First Step Institute

Preparing young women of color and/or Indigenous women for higher education, the First Step Summer Institute is a free and unique college immersion experience on our St. Paul campus.

Application deadline has been extended—now open through April 28!

  • About

    What is First Step?

    In this 4-day residential program, students gain a deeper sense of commitment to pursue higher education, a strong network of diverse, college-bound friends, a sense of support and encouragement from St. Kate's staff, faculty and students, more perspective on college living, and ultimately, increased self-esteem about their capacity to apply to and thrive in college.

    • Work and live with 25 other fun and energetic young women, all of whom are striving to go to college.
    • Observe college classes and ask important questions of St. Kate's students, faculty, and staff.
    • Build a deeper sense of community and leadership skills with the help of team-building activities.
    • Attend a variety of workshops that are packed with invaluable information. Topics covered include: applying for financial aid, choosing a major/career, tips for taking the ACT exam, how to write a personal statement and college money/debt management
    • Work with your peers on a group project designed to foster your skills and prepare you for college living.

    Qualified alumnae of First Step who apply and are accepted to St. Kate's will be considered for scholarships. First Step is completely free to students and families.

    Skills You'll Develop

    • Time, money, stress and conflict management
    • Goal setting
    • Problem solving
    • Active listening
    • Resourcefulness
    • Confidence and empowerment
    • Accountability to yourself and to others

  • Apply

    How can I join?

    Eligibility

    First Step is a highly competitive program with more applicants than there are slots available. Meeting eligibility requirements alone does not guarantee admission to this program. Program enrollment is limited to 26 students per session.

    You must:

    • Identify as a woman of color and/or Indigenous woman
    • Be enrolled in the 10th or the 11th grade and have at least a 2.75 grade point average (GPA)
    • Be interested in higher education
    • Demonstrate a willingness to make First Step your first priority
    • Complete the application

    2017 First Step Session Dates

    • Session I: June 19–22, 2017
    • Session II: June 26–29, 2017

    Apply by April 28 to Attend a Session

    • Complete the online application or download and submit a paper application. The extended application deadline is April 28, 2017.
    • Request your most recent transcript or grade report (unofficial is okay). Your transcript should be mailed directly from your high school in a sealed envelope to our mailing address below.

  • Option 1

    Apply Online

    • Complete the First Step online application
    • Obtain two letters of recommendation. One recommendation should come from a current teacher and the other from an adult who can speak honestly about your personal qualities and interests, talents, and skills. Recommenders can submit their recommendations online.
    • Request your most recent transcript or grade report (unofficial is okay). Your transcript should be mailed directly from your high school in a sealed envelope to our mailing address below.

  • Option 2

    Apply Via Mail (Paper Application)

    • Download and complete the First Step application
    • Obtain two letters of recommendation. One recommendation should come from a current teacher and the other from an adult who can speak honestly about your personal qualities and interests, talents, and skills. Recommendations should be sent directly from your recommender in a sealed envelope to our mailing address below.
    • Request your most recent transcript or grade report (unofficial is okay). Your transcript should be mailed directly from your high school in a sealed envelope to our mailing address below.

get in touch

Email for more information:

Send documents to:

Kimberly Muñoz
Multicultural Outreach Coordinator
St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Ave., F-29
St. Paul, MN 55105


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