You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Here is everything you need to know for your First STEP Orientation.

Orientation Checklist 

Prior to Your Face-To-Face Orientation Event: 

  • Watch your Southeast email! 
  • Confirmation of your registration will be sent there, as well as updates about your date status. 

Day of Event: 

  • Dress casually and wear comfortable shoes. 
  • Display your parking permit clearly when you park on campus. 
  • Check-in during the designated window (7:45 - 8:55 am).
  • Have your transcript (unofficial is okay) of any currently enrolled high school courses, or transfer, AP, or dual enrollment credit you have earned or are currently enrolled in to assist during advising. 
  • Submit all official test scores directly from the testing agency or include them on the official high school transcript by June 1 for the summer/fall term and December 1 for the spring term.  
  • Arriving late or leaving early may delay or postpone your enrollment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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. If a student has 24 credit hours or more, they have the option of signing up for one of our Transfer Orientation sessions. 

Students who are completing their degree completely online in an eligible major or attending a regional campus location (Kennett, Sikeston, or Poplar Bluff) do not need to attend First STEP Orientation. Contact New Student Programs for assistance.   

Graduate and returning students should contact their advisors directly.  

It is very easy to sign up for First STEP! Register and find out more information about First STEP. 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 contact our office at (573) 651-5166

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 full semester bill to Southeast. There is no separate charge for First STEP orientation. 

All the new transfer undergraduate domestic students (not exclusively at a regional campus or in a fully online degree program) will be charged a $100 enrollment fee on their first full semester bill to Southeast. There is no separate charge for Transfer Orientation or the online Transfer Orientation Canvas course. 

During First STEP, you are welcome to wear comfortable clothes. Most of the day is spent in the University Center and Academic Hall. 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. If you often get cold, you may want to bring a light jacket or sweater in case rooms are chilly.  

Orientation events take place in the University Center on the corner of Henderson St. and Normal Ave. and parking is provided at the designated orientation parking lot at the corner of Henderson St. and Broadway. Additionally, there is very limited parking in a visitor parking lot right across from the University Center, but that space usually fills up quickly. Make sure to display the provided permit! If you did not receive it, a copy is attached to your final emailed confirmation. 

If you are already on campus, see the Orientation Parking Attendant, or any Orientation Leader for a replacement pass. 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 and provide them a few details and a copy of the ticket. We will be more than happy to take care of it for you.  

We are very excited to return to a full-day schedule for our 2022 orientation events. Students should expect to be on campus all day (approximately 8:00 am - 5:00 pm) on their selected orientation date. Following the conclusion of both student and family/guest sessions, optional activites, such as the Honors Program Open House or Campus Tours, are offered.

A deli lunch will be provided for all students and their guests.  Please let us know as soon as possible if any members of your group have any dietary restrictions.  

Advisors use all the information we know about you to build a tentative schedule for you in advance of your orientation day. We review prior college credit, academic plans, test scores, GPA, and indicated areas of interest and activities to build the best possible schedule for the first semester on campus. 

On the day of your orientation, you will review this schedule and note any questions, concerns, or changes needed on the applicable form. Advisors use these responses to guide the advising process and enrollment process, where any necessary changes to the tentative schedule can be made.  

By the end of the day, you will have a finalized class schedule in your hands! You will also hear valuable information during our academics and advising session: learn about the general education system, class requirements, and other useful information about a first-semester schedule and planning for the future!  

It is difficult to predict which classes will be available during your First STEP visit, but there are a variety of courses from which you 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 and flexibility regarding class times at earlier sessions, you will still be allowed the chance to develop a schedule that meets your needs. 

The advisors will consider any earned college credit from high school or any other institution when you are creating your schedule. To ensure the advisors have the information they need, it is important to report all credit you will have during the registration process, provide updates to our office as needed, and bring a copy of your transcript(s) to First STEP. Doing so will ensure the advisors can help place you in the appropriate classes. First and foremost, you 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 our Transfer Course Conversion Page.   

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! 

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 

For more resources, check out our Families Page!

You will not need to attend a First STEP Orientation if you plan to attend your first semester at the Kennett, Sikeston, or Poplar Bluff campus. Each campus hosts its own orientation or enrollment events and activities, and you can contact them directly to schedule an appointment.  
Academic Hall 100D
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 3550
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701