Implemented in 2004, 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 to determine high school student readiness for college-level work in English and math and to provide students opportunities to improve skills during their senior year. On September 28, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 946 enabling the California Community College system to implement the EAP. The EAP builds off the state’s Standards Testing and Reporting (STAR) accountability program for public K-12 schools. High school juniors who demonstrate proficiency for college-level coursework are exempt from taking the CSU and participating California Community College (CCC) placement tests for English and mathematics. These students move directly into college-level classes upon enrollment.
California K-12 education is currently transitioning to the Common Core State Standards. AB 484, effective January 1, 2014, eliminates the existing STAR accountability program and establishes the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which will include the EAP. Previously, only 11th grade students who were eligible to take the CST for English–Language Arts or Algebra II or Summative High School Mathematics were eligible to participate. The new assessment allows for the EAP to be embedded in the exam with no additional questions required. This change will allow all California 11th grade students to participate in the EAP and receive early signals about their readiness for college level English and math courses.