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June 2010



CSU Presidents  


Charles B. Reed


The Early Start Program

Executive Order No. 1048

Attached is a copy of Executive Order No.1048 on the establishment of the Early Start Program as mandated by the California State University Board of Trustees at its May 2010 meeting.

The new executive order is designed to facilitate a student’s graduation through changes in policies on fulfilling entry-level proficiencies in mathematics and English.

In accordance with policy of the California State University, the campus president has the responsibility for implementing executive orders where applicable and for maintaining the campus repository and index for all executive orders.

If you have questions regarding this executive order, please call Dr. Jeri Echeverria, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer at (562) 951-4710 or Mr. Allison Jones, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Academic Support, at (562) 951-4744.





Executive Staff, Office of the Chancellor
Provosts/Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs
Vice Presidents, Student Affairs

Executive Order 1048

Office of the Chancellor
401 Golden Shore
Long Beach, California 90802-4210
(562) 951-4726


Executive Order:


Effective Date:

June 2010


No prior Executive Order


Early Start Program

This executive order is issued pursuant to Section 40402.1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, and Section II (a) of the Standing Orders of the Board of Trustees of the California State University, and is effective beginning with summer 2010 academic terms (semester or quarter).

This executive order establishes a program for CSU admitted freshmen who have not demonstrated proficiency in mathematics and/or English as established by CSU faculty. As of summer 2012, incoming freshmen who have not demonstrated proficiency in English and/or mathematics will be required to begin remediation prior to the term for which they have been admitted, e.g., summer prior to fall. All students will be required to have achieved proficiency in English and/or mathematics on or before the end of their first year of enrollment at a CSU campus, as directed by Executive Order 665.

If admitted freshmen have begun addressing deficiencies in mathematics and/or English in a recognized CSU program before enrollment, they will be permitted to enroll for the term for which they have been admitted, whether they have completed the remediation or not. If they have not started to address a deficiency in either mathematics and/or English, they will not be permitted to enroll at the CSU campus of their admission unless they have applied for an exception, and the requirement has been waived due to extraordinary circumstances. Students who have not registered in a proficiency activity (course, program, workshop, approved activity, etc.) that is intended to lead to proficiency before the first day of the semester or term upon which they plan to matriculate, may be disenrolled from courses in their first regular semester. The same shall be true if they drop and/or withdraw from the course, program, or activity and have not received an exception.

Deficiencies in mathematics and/or English are to be determined by test scores on the Early Assessment Program (EAP) taken at the end of 11th grade in a California public high school, or the Entry Level Mathematics Exam (ELM) and/or the English Placement Test (EPT) taken during the senior year of high school. As stated earlier, students who test below the prescribed “cut scores” for each exam will be required to enroll in appropriate remedial classes or programs in either or both subject areas before enrolling in CSU as freshmen.

  1. Administration of the Early Start Program

  2. Each CSU campus will design a program for incoming freshmen to develop proficiency in mathematics and/or English before they enroll as matriculated freshmen. In consultation with the faculty of English and mathematics, campuses shall design a plan for implementation of the Early Start Program in spring and fall 2010 and submit their plans for review to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer (EVC/CAO) by Friday, November 19, 2010.

    Once approved by the Early Start Implementation Team and the EVC/CAO, campuses will begin to make adjustments in their curriculum and related plans so that they may begin offering Early Start Programs in summer 2012 at the latest.

    The Early Start Implementation Team will have the principal responsibility for monitoring and overseeing the Early Start Program. In so doing, it will assume the following responsibilities:

    • oversee the implementation of the program as designated by the Board of Trustees;
    • consider recommendations for program modifications;

    • oversee the development of program assessment; and

    • consider and make recommendations regarding re-setting (raising or lowering) proficiency scores.

    The Implementation Team will work closely with the faculty of the English and Mathematics Councils but will retain oversight for the Early Start Program.

    Membership of the Implementation Team will consist of:

    • two provosts or vice presidents for Academic Affairs;

    • two vice presidents for Student Affairs;

    • one institutional research officer;

    • one enrollment services/admissions officer;

    • three faculty (the Statewide Academic Senate, the Mathematics Council, and the English Council will each be asked to recommend one member);

    • two students (the California State Student Association will be asked to recommend two members);

    • one dean of Undergraduate Studies/associate vice president for Academic Programs; and

    • one assistant vice chancellor appointed by the EVC/CAO.

    Membership on the Implementation Team will be staggered in 1-, 2-, and 3-year terms such that membership rotates in thirds and so that no member serves a term longer than three years. Members may serve two terms. A chair will be selected from the group for a two-year term and no member may serve as chair for more than one consecutive term. Seven members constitute a quorum. The group will be staffed by the Chancellor’s Office and will report to the EVC/CAO. In addition, members of the Implementation Team will be involved in preparing information for semi-annual reports to the chancellor and the Board of Trustees.

  3. Programmatic Requirements

  4. The Board of Trustees of the California State University has mandated the following programmatic requirements for the Early Start Program:

    1. That all CSU admitted lower division students who fall below designated proficiency scores on the EPT and ELM enroll in appropriate English and/or mathematics remediation classes or programs during the summer prior to the fall term for which they have been admitted. It should be noted that this requirement does not require that students demonstrate proficiency at the end of the summer – only that the remediation has begun.

    2. Upon the recommendation of the English Council, the EPT Development Committee, and the Early Start Task Force, the proficiency score on the EPT will be reset from 151 to 147, effective for matriculated students enrolling in summer/fall 2011. Comparable proficiency scores on the SAT and ACT will be reset to correspond to the proficiency score of 147 on the EPT. Proficiency activities will begin in summer/fall 2012. By 2014, it is expected that all students needing to develop proficiency in English will enter the Early Start Program.

      Students who score 147 or above on the EPT shall now be placed in General Education (GE) level composition classes, based on practice that has evolved on many CSU campuses over the last decade and on evidence from the 2008 Educational Testing Service (ETS) validity study of the EPT, which confirmed that students scoring 147 or above generally succeed in GE level classes. It is recommended that campuses consider continuing to provide support such as tutoring, writers’ workshops, or “stretch” courses for students scoring between 147 and 150 since such support has contributed to the success of students as demonstrated in the validity study. Students scoring below 147 are measurably less successful, indicating that they continue to need additional coursework in developmental reading and writing. Campuses shall provide that coursework while continuing to develop innovative strategies to promote academic literacy for these students.

    3. That the Mathematics Council consider recommending whether the ELM proficiency score should be reset. If so, that recommendation should be submitted to the Early Start Implementation Team on or before November 2010. If it is determined that the ELM proficiency should be reset, comparable proficiency scores on the SAT and ACT will be reset to correspond to the proficiency score established for the ELM.

    4. That proficiency scores on the EPT and ELM be reviewed and analyzed every two years by the Early Start Implementation Team in consultation with the Mathematics Council and the English Council, as appropriate.

    5. That each CSU campus should develop its own approach to satisfying the requirements of the Early Start Program and submit its plans for the program with a communication plan intended for students, parents, counselors, and administrators at high schools and community colleges in their service area on or before Friday, November 19, 2010.

    6. Submissions should be mailed to the EVC/CAO.

      1. Campus plans should include general plans for any and all curricular modifications related to the Early Start Program. Proficiency activities may be offered in a variety of approaches recommended by appropriate faculty and administrative leadership. Examples might include the following: state supported summer courses, Extended Education Special Session courses, courses offered via a coordinated program developed with regional community colleges, summer bridge programs, online coursework, and other best practices. Final approval will be granted by the EVC/CAO.

      2. Campus plans should include an outline of plans to communicate with regional high schools, community colleges, parents and students regarding the Early Start Program.

      3. Each plan should also address how exceptions (below) will be addressed and what processes will be implemented for student appeals. Information regarding the Early Start Program and the appeals process should be incorporated in informational materials regarding Early Start as well as the University Catalog.

    7. Each campus will determine how to approach consideration of exceptions, and the final authority to grant an exception shall rest with the campus president or his/her designee. General exceptions should be rare and limited to those instances where unavoidable circumstances or challenges can be demonstrated

    8. Any student who has begun and/or partially achieved proficiency in a recognized CSU Early Start Program will have his/her status recognized by all other CSU campuses without further review. The Implementation Team will develop a certification process for campuses to utilize.

    9. This executive order shall not affect current evaluation of applications and admissions for international students who are accepted based on their Test of English as a Foreign Language scores or their scores from an equivalent test used by the campus. International students are subject to the first-year requirement of Executive Order 665.

  5. Definitions

    1. Matriculated Status
    2. “Matriculated status” requires that a student be enrolled in a term for which (s)he has been admitted and in courses, which will be counted towards a degree or credential.

    3. Early Entrants
    4. “Early Entrants” for the summer term have been admitted for the fall term and are enrolled for the immediately preceding summer term in coursework that either meets degree requirements or are eligible remedial courses.

  6. Financial Aid Eligibility

    1. Matriculated students who are required to enroll in remediation during the summer immediately after high school and immediately preceding the fall term shall be classified as “early entrants.”

    2. As authorized in the August 12, 2002 letter from the U.S. Department of Education and reaffirmed by the Office of the Chancellor on May 5, 2010, “early entrant” students are eligible for all federal Title IV financial aid if they meet the following conditions:

      1. The student has been admitted to an eligible degree or certificate program for the fall term;

      2. The student is not required to take or complete any coursework or acquire any additional credentials before enrolling in the fall in the eligible degree program;

      3. The student, after being admitted to the eligible program enrolls as an “early entrant” in the summer term immediately preceding the fall term;

      4. The courses these students take in the summer term are not courses that they transfer into their eligible program in the fall. Rather, the students take courses in the summer term that are part of their degree program, either as required courses or elective courses, or are eligible remedial courses;

      5. The summer early entrant students are identified/coded differently by campuses from other students who are enrolled in the summer term but who are not admitted to an eligible degree program; and

      6. The students are otherwise eligible for Federal Title IV student financial assistance.

    3. Students who meet the conditions of 1 and 2 above may be eligible to receive Federal Title IV student financial assistance for their enrollment in Early Start summer courses. If they are eligible to receive federal financial aid, all Title IV regulations apply to them. For example, their efforts during the summer must be considered in the school’s measurement of satisfactory academic progress, and to the extent that any of the regulations do not allow individual treatment of students, they must be treated in the same fashion as other eligible students in the consideration of loan and other aid.

    4. Pell Grant Eligibility

      1. Students who meet the conditions in 1 and 2 above may be eligible to receive Federal Title IV Pell Grants for Year-Round enrollment, e.g., summer, fall, winter/spring, provided they meet certain unit and academic progress requirements:

        1. The student must have a Pell eligible Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and meet Title IV eligibility requirements;

        2. Summer will be the leading term of the Pell Grant award year;

        3. To receive a Pell Grant for the winter/spring term(s) that would result in the receipt of a second Pell Grant award, the student’s enrollment during this period must advance the student beyond an academic year’s worth of units (typically 24 semester units or 36 quarter units);

        4. During the term in which the student receives funding from a second Pell grant award, the student must be enrolled at least half-time; and

        5. Summer will be the leading term of the Pell Grant award year;

  7. Implementation Timeline

  8. Planning for the implementation and launching of the Early Start Program will begin in spring 2010. The first phase of the program will be launched in summer 2012 and the second in summer 2014. More specific timelines include the following:

    November 2010

    Mathematics Council considers ELM proficiency score and submits recommendation.

    November 19, 2010   Campus Plans for Early Start Program due to the EVC/CAO.
    January 2011 Responses to campus plans due to each campus.
    February 2011 Begin campus implementation processes.
    Fall 2011  English proficiency score reset from 151 to 147 effective for freshmen admitted to CSU for summer/fall 2011.
    2010 – 2012

    Campuses develop required curricular coordination,and develop and publish communication plans.

    Summer 2012  

    Launch Early Start Program in mathematics and for “at risk” English students.

    Fall 2012   

    Begin monitoring, collecting and analyzing campus
    information on first cohort of Early Start Program (ascompared with earlier cohorts).

    Fall 2012

    Implementation Team will consider and implement
    appropriate adjustments and plan for second phase of implementation (for all remaining English students).

    2012 – 2013

    Implementation Team will develop a CSU-level
    Assessment Program for the Early Start Program in
    consultation with the English and Mathematics Councils.

    Summer 2014  Launch final phase of Early Start in English for all students who have not demonstrated proficiency.

These policies and related procedures shall be published in a manner that ensures that all faculty and students have an opportunity to be aware of them (in class schedules, faculty manuals, student handbooks, on websites, etc.). While it is not necessary that policy and procedures be published in their entirety in generally circulated documents, such publications shall ensure that the students are aware that policy and procedures exist and where they may be obtained.

Dated: June , 2010

Charles B. Reed Chancellor