Campus: CSU Bakersfield -- May 23, 2005
California State University's Early Assessment Program (EAP)
has Established a Baseline for Kern County High School Juniors
The California State University's Early Assessment Program (EAP) has established
a baseline for Kern County high school juniors, providing them a roadmap of what
they need to accomplish before they enroll in a CSU campus, CSU Bakersfield
President Horace Mitchell and CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed said today.
Speaking at a news conference on the CSUB campus, the two leaders said the test
results show the importance of early intervention, since a high percentage of
CSU-qualified students need remediation once they enroll at a CSU campus.
Some 15 percent of Kern County high school juniors who took the test in early
2004 are ready for college level English, while 6 percent tested proficient in
mathematics and 40 percent will be proficient for college math with additional
senior year experience. That compares to 22 percent of juniors statewide that
tested proficient in English, 12 percent proficient in math, and 43 percent who
will be proficient for college math with additional senior experience. "This
program makes it possible for students in their junior year and their parents to
get an early indication of what their likely placement would be here as freshmen,"
After 11th graders take the test, they receive a report indicating whether they
have either met the CSU expectations and are exempt from any additional CSU
placement tests upon admission to the CSU, or whether they need additional
preparation for college level work. "It gives them their senior year to be ready
to start here, which then gets them through classes and programs without having
to spend unnecessary time and money in remedial courses," Mitchell said. He said
the program also benefits the university: "We don't have to spend additional
money to hire and train faculty to prepare these students for college level work."
The numbers speak for themselves. In the fall 2004 CSUB had 694 first-time
freshmen enrolled. Of those students, 431 (62.1 percent) needed remediation in
English, while 378 (54.5 percent) required remediation in math; 316 students
completed remediation during the fall and winter quarters using various programs.
Currently 192 students are in remediation. CSUB spends about $300,000 a year on
remediation courses, money that could be used to enhance the university's main
The EAP seeks to remedy this problem. Students that are non-exempt in English must
still take the English Placement Test (EPT) to determine if they will enter
regular college level or remedial coursework.
"The results aren't incredibly bad considering there had been no intervention in
the curriculum," said Kim Flachmann, CSUB's EAP English coordinator. "These are
juniors in high school that are already prepared for college English. We didn't
even start training people until the 2004-05 school year."
"This curriculum breaks things down so that kids can grasp onto content and this
is what they say is engaging them," said Mira-Lisa Katz, from Sonoma State
University and EAP statewide evaluator. "Teachers are seeing a willingness for
students to dig right into a text and start to question what it means. These kids
are developing the skills and confidence they need, and it's empowering for them."
Katz added that students have told her they see how this program can work for
them in college and in the workplace.
Flachmann along with other members of the CSU curriculum development task force
trained teachers from 944 public schools throughout the state. "We're partnering
with the schools to bridge the gap between the creative literature that students
receive in high school and the non-fiction material they receive in college,"
Flachmann said. "It's important to have all levels represented. We have three
college trainers and three high school trainers. We are side by side in this
process." Flachmann said Kern is one of the leading counties in implementing
the new curriculum.
Students that test into the conditional-exempt category in math must either
complete a qualified math or science course or complete a monitored, interactive
online math program available on the CSU Math Success website
"The good news is the 40 (percent) to 50 percent of those that are conditionally
exempt would probably have to take a math course their senior year anyway," said
John Dirkse, CSUB EAP math coordinator. "That means almost 90 percent are taken
care of." CSUB provides outlets for students to prepare them for success in
college level math. Dirkse said students could also join a Summer Bridge program,
take a class at a local community college or attend a Jump Start program during
According to Edwin Sasaki, CSUB interim dean for undergraduate studies, 4,063
students from Kern County high schools took the augmented English exam last spring,
which is the California Standards Test (CST) that includes 15 additional CSU
prepared questions and a CSU prepared writing sample test. The results from this
test determined 636 students were exempt from having to take the EPT.
Sasaki also said 3,010 students took the augmented math exam last spring, which
is the CST with 15 additional CSU prepared questions. Of that group, 195 are
exempt from taking the Entry Level Math (ELM) test. However, 1,253 students were
conditionally exempt and nearly 1,150 of those students completed appropriate
course work their senior year. Some of the remaining students are either working
with coordinators towards exemption or are no longer interested in the CSU.
English and math proficiency of high school graduates who entered the CSU as
first-time freshman in fall 2004 did not change significantly compared to the
previous year. Math has remained steady at 63 percent for the past three years,
while English proficiency inched up 1 percentage point to 53 percent. Compare
these numbers to CSUB incoming Kern County first-time freshman at 54 percent
proficient in math and 47 percent in English.
Proficiency in both subjects has improved since 1998, when the CSU Board of
Trustees adopted a policy designed to increase proficiency in English and math
at the college level. At the time, the CSU found that only 32 percent of high
school graduates accepted as first-time freshman were proficient in English and
math. As a result of several programs put in place by the CSU and multiple efforts
by the K-12 community, the results over the last six years have improved about
10 percentage points.
"However, over the last three years, proficiency in English, math, or both subjects
combined has reached a plateau and new measures are needed to meet new challenges,"
said David Spence, CSU executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer.
Spence predicted that the EAP has the potential to carry CSU to its 2007 goal of
90 percent proficiency in math and English.
For additional information please contact CSUB EAP coordinator Michelle Jackson
at (661) 654-2260, Dirkse (661) 654-3020, or Flachmann (661) 654-3083 or visit
Media Contact: Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,
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