The California Community College Chancellor’s Office has prepared a report on the effectiveness of the Early Assessment Program (EAP) for helping with college readiness. The report can be found at:
The EAP is a collaborative high school/college outreach effort to encourage expository reading and writing in high school English classes and to offer students an opportunity to take the English Placement Test (EPT) early. The EPT is used by many California State University campuses to place students into first-year and developmental composition courses.
The study found that community college students who participated in the EAP program and received a “college ready” score on the early EPT test performed better than students who did not take an EAP expository reading and writing course.
One aspect of the EAP program that the report does not consider is the validity of the instrument used to test and place students at the end of the EAP course: the EPT. The EPT is a one-shot multiple choice and timed writing test given by the Educational Testing Service. Because it involves a single, decontextualized piece of writing; because it does not allow for revision and editing; because it does not match with our current theory of writing; and because it is disconnected to college composition curriculum the EPT is problematic as a placement tool (see position statements on writing assessment from NCTE and CCC below).