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 Cal State LA 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 LA 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 LA, 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 LA. 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 some 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 LA 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.