COVID-19 Information

See the latest updates and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including a list of University contact information at


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. 
      • Instructions will be sent to this address ~1 week prior to your date to access your final confirmation materials, mandatory Canvas pre-event modules, tentative schedule, and ability to schedule your 1:1 advising appointment for your event day. 
    • Complete your pre-orientation activities and schedule your 1:1 appointment prior to your event day.
      • Review "Before Your FirstSTEP Orientation"  and "Some Good Things To Know Before Attending" sections,
      • Complete required activities in the "Academic and Advising Information" section- once you do this, you get a link to schedule your appointment 
      • Submit your photo for your Redhawk ID. 
  • Day of Event:
    • Review "Things To Bring With You on Event Day" section in Canvas course before you leave home. 
    • Dress casually and wear comfortable shoes.
    • Display your parking permit clearly when you park on campus.
    • Check-in during your designated window: 
      • 8:15- 9:00 a.m. for Morning Session Participants.
        • Your advising appointment will be between 1:00-5:00 p.m., as scheduled.
      • 1:15-2:00 p.m for Afternoon Session Participants
        • Your advising appointment will be between 8:30a.m- 12:00 p.m., as scheduled.
  • Be sure to have a transcript (unofficial is ok) 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. 
    • Students are required to submit all official test scores directly from the testing agency or include on the official high school transcript by June 1 for summer/fall term and December 1 for spring term. 
  • 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, 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 the Poplar Bluff delivery site) do not need to attend FirstSTEP Orientation. Contact New Student Programs for assistance.  

Graduate and returning students should contact their advisor directly. 

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 New Student Checklist. This flyer provides a link 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  

How much does First STEP cost?

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 FirstSTEP orientation.

All 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.

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 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, so bringing a light jacket or sweater in case rooms are chilly and you often get cold. 

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 Center, but that space usually fills up quickly. Make sure to diplay 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 the copy of the ticket. We will be more than happy to take care of it for you. 

How long does First STEP last?

Face-to-Face First STEP events for 2021 are being run in two sessions. See our detailed schedule here. 

Length of time on campus will vary by family, depending on schedule advising appointment time, length of time spent at open session activities, and participation in the Honors Program Open House or Campus Tours. 

Are there any meals or snacks provided during First STEP?

Due to COVID-19, our meal service will be grab-and-go style.  You have the choice of a pre-packaged deli lunch lwith a variety of sandwich options. chips, fruit, and a fresh-baked cookie. Bottled  water will 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?

Advisors use all of the information we know about a student to build a tentative schedule for them in advance of their 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.

During the pre-orientation process, students will review this schedule and respond with any questions, concerns, or changes needed through their Canvas modules. Advisors use these responses to guide the 1:1 advising appointment on a student's orientation date, where any necessary changes to the tentative schedule can be made. 

By the end of the day, students will have a finalized class schedule in their hands! They 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! 

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 and flexibility regarding class times at earlier sessions, students will still be allowed the chance to develop a schedule which meets their 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 their 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, provide updates during the pre-orientaion modules, and bring a copy of their transcript(s) 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

And check out our Parents pages

What if I plan to attend a regional campus?

You will not need to attend a FirstSTEP Orientation if you plan to attend your first semester at Kennett or Sikeston, the The Cape College Center or Poplar Bluff.  Each campus hosts their own orientation or enrollment events and activities, and you can contact them directly to schedule an appointment. 

Students attending a regional campus can view their Orientation Handbook here. 


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