California State University, Fullerton

News Categories

Preparing Incoming Freshmen for College Success

Area Educators Attend the Early Assessment Program Principals' Breakfast

Jan. 29, 2013

High school academic adviser Tonya Whiteside knows that her students are better off addressing their weaknesses in math or English before they head off to college.

"It's important that students address academic deficiencies early to give them opportunities to improve areas of concern — and the best chance at success in college," said Whiteside of Aliso Niguel High School in south Orange County.

Whiteside, along with 125 other area high school academic counselors, principals and administrators from Orange County schools and surrounding communities, recently came to campus to attended the Early Assessment Program Principals' Breakfast, hosted by Cal State Fullerton and learn more about initiatives to help college-bound students.

There they heard Cal State Fullerton academic leaders present new and existing CSU policies and programs to increase students' math and English proficiency and their readiness for college.

"If students are ready for college-level course work in math and English at the start of their first semester at a CSU, studies show that they are 33 percent more likely to graduate," said Larry R. Chapa, Cal State Fullerton's Early Assessment Program coordinator and a CSUF alumnus.

To help high school students get on track for college, the CSU and Cal State Fullerton have implemented a multipronged approach:

  • The Early Assessment Program, which includes 11th-grade testing in math and English, as well as training high school English teachers to teach the CSU's "Expository Reading and Writing" course to high school seniors; and
  • The Early Start Program in which incoming CSU students requiring remedial course work enroll the summer before their first semester of college.

"What we're doing is making sure that students are not just 'college eligible,' but that they are ready to take college courses that count toward graduation, and they're not having to take remedial courses,' said Christopher P. Street, professor of secondary education and director of CSUF's Early Assessment Program. 

"These efforts strengthen high school students' math and English skills, and have the potential to dramatically decrease remediation rates while increasing students' academic readiness for their collegiate experience."

As the new EAP coordinator, CSUF alumnus Chapa, who earned a bachelor's degree in English in 2002 and an MBA in 2007, plans events for local educators and works with more than 75 local high schools to promote EAP to administrators, teachers and students. In addition to directing the program, Street is the faculty liaison to schools and continues to lead the CSU "Expository Reading and Writing" course teacher training.

Street and Chapa also work closely with the CSU Chancellor's Office and EAP peers throughout the system to promote the need for college readiness to high school educators and district leaders.

"This message is of vital importance to the College of Education, since preparing students for success in college and career lies at the heart of the work that we all do," Street said.

By: Debra Cano Ramos, 657-278-4027

Tags:  Academics & ResearchCampus Updates