EPT, ELM, and Early Start Program (ESP)

Enrollment Requirement for First-time Freshmen

The CSU wants to help first-time freshmen get an “Early Start” in their preparation for college level work. Starting fall 2012, new freshmen who are deemed not ready for college-level English and/or math will need to start the remediation process no later than the summer before their first term.

If it is determined that you need remediation in either English or math or both, you must take steps to address this requirement. You will be notified throughout the process of application, admission, and registration about this requirement. Once you have applied, you can find your most current exemption status via your Student Center within your Portal Account. Review already applied? for how to activate.

1.  Do you need to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and/or Entry Level Math (ELM) test?

Take the EPT if:

  • Early Assessment Program (EAP): test scores (from STAR results) indicate “not yet demonstrating readiness for CSU or participating CCC college-level English”
  • Early Assessment Program (EAP): test scores (from STAR results) indicate “ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level English-Conditional”, but you are not completing an approved year-long English course in your senior year with a C- or better.
  • SAT Critical Reading score is less than 500
  • ACT English score is less than 22
  • AP Language and Composition or AP Literature and Composition score is less than 3
  • You did not take an approved college transferable English course (Area A2) and earned a C- or better. See your academic advisor or check the ASSIST course transfer website for more information.
*If you earned a qualifying score on the EAP, SAT, ACT or AP exams, or took an approved college-level English course and earned a C- or better, you will be exempt from Early Start English as well as the English Placement Test.

and/or take the ELM if:

  • Early Assessment Program (EAP): test scores (from STAR results) indicate “not yet demonstrating readiness for CSU or participating CCC college-level mathematics”
  • Early Assessment Program (EAP): test scores (from STAR results) indicate “ready for CSU or participating CCC college-level mathematics-Conditional”, but you are not completing an approved year-long math course in your senior year with a C- or better or you are not completing a supervised e-Learning course.
  • SAT Math score is less than 550
  • SAT Subject Math (level 1 or 2) is less than 550
  • ACT Math score is less than 23
  • AP Calculus or AP Statistics score is less than 3
  • You did not take an approved college transferable math course (Area A4 or B4) and earned a C- or better. See your academic advisor or check the ASSIST course transfer website for more information. 
*If you earned a qualifying score on the EAP, SAT, SAT Subject, ACT or AP exams, or took an approved college-level math course and earned a C- or better, you will be exempt from Early Start Math and the Entry Level Math exam.

Exemptions: The following students will not be required to participate in Early Start for fall 2013:

  • International students and residents of states other than California (non-residents).
  • Students participating in the CSU, Chico Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Summer Bridge Program.

2.  Register for the EPT and/or ELM.

3.  Do you need to enroll in the Early Start Program based on your EPT and/or ELM scores?

  • Your score on the English Placement Test (EPT) is less than 138.
  • Your score on the Entry Level Math Test (ELM) is less than 50*.
  • *If you are attending CSU, Chico this fall with a score of 42-48 on the ELM, you will be invited to participate in an ELM workshop put on through the Math Department. Participation in this workshop will satisfy the ESP Math requirement. Upon completion of the workshop, you are encouraged to re-take the ELM. If you earn a passing score of a 50 or higher, you will be eligible to enroll in a general education math course this fall. Questions about registration for this workshop should be directed to the Center for Regional and Continuing Education at 530-898-6105.

4.  How to Enroll in the Early Start Program:

If you are attending CSU, Chico this fall:

  • Step One: If you have not already done so, take the EPT and/or ELM at a CSU campus. The last CSU system-wide test date is May 4, 2013. Registration for this test date is due by April 19, 2013. Walk-ons are not guaranteed so it is highly recommended that you register on time.   
  • Step Two: Go to CSU Success to explore your ESP English and/or ESP Math course options. You can choose to take ESP course(s) through CSU, Chico, or any other CSU campus. You may also fulfill the ESP requirement at a community college, private institution, or institution in another state. If you select this option, you must remember to send your transcripts of ESP coursework to CSU, Chico after completion.
  • Step Three: Beginning in May, complete your "Smart Page" to inform us how you will be meeting your ESP requirement. More information has been emailed to your Wildcat email account with instructions on how to access the "Smart Page".
  • Step Four: Register for your ESP course(s). If you selected to complete ESP at CSU, Chico, you will receive an email to your WildcatMail account with instructions on how to register through your Student Center. If you have selected to complete your Early Start requirement at another CSU, you will receive registration information directly from that campus. If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodations for completing ESP course(s) at CSU, Chico, contact the Accessibility Resource Center as soon as you register.
  • Step Five: Submit payment to complete your ESP registration. Payments can be submitted though the Student Center for CSU, Chico ESP courses. Fee waivers are available. See the section below for cost breakdowns and fee waiver criteria. 

5. Costs:

  • Early Start Programs offered at any of the CSU campuses have a common fee. The current fee estimate is $182 per unit plus $2 for campus related fees. Fees for campus parking and course instruction materials may also apply. 

    If you are taking ESP courses at CSU, Chico, the current costs are as follows:

    • For one ESP English or one ESP Math course = $184*.
    • For both an ESP English and ESP Math course = $366*.

      *If you place into ESP Math 031, there is an additional materials fee of $33 purchased through "Course Compass".
      *You may also elect to sign up and re-take the ELM for $18 after completing ESP Math courses.
  • California residents who apply for financial aid and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,000 or less may be eligible for a waiver of the per unit fee. You will be notified if you are eligible for the fee waiver via a message in your Student Center. Note: The fee waiver will not cover the additional ESP Math 031 materials fee.

6. Words of Advice:

  • Make sure to complete your Smart Page no later than June 4, 2013 to let us know how you plan on fulfilling your Early Start requirement. You will not be able to enroll in your fall 2013 college courses until you have completed your Smart Page!
  • CSU, Chico is offering our Early Start courses as online courses, along with a handful of other CSU Campuses. Visit the Early Start Course Listing website to help you decide which Early Start course(s) will work best with your summer schedule.
  • Pay your Early Start fees (unless approved for a fee waiver) no later than the Monday BEFORE class begins. Those who have not paid their fees by the due date, will be dropped from the class that Tuesday.
  • If taking an ESP course online, make sure your computer can access your Early Start class a week before your class starts.
  • If the ESP math course you take offers an optional MDTP or ELM exam upon completion, take it! If you pass the exam, you will fulfill one semester of remediation and potentially be ready to take a college-level math course.
  • If your EAP results indicate readiness in English or math, please have your scores faxed to us at: 530-898-6456. You can access your scores online at EAP Test Results Online if you do not have a copy available from your STAR report.

7.  Resources: