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Early Start Frequently Asked Questions

General Information on Participation

Early Start is for students who need assistance with becoming college-ready in Math and/or English. If you are a freshman starting at a CSU campus in Fall and you require remedial coursework in Math or English, you must participate in the Early Start Program.

Applicants for admission to the CSU are required to meet minimum admission requirements in order to be accepted. Beyond admission, there are several requirements to ensure a student's successful transition to the university; these are called enrollment requirements. These can include, but are not limited to, Placement Exam Testing, Early Start participation, mandatory orientation participation, etc. Students are encouraged to review their admission offer and campus correspondence to review any additional enrollment requirements set forth by their campus of choice.

Early Start registration is a time sensitive process. This is especially true for students who are planning to complete the requirement at another campus. Therefore, it is vital that registration information be provided as soon as possible. If we currently do not have your EPT/ELM scores, your required participation is determined by your SAT/ACT scores. Once your EPT/ELM scores are received, you would become exempt if your score(s) meet the required exemption criteria.

The Early Start Program is designed to prepare incoming students for Math and English who have not demonstrated college readiness in these subject areas. Remediation is different from ESP as it means a student is required to take a developmental Math and/or English course to gain the skills necessary to successfully complete General Education Math and/or English.

Housing is not available during the Early Start program. However, the Early Start requirement can be completed at any CSU campus. You should choose a campus that is either close to your geographic location or one that offers online course options. A listing of CSU Early Start course offerings can be found here.

Early Start Class Registration and Payment

You may complete the CSU Early Start Program at any CSU. For a full listing of courses is available, visit www.csusuccess.org/earlystart.

The first step in Early Start registration is to indicate where you will complete the requirement on the Early Start Smart Page. After you make your Smart Page selection the campus you select will contact you with instructions on how to register.

The CSU campus you select to take your ESP course(s) at will send you registration information through email. It is important to check both your personal email (the one you indicated on your CSU application) and campus (Horizon) email for ESP registration information from the CSU campus. The time it takes will vary depending on when the campus opens their ESP registration window. If you do not receive information within one week, you should contact the campus you selected directly for further assistance.

Students who do not complete the Smart Page by the deadline will be automatically assigned to complete Early Start at their destination campus. Students who fail to register and complete their Early Start requirement risk being ineligible to enroll at their University for the fall term.

You are (or will become) exempt from participating in Early Start if you are have the following:

  1. Received a Conditionally Exempt status via the CAASPP or have the appropriate SAT or ACT score.
  2. Are currently enrolled in a year-long senior year-Math/English courses. You may verify the appropriate Math and English courses by visiting the following websites:
    1. Senior Year Math Experience Course: http://www.csusuccess.org/conditionally_exempt
    2. Senior Year English Experience Course: http://www.csusuccess.org/conditional_esw
  3. Pass with a grade of “C” or better in the appropriate senior year experience course(s). However, your exemption will not take effect until your final transcript is received.

If the registration deadline has not passed for classes, the student will need to find an alternate course at that campus to register in.  If the registration deadline has passed for classes and there are no classes available, then the student is responsible for contacting that institution to determine the next steps and how it may affect their enrollment. 

This varies by campus, but the preferred recommendation is to take the ELM/EPT before registering for ESP. Please contact the home campus for any questions. 

Early Start courses vary from campus to campus. The minimum requirement for satisfying the Early Start requirement is to complete a 1 semester unit (or 1.5 quarter unit) course in the subject(s) for which you are required to participate. Some campuses offer courses that in addition to satisfying the Early Start requirement also count toward completion of remediation. These courses are typically higher unit courses. The course descriptions will usually specify who the course is intended for (i.e. ELM score between 0-30). If assistance is required to determine whether a course is appropriate or not, please contact the home campus.

Early Start Class Logistics, Materials, and Grades

ESM 750 is a 1.5 quarter unit, fully online course with no on campus meetings. This course can be taken by any student required to participate in Early Start Math and will only fulfill the Early Start requirement. Students taking this class must have internet access and a computer. Students independently review course materials posted online by the instructor, work problems through the ALEKS system, and pose questions through e-mails and message boards.

ESM 950 is a 4 quarter unit course taught in a traditional classroom setting. This course is only open to students with an ELM score between 42-48 or who are Conditionally Ready for Math. Successful completion of ESM 950 will satisfy both the Early Start and remediation requirements.

CSUEB’s Early Start English class is not online; it is offered face-to-face on the Hayward or Concord campus. All instruction and tests for the English class are conducted in a traditional classroom format. After registering for the course, students can check MyCSUEB for their class building/room location. This course can be taken by any student required to participate in Early Start English and will only fulfill the Early Start requirement.

All of the CSU campuses are coordinating with each other to ensure Early Start participation and class grades are provided to the student’s final destination campus. The CSU where you take your Early Start class will send grades to CSUEB automatically.

Information on books and supplies needed for CSUEB’s Early Start courses will be provided to registered students prior to the course start date. Students are responsible for the cost of required course materials. Students in the Math course will be required to set up an ALEKS account to access materials online. Your instructor will provide instructions.

Students enrolled in CSUEB’s Early Start English class must come to the Hayward or Concord campus for all class meetings and exams. Students may park in the student parking lot near the building where their class is located. Special Early Start parking permits valid during the weeks the Early Start class is conducted will be sold at the CSUEB Cashier’s Office in the Student Services & Administration Building (first floor) on the Hayward Campus, and in the Academic Services Center at the Concord Campus. The cost is $30.00. Only cash/checks are accepted at the Cashier’s Office. (Debit/credit cards are not accepted.) Check with the Cashier’s Office for summer operating hours. 

Public transportation to the Hayward campus is available through BART and AC Transit. Limited public transportation is available to the Concord campus through County Connection/CCCTA.  Additional information will be provided prior to the start of classes.

Contact Information

Students with questions about the Early Start Program can contact the office in the following ways:

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