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2007 Early Assessment Program:
More High School Juniors Get “Early Signal” About College Readiness
(Sept. 19, 2007) – In 2007, more than 346,000 high school juniors attending California public schools volunteered to take the Early Assessment Program (EAP) test, nearly 30,000 more than in the previous year. EAP test results, for the first time, were included on the STAR test results letters sent home to parents in August 2007.
“The increase in students volunteering to take the test is an indication that each year more students aspire and prepare to go to college. Many of these students did not think of college in the past and were not taking college preparation classes in high school,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “A dedicated outreach program that targets school counselors, parents and students in underserved communities is helping increase the number of college-bound students in the state.”
The EAP is an initiative of the California State University, the California Department of Education and the state’s public schools to help students get ready for college English and math while they are in high school and reduce the need for remedial classes in college. More than 50 percent of the nearly 40,000 first-time freshmen admitted to the CSU each year require remedial education in English, mathematics or both. All of these remedial freshmen have taken the required college preparatory curriculum and earned at least a B grade point average in high school.
The 2007 EAP results show that of 342,348 students tested in English, 55,206 (16 percent) demonstrated proficiency, a one percent increase. And of 141,648 students who took the math test, 77,870 (55 percent) demonstrated proficiency, the same percentage as last year.
“The percentage of students who reach proficiency has not risen over the three years that the test has been administered,” Reed said. “This pattern in the results confirms the need and value of the EAP in our public schools. We know objectively that thousands of students aren’t ready for college because they don’t take the right classes. And we inform the students and their families about their college preparation status before they enter the senior year. We also are providing them with classes and learning tools in the 12th grade to become proficient. We hope the students take advantage of their senior year.”
The early assessment test identifies areas in which students need to do additional work to become ready for college. Those who aren’t ready are given opportunities to take additional courses during the senior year of high school to become proficient.
“The EAP is a tool to better align student performance with college expectations,” said State Schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell. “I am pleased that more students are taking this voluntary test, but I remain concerned that the results show that too many students need more preparation to be ready for college work. I encourage students to use the EAP results to choose appropriate senior year courses, and I hope that our high schools find ways to increase rigor and relevance so that students graduate better prepared to start college.”
The EAP is administered with the California Standards Test (CST). It is a voluntary test that requires students to answer 15 English questions, 15 math questions, and write an essay.
Those students who are deemed proficient by the test are exempt from the math and English placement tests that are mandatory for students who have been admitted to the CSU. Proficient students can begin taking college level classes. Those who aren’t take remedial classes during their first year in college, at a substantial cost to them and the state.
California State University faculty and public school teachers have jointly created an expository reading and writing course that high schools can offer to 12th grade students to become proficient in English. The CSU also provides training workshops for teachers that help them teach this English class.
Students who take the EAP classes in the senior year are more prepared for the rigors of college, and more likely to be qualified to begin the freshman year on firm ground and take college classes that count toward the baccalaureate degree.
The EAP was initiated in 2004 with the goal of having California high school graduates enter the CSU fully prepared to begin college-level study.
Early Assessment Program Results
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, more than 417,000 students and 46,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 89,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu
Last Updated: September 19, 2007