A Brief Description And History
The Early Entrance Program (EEP) is a unique educational program that is specifically designed to permit young, highly gifted students to enroll in college as full time students. The EEP was established at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State L.A.) in 1982. The Program allows qualified students as young as 11 years of age, the opportunity to excel at the university level. The average entering age is currently 13.5 years and all EEP students must be under the age of 16 by June 1st of the year in which they apply. The program maintains a population of approximately 130 full-time highly gifted teen-age students on the Cal State L.A campus.
The Mission Of The EEP
The EEP serves a specific and valuable portion of the student population whose needs are not addressed by the established educational system. Highly gifted students often require a more challenging and focused scholastic environment than is offered by secondary schools. These students often need a setting in which they can associate with their true intellectual peers. EEP students may explore their intellectual curiosity and receive an appropriate and balanced education while also enjoying the benefits of a high-school atmosphere and a population of like-minded students. The resulting kinship encourages more than academic excellence; it removes the stigma so often attached to giftedness by creating a place where these young students can develop and flourish together. The EEP provides the opportunity for these highly gifted students to begin their college studies early at Cal State L.A., and offers them the support, guidance and counseling necessary to prepare them for success at the university level. Most of the EEP students bypass high school, and for some students part of junior high school as well.
EEP students pursue their baccalaureate degrees as full-time students at Cal State L.A.. The EEP IS NOT A TRANSFER PROGRAM. Students are expected to earn their degrees at this University. EEP students generally graduate in the traditional four years, but it is preferred that students spend five years in the Program to complete their undergraduate studies. Upon graduating, EEP students have attended graduate programs at many top universities including but not limited to Brown, Cal Tech, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NYU, Princeton, Stanford, Thomas Jefferson Medical School, USC, Washington St. Louis Medical College, Vanderbilt, Yale, and all UC campuses including UCLA and Berkeley. EEP alumni maintain a close relationship with the program and its current students, often providing guidance and advice. EEP graduates have begun to make an impact as contributing adults in medicine, law, engineering, computer science, science research and business.
The High School Atmosphere
In many ways the EEP experience is quite similar to a normalized high school experience. Each entering freshman class has a common Schedule of Curriculum including classes designed to simulate a normal secondary school curriculum. These classes include Science, History, English and Mathematics. EEP students must be on campus at least 4 days per week, and are encouraged to maintain a presence in the EEP Lounge to facilitate the development of friendships, engagement, and inclusion in campus events and activities. The students in the EEP are also encouraged to maintain the relationships they formed with their friends from their previous schools and often participate in their traditional school activities. Such normal activities include sports, dances and, of course, the prom. EEP students also organize many similar activities for themselves here at the university. In addition to EEP, Cal State L.A. also houses the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), which has a population of 500 adolescent high school students. While these students do not take classes with the EEP students, we encourage interaction between these two groups of highly talented young students. In 2011, the Marc and Eva Stern Math and Science high school opened on campus. This presence of normalized high school populations on the campus allows the EEP students to blend in and go relatively unnoticed by the normal aged undergraduate students.
The Early Entrance Program may be appropriate for a student with some of the following qualifications:
- One who is not yet in the tenth grade unless accelerated by one or more grades, and is not yet over 16 years of age by June 1st in the year of application.
- One who consistently scores in the very top ranges on standardized ability and achievement tests.
- One who has a demonstrated ability to perform at an outstanding level in school.
- One whose educational needs will not be met in the school he/she is presently attending or would be attending.
The student likely to be admitted to the EEP is one who:
- Demonstrates a strong desire to attempt a challenging educational program.
- Possesses adequate maturity for self-motivation, self-regulation, and appropriate behavior on a college campus.
- Has the support of the parents to undertake a program of radical educational acceleration.
- Has a history of advanced intellectual and academic achievement.
- Performs at a level indicating a readiness for college level work on the SEAA Talent Search pre-college exam and University entrance exams for specific disciplines.
- Displays appropriate need, motivation, and readiness for radical acceleration.
Cal State LA's Honors College
In order to best accommodate their needs, EEP students are transitioned to the university’s Honors College Program, which provides select faculty and specially designed small classes with other University Honors students. In order to qualify for the Honors College, students must maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA and meet other academic qualififications. Students who meet the Honors College criteria will have the opportunity to graduate with honors upon receiving their Baccalaureate degree from Cal State L.A.
EEP participants are fully enrolled students in the University, so their tuition costs are set by the regular fees charged by the California State University (CSU) system. Parents should refer to the University Cost of Attendance page for current costs. The student is responsible for purchasing their own books and supplies and the cost estimate includes these expenses as well. The cost and management of transportation is the responsibility of each student/family. EEP students are not allowed to room on campus; EEP is a commuter program only, and all EEP students must live at home with family and supportive parents/legal guardians. As fully matriculated students, EEP students qualify for all academic scholarships and loans available to any college student. EEP students are encouraged to take summers off after they are admitted.
One-time fees (Summer of Application Year)
Applicants must submit qualifying ACT scores; the ACT test may be taken on the Cal State L.A. campus at the SEAA (see "About the SEAA" tab at left), but previous scores are also allowed. Qualifying test scores are accepted throughout the year but students must complete the initial interview by mid-May, two weeks before the May Orientation.
Qualified applicants must attend a seven-week Honors Academy in the summer prior to the intended entrance to the program (see "Application Process" tab at left). During the seven weeks, applicants will take two specially-designed workshop courses that are consistent with college-level material. However, these are non-credit courses, used solely to aid in the mutual-assessment of the fit of college for young scholars.
The Admissions Process to the Early Entrance Program
- Take the ACT or SAT. The applicant will need to achieve a combined verbal and mathematics score of 1050 on the SAT, at least 500V and 550M. For the ACT, and applicant must score at least a 22 in English and a 23 in math.
- Preliminary Interview with the EEP Director. This meeting will enable information to be shared, assessments to be completed and questions to be answered. Most students are invited to complete a summer term of classes as part of the mutual assessment period.
- Attend the Orientation. This information meeting is typically held in late May and is designed to allow all applicants to interact with regular EEP students, parents and, when available, EEP alumni.
- Complete your application packet. Your completed application packet must be submitted by the stated deadline (s) date (s) or before; the deadline dates for all applicant materials will be provided.
- Enter Cal State L.A. as a Provisional EEP student. You will become a Provisional EEP student by attending the Honors Academy and taking two approved courses during the summer. Students will also be expected to earn qualifying scores on all placement exams, perform to a satisfactory level on all assignment(s) and assessment(s)* and attend all required assessment meetings
- Faculty Admission Committee (FAC) will include selected faculty members from each University college, administrative representatives, and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies are invited to participate. The Committee may review all applicant application materials and may schedule meetings with EEP staff and/or any student applicant. The Committee convenes at least once in the fifth week of summer usually late-July/early-August to make admission recommendations.
- Applicants recommended by the FAC to be Advanced to Candidacy for EEP admission are made by the sixth week of summer, usually early to mid August. EEP staff will present a list of these students to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies for review. The UGS will then make final approval decisions for all new EEP students. Admission decisions notices are then mailed home to each applicant and these notices will include one of the following recommendations:
- To invite student to join the Early Entrance Program immediately (Advancement to Candidacy).
- To invite the student to re-apply.
- To conclude that the early Entrance Program is not a good match for the student.
- Students Advanced to Candidacy will participate in a Group Meeting with the program staff during late August in order to discuss life in the EEP as full time Early Entrants.
- The final decision on EEP admission. Final admission decisions cannot be made until after final grades are posted by the Honors Academy faculty usually by the end of the Hon0rs Academy. Once grades are posted EEP staff will complete a final review(s) and the UGS will approve students for admission and will forward the list of these students to the appropriate University administrative offices.
- The Student’s Decision. If the student is invited to join EEP, the decision to enter college early should be made by the student. Some qualified students may wish to have a traditional high school experience, and that decision should be respected.
*Student assessments will include but are not limited to: academic achievement, motivation to succeed, maturity, social compatibility, responsive-ness to direction and overall commitment to and readiness for accelerated studies. In addition, the student's "need for acceleration” and ability to benefit, often measured in reference to their traditional school environment and experiences, are assessed
Freshman Schedule of Curriculum during first full-time year of study at Cal State L.A.
In order to ease the transition to university life, to simulate a traditional secondary school curriculum, to academically prepare students for upper division classes as well as grad school preparation, and to provide students the opportunity to share common academic and social experiences with their first and second year peers, Freshman EEP students are required to follow a common schedule of curriculum during the first full-time year** of study at Cal State L.A..
Sample Early Entrance Program Freshman Schedule of Curriculum**
ENGL 101 Frosh Composition (A1)
ENGL 102 Composition 2 (A1)
MATH 104A* College Algebra (A4)
HIST 202B U.S. History 2(AI†)
HIST 202A U.S. History 1(AI†)
MATH 104B Trigonometry
EEP Homeroom Learning Enrichment
*science-based majors take MATH 206 Calculus 1
† AI is American Institutions
** Curriculum is subject to change.
EEP students would be advised on an individual basis and adjustments to the above schedule and regulations might be modified and/or waived.
EEP students may opt to complete a number of General Education or major/degree specific courses/units before formally declaring a major and choosing a faculty advisor. EEP students are expected to select a major course of study sometime during their 1st two (2) years in attendance or 135 quarter units completed. Based on the radical nature of the educational acceleration and the varying levels of experience, academic skill/acuity, maturity and age, EEP students may petition for an extension of this policy regarding declaration of majors.
EEP Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA through their Provisional Quarter with no grade(s) falling below "B" and must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA through their first three years in attendance as an EEP undergraduate at Cal State L.A.
Life in the EEP and After
EEP students are very active in campus life including participation in events, organizations, clubs, governing bodies, social programs and, of course, university academic departments and research efforts. Each student may choose to be as involved as they wish with any extra-curricular activity or area of interest of their liking. As of the 2010-2011 academic year there are 100 (60 regular and 40 seniors called Elders in EEP) EEP students pursuing their baccalaureate degrees at the university earning an average GPA above 3.5.
EEP students are also involved in intramural sports (when available), orchestra-jazz ensembles, University Times campus publication, the Creative Writing Club (CWC), the Model United Nations project and the Asian-American Fellowship among others. The University Learning Services, Head Start, the GEAR-UP tutoring and recruitment program, the CSU Federal Credit Union and many other part-time college employment opportunities, have employed EEP students. EEP students have received numerous awards, scholarships and grants and are extremely active in campus and hometown community volunteer programs.
These young scholars bring to Cal State L.A. a "spirit of community” by involving their families in campus events and activities and they enrich the classroom environments through their special perspectives as teenagers with extraordinary scholastic abilities. Upon graduating, EEP students are a valuable link to some of our countries most prestigious universities and their involvement as alumni includes advice and counsel for current EEP participants.
The future holds much promise for Cal State L.A.'s Early Entrance students who, instead of being forced to curtail their abilities and interests, are given the opportunity to explore their individual talents at a pace appropriate to their intelligence. It is in their accomplishments as contributing adults that the full value of the program is realized. EEP alumni can be found in a wide variety of careers including medicine, law, science, technology and education among many others. As the EEP continues its growth many more highly gifted young students will have the opportunity to develop as adolescents and scholars en route to successful and productive lives.
We look forward to continuing to serve the special needs of highly gifted young scholars and hope that if the EEP were an opportunity you or your student would like to explore, that you would please contact us.
California State University, Los Angeles, Early Entrance Program
5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, California, 90032
Telephone 323-343-2287 Facsimile 323-343-5575
Campus Lounge Location King Hall Basement, Rooms D140 and D142