The Early Assessment Program Handbook for School Site Leaders
The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is a collaborative effort between the California State University (CSU), the California Department of Education (CDE), and the State Board of Education (SBE). The goal of this unprecedented partnership is to ensure that high school students are on track to meet college entry-level standards in English and mathematics.
The EAP enables students to learn about their readiness for college-level English and mathematics after their junior year of high school and provides them with opportunities to improve their skills during their senior year. It includes four main components:
- 11th grade testing in conjunction with STAR testing
- Supplemental high school preparation in 12th grade
- Teacher professional development
- Communication with students, parents, families, and school personnel.
The Benefits of EAP
The EAP is designed to help teachers, counselors, students, and parents ensure that California's high school graduates demonstrate college and workforce readiness.
The EAP program:
- Provides an early signal-It tells students, families, and high schools whether the students are prepared for college-level work in English and mathematics.
- Alerts students about needed actions-It informs them about what they can do to achieve readiness in English and mathematics before leaving high school.
- Encourages interventions-It motivates students to take needed steps in 12th grade to achieve college readiness and helps schools provide opportunities for college readiness.
- Enables exemptions-It allows students to earn an exemption from CSU English and/or mathematics placement tests.
EAP and 11th Grade STAR Testing
Eleventh graders should participate in the EAP as part of 11th grade Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) testing when they take the California Standards Tests (CSTs) in English/ Language Arts and in Algebra II or Summative High School Mathematics. In each case, the CST is followed by a set of 15 supplementary multiple-choice items. Students are required to take these extra test questions to participate in the EAP. In addition, in English, students are required to write an essay based on a short nonfiction passage.
In English, the EAP items focus on critical reading and writing skills with an emphasis on expository reading and writing. The reading items focus on comprehension and analysis. In the written essay, students explain an author's argument and discuss whether they agree with it, supporting their position with evidence.
In math, the extra EAP items focus on depth of knowledge. The questions assess the extent to which a student has mastered the skills that are essential for success in college general education mathematics courses.
EAP Test Administration
Both the CSTs and the additional 15 EAP questions are untimed. The California Department of Education has extended the expected administration time for the English/Language Arts and the Algebra II and Summative High School Mathematics CSTs to allow students time to complete the EAP multiple-choice items.
A testing window of approximately one month in the spring is designated for administration of the EAP essay as a supplement to the 11th grade CSTs. Students have up to 45 minutes to write their essays.
EAP and STAR Score Reports
EAP results are provided in a box at the bottom of the student's 11th grade STAR report. The reported EAP status indicates the college readiness of the student. The student's status in English may be:
- Ready for CSU college-level English courses—The student's EAP score met the English Placement Test (EPT) requirement.
- Not yet demonstrating readiness for CSU college-level English courses—The student's EAP score did not meet the EPT requirement so they must find another way to become ready for the CSU.
In mathematics, a student's status may be:
- Ready for CSU college-level mathematics courses—The student's score met the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) test requirement.
- Ready for CSU college-level mathematics courses-Conditional—The student demonstrated readiness for CSU math at this point. He/she will need to continue to take math (Algebra II or higher) to be ready for the CSU.
- Not yet demonstrating readiness for CSU college-level mathematics courses—The student's score did not meet the ELM requirement so they must find another way to become ready for the CSU.