Assessing the Promise of California's Early Assessment Program for Community Colleges

Michal Kurlaender
University of California, Davis


This article focuses on California's efforts to improve the alignment between K–12 and postsecondary schooling through the Early Assessment Program (EAP). Implemented in 2004, EAP was designed to give high school students information about their academic preparedness for postsecondary education and to encourage teachers to teach for college readiness. The article describes the EAP and its evolution and presence at California's community colleges. It then matches EAP and other test score data for California high school juniors to administrative data from California community colleges to investigate the extent to which high school student participation in EAP predicts their college course placement and influences their academic performance. Very few students enter the California community college system ready for college level work based on the EAP exam, but EAP can better serve community college campuses in their efforts to place students in developmental coursework.

This article was originally published in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science by SAGE Publications.

Suggested citationKurlaender, M. (2019, September). Assessing the promise of California's Early Assessment Program for community colleges [Article]. Policy Analysis for California Education.