Early Start Enrollment Requirement for Entering First-time Freshmen

  • Applicants for admission to CSU Channel Islands are required to meet minimum requirements. Beyond admission requirements, there are several enrollment requirements to ensure the student’s successful transition to the university. Enrollment requirements include but are not limited to Placement Exam Testing (ELM/EPT), Early Start participation, and new student orientation participation.
  •  Students are responsible for reviewing their offer of admission and subsequent correspondence to comply with these requirements. Failure to do so will result in a student’s admission being cancelled even if they have applied for housing and registered for and/or attended orientation.
  • The CSU Early Start Program requires incoming first-time freshmen who do not demonstrate readiness for college-level English and/or math courses to begin taking remedial courses the summer before their first term in college. The goal of the program is to better prepare students in English and math, thereby improving their chances of completing a baccalaureate degree.

How is Early Start related to CSU Placement Testing?

  • Entering freshmen, regardless of their high school GPA, are required to take placement exams to determine which math and English course they will need to enroll in during their first year in college. These tests are called the Entry Level Math (ELM) exam and the English Placement Test (EPT).

EPT Requirement
EPT Exam Prep
ELM Requirement
ELM Exam Prep

  •  Early Start is required for incoming freshmen who have not met the proficiency requirements associated with the ELM and EPT. (Note: There are a number of ways to be exempt from taking these exams. Please refer to “Exemptions for Early Start Math” and “Exemptions for Early Start English.”)

Who must participate in the Early Start Program?

  • Early Start is required for incoming students who scored below 50 on the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) exam or below 147 on the English Placement Test (EPT). In addition, Early Start is required for students found to be Conditionally Ready in math and/or English as a result of having taken the Early Assessment Program (also known as CAASPP or Smarter Balanced Assessment) but did not complete the approved coursework with a grade of C- or better.
  • Students may retrieve their ELM/EPT scores by visiting https://www.ets.org/csu/scores/results/ and click on “view your scores for ept and elm online” link.  Select "View Your Scores".  The PIN a student created when taking his or her ELM/EPT is necessary to access scores.
  • All admitted freshmen who are planning on attending CI and are not Exempt or Conditionally Exempt from taking the ELM and/or EPT are advised to register and take the placement exam(s) as early as possible but not later than the last system-wide test in early May (preceding the student’s first term in college). Refer to the "Early Start Deadlines" section  for details.
  • For additional information about the CSU Early Start Program, please visit the CSU Early Start Website.

 What’s the difference between Early Start and Remediation?

  • Remedial coursework in English and/or math helps students gain the developmental skills necessary to successfully complete General Education English and/or math in order to graduate from college. Early Start courses help students to prepare for remedial coursework. Some CSUs combine both Early Start and remediation into one course over the summer; however, CI does not offer that option for those electing to fulfill their Early Start requirement at CI.