Modification of CSU Admission Standards to Meet
Master Plan Eligibility Goal for First-Time Freshmen

AS-2396-98/AA - January 22-23, 1998

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University support the CSU Admission Advisory Council's recommendation of the following standard for achieving eligibility for admission to the CSU for first-time freshmen:

• Earning the necessary eligibility index which remains unchanged at 2900 AND

• Completion of the required 15-unit college preparatory course pattern with a minimum C grade in each course, OR Completion of 15 units within the college preparatory course pattern with a minimum C grade in each course except that one year may be missing in visual and performing arts or foreign language. This flexibility is subject to ONE of the following conditions:

a. The missing course is made up prior to initial CSU enrollment


b. If the missing course is not completed prior to initial CSU enrollment, it must be completed during the first year of CSU studies with the understanding that the course used to fulfill admission requirements cannot be used to satisfy baccalaureate degree requirements.;

and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge Chancellor Reed to adopt the modified admission standards for first-time CSU freshmen as recommended by the CSU Admission Advisory Council effective with the 1998-99 academic year with the understanding that reviews on the CSU eligibility pool will be conducted on an annual basis.

RATIONALE: Findings of the 1996 CPEC eligibility study conducted to determine the extent to which the current CSU admission requirement meets the Master Plan Goal indicated that 29.6 percent of the 1996 public high school graduates were eligible for freshmen admission to CSU in fall 1996, 3.7 percentage points below the 33.3 percent Master Plan goal. Of the 29.6 percent of high school graduates who were eligible for CSU admission, 19.3 percent were eligible by completing CSU's 15-unit college preparatory course pattern and 10.3 percent were eligible by completing UC's "a-f" college preparatory course pattern.

The Master Plan for Higher Education mandates that the upper one-third of California high school graduates is eligible for CSU admission as freshmen. At its December 16, 1997, meeting, the CSU Admission Advisory Council reviewed several options to modify CSU admissions standards to come into closer alignment with the Master Plan: "adjusting the eligibility index, adjusting the course-pattern requirement, and resuming phasing in the 15-unit high school college preparatory course pattern with special attention to English, mathematics, and visual and performing arts (VPA)." Evidence from the CPEC Eligibility study also indicated that more students are enrolling in courses that meet CSU's 15-unit course preparatory pattern but fewer students are completing these courses with a C or above. In fact, the proportion of students failing to satisfactorily complete one or more of the required courses increased from 8.1 percent in 1990 to 17.3 percent in 1996.

The Council also recognized that the extent to which graduating high school seniors are eligible for CSU admission is an estimate based on a random sample of high school transcripts and test scores (n=15,352 students). By the same token, the impact of the modification of CSU admission standards to increase the eligibility index can only be estimated. In fact, since estimates are dependent on the particular sample selected, it would be an egregious error to overcorrect. Therefore, the Council proposed a relatively modest adjustment, based on recommendations from the Academic Affairs Committee of the Academic Senate CSU, which should be sufficient to achieve the adjustment needed given the increases in the grade-point averages of high school graduates, test scores, and enrollment of students in college preparatory coursework.

The modification leaves unchanged the required eligibility index of 2900 and the completion of the required 15-unit college preparatory course pattern with a minimum grade of C in each course. The modification requires the successful completion of 15 units within the college preparatory course pattern except one unit may be missing in either VPA or foreign language at the time of application/

acceptance with the requirement that the one unit be completed either prior to matriculation in the CSU or during the first year at CSU. When the course is completed, the units cannot be used to satisfy baccalaureate degree requirements. This modification would continue to emphasize to students, teachers, and counselors the importance of completing the entire CSU 15-unit course pattern in high school.

Annual reviews of the eligibility index are necessary to monitor and evaluate the extent to which admitted freshmen meet the full 15-unit college preparatory course pattern requirement. The Admission Advisory Council believes the number of students who complete all of the 15-unit college preparatory course pattern will continue to increase with expanded outreach efforts that communicate CSU's admission standards and requirements to middle and high school students, teachers, and counselors.

APPROVED – January 22-23, 1998

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