Early Assessment Program, CSU Applicants, and COVID-19 Important updates from SJSU and the CSU SYstem

Hi Santa Clara County educators,

As details have continued to emerge over the last week, our office is writing to provide a few important updates regarding the CSU’s Early Start and Early Assessment Programs as well as ERWC 3.0. Please feel free to include any of these details in any newsletter or online resources you are making available to your students and families during this time.

SJSU is coming to you!

SJSU is planning a number of upcoming Zoom events for students and families. These events will feature BOTH an admissions presentation from our Student Outreach and Recruitment office and a mathematics and English placement presentation from our Academic Preparation Programs office. Please contact Jessica Shillings with any questions or technical concerns about these presentations.

For seniors:

12 - 1 p.m. on Monday, April 20

12 - 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22

5 - 6 p.m. on Friday, April 24

For juniors:

12 - 1 p.m. on Monday, April 27

12 - 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29

5 - 6 p.m. on Friday, May 1

Updates affecting the senior class of 2020

Early Start and Supported Instruction

  • The CSU will not facilitate a systemwide Early Start Program in Summer 2020; However, individual CSU campuses may offer summer transitional programs (e.g. Summer Bridge) in virtual formats. The CSU will not offer an ESP Fee Waiver for Summer 2020 coursework.
  • SJSU has scheduled online sections of MATH 01: Mathematical Reasoning, MATH 10P: Mathematics in Politics, and MATH 18A: College Algebra, in the regular summer session to accommodate students who would have had an Early Start requirement. We are also looking into the possibility of offering fee waivers to students who would have received waivers through Early Start. We will send out further announcements directly to students with a supported coursework requirement in mid-April. However, any student who is interested in completing online math coursework over the summer may contact the Early Start Program at earlystart@sjsu.edu for further information.

Supported Instruction

  • Supported instruction courses are expected to be provided throughout next year as usual to support students in categories 3 and 4, and the CSU will utilize the same multiple measure criteria as we have since Fall 2018 in deciding which students will be required to take these support courses.
  • Multiple measures include CAASPP, SAT, ACT, AP, and IB scores, as well as GPA and accumulated coursework in math and English. For further information concerning how these criteria are used to place students into first-year courses, refer to the CSU Academic Preparation brochure or the CSU Student Success Placement Estimator.

Deadline Extensions for Admitted CSU Students

  • CSU campuses are individually considering the extension of their intent to enroll and housing deposit deadlines. Changes to these deadlines will consider the campuses’ capacity to provide timely information regarding financial aid awards to students and families.

A-G requirements

  • The CSU will accept grades of "Credit" or "Pass" to satisfy "a-g" requirements completed during winter, spring, or summer 2020 terms. All prior coursework must be graded, and a grade of C- or better must be earned for the course to satisfy “a-g” requirements. Grades of credit/pass or no credit/non-pass will not be included in the calculation of high school GPA.
  • If a student has not met all "a-g" requirements after a review of their final transcript document, at that time, CSU campuses may use admission exceptions on a case-by-case basis for students who are no longer CSU-eligible.


  • The CSU requests that high schools that can provide transcripts by July 15, 2020, do so; however, campuses will continue to accept transcripts through the Fall 2020 term.
  • CSU campuses will not rescind conditional offers of admission based on the non-receipt of transcripts before the start of the Fall 2020 term. If a student is not able to provide an official transcript due to extended school closure, CSU campuses may use unofficial or self-reported data for senior year grades and graduation status.
  • New first-year students will remain in a conditionally admitted status until the CSU campus receives a final transcript document and review of the transcript for a-g requirements is completed.

AP Exams

  • Remind seniors that the College Board is allowing students to take planned AP exams remotely and that they should continue to study for these exams. The credit they earn can complete important general education coursework, saving them time and money.

What we can offer to the senior class of 2020

  • Group and individual Zoom meetings: To schedule a meeting, please email Jessica Shillings at jessica.shillings@sjsu.edu

We can talk about:

  • Math and English Placement as well as major selection
  • While seniors/admitted CSU students no longer need to enroll in the Early Start Program, we are happy to talk about the math and English placement process, online summer courses, and the math sequence that might be required for a student’s intended major. We are also happy to talk more generally about major options.
  • How to tell which college-level general education requirements have already been completed through AP and community college course credit
  • We want admitted students to be fully informed when signing up for their first college classes at Sparta Camp Orientation so they don’t accidentally repeat requirements they have already completed.

Updates affecting the entering class of 2021 (today's juniors)

Early Assessment Program

  • CAASPP 2020 is cancelled and will not be available as a course placement measure for the entering class of 2021.
  • However, the CSU will continue to assess the need for support courses in math and English through the other multiple measures standards listed in the EAP checklists.
  • These standards include overall GPA and math GPA, SAT/ACT score, accumulated coursework in math and English, and approved senior year coursework in math and English
  • As a reminder, approved senior year coursework is...
  • Math: Any course beyond Algebra II or IM III, including most statistics courses
  • English: AP English (either course), IB English, the CSU Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC), or an honors English course (must be recognized as an honors course by the UC CMP).

SAT/ACT exam scores

  • Given the indefinite suspension of ACT/SAT examinations and the fact that the state’s CAASPP/EAP test will not be administered this year to current high school juniors, the CSU is evaluating its admission process for entering first year students in 2021.
  • The CSU is in consultation with its internal constituents, including its statewide academic senate and governing board, to determine the appropriate path forward for eligibility criteria for fall 2021 applicants.

A-G courses

  • The CSU will consider course grades of “credit” or “pass” as fulfilling “a-g” requirements for those courses completed during winter, spring, or summer 2020 terms. All other coursework must be graded, and a grade of C- or better must be earned for the course to satisfy “a-g” requirements. Grades of credit/pass or no credit/no pass will not be included in the calculation of high school GPA.
  • As always, remind juniors to rethink their course selection if their planned senior schedule does not include a math course, particularly a math course beyond Algebra II or IM III.
  • Deciding not to take a fourth year of math will put juniors at an admissions disadvantage, as well as a disadvantage when it comes to math placement as admitted CSU students. This is especially important if they are considering a major in science, technology, engineering, math, or business as these majors all require calculus.

AP Exams

  • Remind juniors that the College Board is allowing students to take AP exams remotely. They should continue to study for these exams to earn credit that can complete important general education coursework, saving them time and money.

What we can offer to the junior class of 2021

  • We are also happy to schedule group EAP Zoom presentations for juniors to help them understand how the choices they make in senior year can impact math and writing placement.

Updates and Resources for AP students:

  • The College Board is administering 2020 AP exams remotely for all subjects. This a fantastic opportunity and we want to encourage every AP student to continue to study for these exams, which can save them time and money in college!
  • SJSU and all CSU campuses will continue to accept AP scores of 3 or higher to satisfy either college general education requirements or general baccalaureate credit earned towards graduation. We will also continue to use these scores for first-year math and writing placement purposes through the Early Assessment Program.
  • The College Board has announced that to be fair to all students, some of whom have lost more instructional time than others, AP exams in 2020 will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March.
  • Looking for resources to help prepare for these exams? The College Board has created a number of free ways to study, including instructional videos and preparation timelines. Visit their website for further information!

ERWC 3.0

  • Prior to the intrusion into our daily lives from COVID-19, the CSU Chancellor’s Office indicated that all schools offering ERWC would be required to fully transition to ERWC 3.0 (from 2.0) by Fall 2020.
  • This has changed. ERWC 3.0 implementation is now NOT required until Fall 2021.
  • While we do not have plans to provide any ERWC teacher training sessions for the foreseeable future, we are happy to provide access to the ERWC Online Community website to teachers -- even teachers who have not completed training yet, as long as they commit to joining a training cohort in the Fall. Please contact Jessica Shillings at jessica.shillings@sjsu.edu for further information about this option.
  • As a way to support teachers during these rapidly shifting times, we have created a resource that we hope will help you as you transition into online instruction: Teaching ERWC in Virtual Classrooms.
  • You will find this new resource on our ERWC Online Community site (writing.csusuccess.org). We recommend that you begin with the brief, two minute video created by Lori Campbell, an ERWC teacher in Bakersfield. In the video, Lori briefly outlines the new resource that we recently added to the ERWC Online Community site.