In an effort to reduce the need for remedial education throughout the CSU, system administrators developed a college readiness evaluation program in conjunction with public high schools to help students succeed when they enter college.
The Early Assessment Program is a partnership between the CSU and public high schools throughout California, and is designed to help evaluate college readiness. EAP was created to help students who are ready to enroll in college-level English and mathematics courses enter a CSU school.
“(Remedial education) is very high throughout the system,” said JoAnn Aguirre, associate director of Academic Outreach for the CSU.
Out of 43,000 first-time freshmen entering the CSU at this time, 26,000 need preparation for college-level courses, according to Aguirre.
Throughout the CSU, 47 percent of students required remedial education in English and 37 percent in mathematics, Aguirre said.
CSUN, along with the other 22 CSU campuses, has been working with EAP since it began in 2003.
Jinyi Li, EAP coordinator for CSUN, said the purpose for the program is to reduce the need for remedial education in English and math to 10 percent by 2007. CSUN’s EAP is working with 138 public high schools in the area, including 32 feeder schools.
Feeder schools are high schools that send a large amount of students to CSUN, said Neida Salazar, EAP school liaison.
“EAP is a way for students to find out if they’re ready for college,” she said.
Students in the 11th grade participate in the voluntary EAP by answering an extended version of the California Standards Test. The CST is a statewide assessment given annually, in the spring, to all 2nd- through 11th-graders.
The program helps 11th grade students determine their readiness for college-level English and mathematics at CSU schools.
Students who pass the English and mathematics CST do not have to take the required CSU English and or mathematics placement tests. Students not exempt are given appropriate information about additional skills they may need to develop during their last year of high school so they can enter the CSU ready to enroll in college-level coursework.
“We offer this as an opportunity for students to pass while in high school so they won’t have to take the test in college,” said Pat Givant, assistant principal at Granada Hills Charter High School.
In Spring 2004, more than 40 percent of all California public high school juniors volunteered to participate in the EAP assessment.
More high school students participated this year than last year, Li said.
The CSU requires incoming freshmen to take the English Placement Test and the Entry Level Mathematics Test before enrolling unless they are exempt by scores received on other tests, like the EAP test in English and mathematics, the Standard Aptitude Test and American College Test.
The EPT is intended to evaluate the level of reading and writing skills of incoming undergraduate students who will consequently be placed in the appropriate college-level courses
The ELM is intended to evaluate entry-level mathematics skills. The CSU requires incoming students to enroll in three years of math courses before college.
The EPT and the ELM test do not determine student eligibility to the university. The tests only determine eligibility to enroll in specific courses. If students do not perform well on the test, they will be placed in suitable remedial or developmental courses during their first term of enrollment.
Although the EPT and ELM are not required in high school, students are highly encouraged to take advantage of the test while they’re there.
“EAP is another tool students need to use in high school to get ahead,” Salazar said. “Those who are smart will take advantage.”
Valencia Bankston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.