Early Assessment Program

The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is a collaborative effort among the State Board of Education (SBE), the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California State University (CSU). The program was established to provide opportunities for students to measure their readiness for college-level English and mathematics in their junior year of high school, and to facilitate opportunities for them to improve their skills during their senior year.

Goal

The goal of the EAP program is to have California high school graduates enter the CSU fully prepared to begin college-level study.

The Challenge

More than 60 percent of the nearly 40,000 first-time freshmen admitted to the CSU require remedial education in English, mathematics or both. These 25,000 freshmen all have taken the required college preparatory curriculum and earned at least a B grade point average in high school. The cost in time and money to these students and to the state is substantial. Moreover, these students are confused by seemingly having done the right things in high school only to find out after admission to the CSU that they need further preparation.

More About the Early Assessment Program

The California State University (CSU), which draws its students from the top third of California's high school graduates, has long accommodated large numbers of incoming students who need remedial education in English and mathematics. While having well over half of incoming students requiring additional preparation is a common occurrence in all states, the CSU and public school leadership believe that an early intervention strategy will help increase the college readiness of high school students.

The CSU has worked with the State Board of Education (SBE) and the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop the Early Assessment Program (EAP). EAP incorporates the CSU's placement standards into existing high school standards tests in English and mathematics. The benefits of EAP are many:

  • Aligning school and CSU standards so that success in school means readiness for the CSU
  • Giving more meaning and force to the California Standards Tests (CSTs)
  • Giving high school students an early signal about their college readiness and adequate time to prepare before entering CSU
  • Making the senior year a time for more direct and specific preparation for college
  • Exempting CSU-ready students from taking CSU placement tests or the SAT or the ACT, thereby reducing testing time for the students