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.

The application for 2018 will open in January.

  • 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?


    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

    2018 First Step Session Dates

    • Session I: June 18–21, 2017
    • Session II: June 25–28, 2017

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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