First Step FAQs | Kent State University

First Step FAQs

Do I have to attend First Step?

First Step is required for all new Kent State Stark freshmen age 20 and under. First Step invitations are mailed shortly after the student is admitted to Kent State Stark.

Can I register for classes before First Step?
No, all new students must complete the First Step program in order to enroll in classes.

Why do I have to take the placement assessments?
Kent State University requires students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in English (writing), mathematics, reading and study strategies, foreign language, and chemistry. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills through ACT or SAT scores and/or placement assessments. Placement assessments are designed to help academic advisors and students determine which courses will provide the best opportunity for success. Your academic advisor will review your placements with you during First Step.

Can I wait to take the placement assessments?
Do not wait. You must have your placement assessments completed before you can register for and attend First Step. The earlier you attend First Step, the better selection of courses you'll have.  

I started taking the ALEKS math placement but didn’t finish. How do I get back into ALEKS?
Your session most likely timed out. To have your session reset, contact Kent State Stark Academic Success Center at 330-244-5050, available Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

I don’t have a computer at home [or] I don’t want to take my assessments at home. Can I take them at Kent State Stark?
You can come to the Academic Success Center to take all the placement assessments except for music. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to complete all your assessments. Approximate testing times are provided in the assessment instructions. Visit Testing Services for available hours. Bring a photo ID with you. The Academic Success Center is located in the lower level of the Campus Center and can be reached at 330-244-5050.

How will I know where I placed?
Your academic advisor will explain all of your course placements to you at First Step.

I've completed a college-level course at another university or through my high school and received a grade. Who should I tell?
If you’ve completed and earned a grade for a college-level course, please contact us at 330-244-3279. This may impact your testing instructions which are personalized to you. Also, follow the instructions on Accessing College Credit Taken in High School for information on how to request and report your transcripts.

What do I need to bring to First Step?
Bring a photo ID and transcripts for any college credit earned while in high school (transcripts from the college granting credit, not your high school transcript). You must also be able to access your FlashLine account in order to enroll in classes at the end of the program, so know your FlashLine password.

What will I do at First Step?
Students and their guests will do the following:

  • attend an advising workshop to prepare the student to select classes when meeting with an academic advisor
  • participate in a Paying for College session that outlines the funding sources, deadlines and tuition payment methods
  • meet one-on-one with an academic advisor to discuss course placement and register for courses
  • meet one-on-one with financial aid staff, if you choose
  • get your FLASHcard student ID

How long is First Step?
First Step takes place from 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. You must attend First Step for its duration.

Can I come in late or leave early if I have to work, go to a doctor's appointment, etc.?
No, if you arrive late or leave before the program concludes, you will need to register and attend another First Step date. You must arrive on time and stay for the duration of the program.

What if I get locked out of FlashLine? How do I fix it before attending First Step?
Possible solutions:

  1. Click on FlashLine Login in the top navigation bar of any Kent State website, select the Forgot your username or password? under the Login button and follow the prompts.
  2. Visit for self-service help.
  3. Stop by the Main Hall East Wing Computer Lab at Kent State Stark with a photo ID to have it reset. Passwords cannot be reset over the phone.

I can't attend my scheduled First Step date, how do I change it?
Contact Ruby Groves in the Office of Student Services at 330-244-3279 or Do not submit another reservation form.

Will I take a campus tour during First Step?
You have the option to take a campus tour at 8:30 a.m. before First Step begins at 9:30 a.m. When you make your reservation for First Step, indicate if you plan to arrive at 8:30 a.m. for a campus tour. Check-in for tours is in the Office of Student Services, 132 Main Hall. Please arrive on time.

My transcripts are not up to date or not on file, how do I take care of this?
Contact the Office of Admissions at 330-244-3251 for instructions. 

Placement Assessment Questions

Lisa Hart
Director of Academic Services
Academic Success Center
Office: 330-244-5050


Ruby Groves
Office of Student Services