Early Assessment Program

Professional Development

Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC)

The Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) was originally developed as part of the CSU’s Early Assessment Program (EAP). It was designed as an alternative twelfth-grade curriculum for students who had not demonstrated college readiness in English on the EAP test at the end of their junior year. Five years ago the California State University (CSU) published the first version of this curriculum, which proved to be very popular with teachers and students alike. Since that initial publication, more than 500 California high schools have adopted the full course. In addition, the approach and teaching philosophy of the ERWC have been extended through specially designed modules into courses as early as seventh grade.

Building on this success, the CSU is now pleased to offer a completely revised ERWC that includes exciting new modules, cutting-edge readings, and newly crafted assignments.

A major change in public education in the last five years has been the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which in English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy require a new focus on reading expository texts and writing in multiple genres. The ERWC was at the forefront of this realignment, anticipating it by several years. The new version of ERWC introduced in this volume is completely aligned with the CCSS for ELA/Literacy adopted by the state. It has already been influential in helping teachers throughout the state implement the new features of the standards.

Strengthening Mathematics Instruction (SMI)

CSU faculty, K-12 Math teachers, and state curriculum specialists have developed a math curriculum, Strengthening Mathematics Instruction (SMI), designed to present a variety of strategies for teaching students how to solve complex mathematical problems. The curriculum includes instruction on developing cognitively complex problems, analyzing student misconceptions, and understanding college readiness.

Included in the curriculum are teaching strategies to:

  • Promote mathematical and numeric flexibility
  • Incorporate multiple representations
  • Help students extend procedures and emphasize structures.

The focus of the program is on providing support for teachers to be able to increase student capacity to meet the CSU college readiness standards. The curriculum also supports student performance on CSTs, the EAP, SATs and ACTs, AP exams, and other tests.