Hanbook for Summer and Fall 2021 Enrollment will be available in early February.)

Writing Placement Exam and Course Placement Assessments

Southeast is a test-optional institution for admission and scholarship consideration. However, if you have standardized test scores, we encourage you to submit them for placement purposes in English and Mathematics. Lack of test scores or prior college credit may require you to take a placement exam.

English Placement

Prior to arrival at First STEP or accessing the online course, some students will be encouragedd to take the Writing Placement Exam. The exam is taken online, and instructions on how to take the exam will be provided in your confirmation materials. All students should take the Writing Placement Exam unless they meet one of the below conditions:

  • Student has a high school GPA of 2.75 or higher. 
  • Student has an ACT English subscore of 18 or greater, or equivalent SAT (430+ ERW) score. 
  • Student has already taken an English composition course and received college credit.
  • Student has spoken with the Coordinator for the Center for Writing Excellence or the Director of First-Year Composition, and they have agreed to evaluate the student's writing portfolio.
  • For more details on the Writing Placement process, click here.

Math Placement

Southeast students are initially placed into a mathematics course based on the ACT Math subscore or the SAT Math Score. These scores must have been earned within the past three years to be used for math placement. Students may also be asked to provide details on their high school math courses taken and the grades recieved in them to assist with placement if no standardized test scores are available.

Students also have the option of taking an online mathematics placement exam. Taking the mathematics placement exam is NOT required, but it is necessary if the student wants a higher mathematics placement for their initial mathematics course at Southeast Missouri State University. For more details, practice exams, and eligibilty criteria, click here. 

Course Placement Assessments

For Virtual Events: 

Academic Advising

Virtual First STEP will connect you with a highly trained professional advisor to advise and assist in constructing and finalizing your first semester schedule. After completing your online advising module and worksheet, you recieve a link to schedule a 1:1 phone or Zoom meeting with your assigned advisor, based on your indicated area of study or admission status. Parents are welcome to participate in this conversation! 

For Face to Face Events:


The First STEP programs are held in the University Center on the corner of Henderson Street and Normal Street. Please park in the lot on Broadway next to Imo's Pizza, the lot across from Vandiver Hall on Henderson or the visitor lot across from the University Center. A parking permit, along with a schedule of the day's events, will be mailed to you approximately two weeks before your reserved First STEP date. If using a GPS device for directions, the following address will set your destination to our visitor parking lot: 373 N. Henderson, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Academic Advising

First STEP will provide highly trained faculty and staff to advise and assist in constructing your first semester schedule. You and a small group of students with similar majors will work with an advisor in your anticipated field of study. If you are undecided (which we refer to as "Exploratory"), you will be advised by a professional advisor who is skilled in assisting students who have not yet determined their major.


If you are looking for a place to stay while you are here for First STEP Orientation, look no farther than the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitor's Bureau or the Jackson Chamber of Commerce for a listing of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other lodging options. (Select "Stay") (Select "Directory" and "Hotels")


Please note that the Drury Suites – Cape & Jackson, Drury Lodge, or Pear Tree Inn all offer a Southeast family discount. Please provide the following promotional code if you will be staying with one of these hotels: 317573

Don't Forget
  • Face to Face First STEP is split into two sessions. Combined, many students will spend a full day completing orientation-related activities. 
    • Students registering for the Morning sessions will attend sessions in the morning, and complete their 1:1 advising appointment in the afternoon.
    • Students registering for the Afternoon sessions will complete their 1:1 advising appointment in the morning, and attend sessions in the afternooon.
    • Students can complete their 1:1 advising appointment in one of our provided lab settings to receive support from trained Southeast staff; students are also welcome to complete the session from a personal device off-campus. 
  • Virtual Orientation is self-paced, and will take several hours to complete, but can be done over several sitings.
  • Be On Time - Checking in late will delay your enrollment process.
  • Display your parking pass as instructed.
  • Bring a copy of any college credit that you have already received or are currently enrolled in.
Things to Remember

Make sure your most current and highest test scores are on file with Admissions. You may wish to bring a copy of your most recent scores in case of any discrepancies.

Be sure to check the deadline for all tuition fees, residence hall room and meal plan charges, and general fees, to be paid in full or to be enrolled in the installment payment plan. If the University does not receive payment by the deadline, you risk having your class schedule, residence hall room assignment, and meal plan cancelled.

If you achieve at least a 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) high school cumulative GPA, you are automatically eligible for Southeast's Jane Stephens Honors Program. Information will be provided prior to your orientation date. See more here. 

Every student must return their Residence Life Agreement (with $150 deposit) or a request for release from the on-campus residency requirement to the Office of Residence Life.


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