EEP position paper


Selected Excerpts

from a position paper delivered to the CSLA administration by the Program Director, Richard S. Maddox

EARLY ENTRANCE PROGRAM POSITION PAPER

BACKGROUND

The Early Entrance Program (EEP) was introduced at California State University, Los Angeles in 1989 and approved by President Rosser and the Academic Senate in 1983. It accepts extraordinary gifted students as young as 11 years of age and maintains a population of over 80 full-time students on the CSLA campus. The benefits of accelerated education are borne out by experience and research (sources available on request). Students who are bored in school and who face emotional, psychological and intellectual oppression run the risk of not achieving their full potential as scholars. The EEP serves a specific and valuable portion of Southern California's student population whose needs are not addressed by the established educational system. Highly gifted students often require a more challenging scholastic environment than is offered by secondary schools and need a setting in which they can associate with their true intellectual peers.
The future holds much promise for CSLA's Early Entrance students who, instead of being forced to curtail their abilities and interests, are given an opportunity to explore their individual talents at a pace appropriate to their intelligence. It is in their accomplishments as contributing scholars that the full value of the program is realized.

BENEFITS TO THE UNIVERSlTY

  • The EEP provides a valuable service not only to those students who benefit from accelerated education but also to the entire CSLA academic community. The EEP provides CSLA with yet another dimension by giving opportunities to the very young student. Listed below are several areas which reflect the contribution made by the program to the educational community.

  • The EEP at CSULA is the only program of its type in the nation. While there are a limited number of similar opportunities offered for gifted student across the country, CSLA's EEP is the only program of its type and design in the nation. The EEP is unique for the following three reasons.

  • Size and design: The EEP supports over 80 full-time undergraduate students between the ages of 11 and 18. As of winter 1998, there are over 80 freshmen and sophomores and 24 juniors and seniors. EEP students officially matriculate into the University sometime after they earn upperclass status. Students carry between 12 and 18 units and maintain a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0.

  • Age of entrants: The EEP allows qualified students as young as 11 years old the opportunity to excel at the university level. All EEP students are normally admitted prior to their 16th birthday. Most bypass high school and some parts of junior high school. The average entering age is 13.5 years.

  • Outreach: The EEP conducts a bi-annual talent search, testing over 600 highly gifted students from across the Southland. The Search for Exceptional Academic Achievement (SEAA), is currently sponsoring its 16th annual testing, screens and provides students for CSLA's Pre-Accelerated College Enrollment (PACE), Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE), and the EEP.

  • The EEP provides an infusion of exceptional talent to the classroom experience at CSLA. At this time the EEP is participating in the General Education Honors Program (GEHP) presentation at the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) conferences. The presentation centers on the benefit of having the young student in Honors courses. CSLA faculty have expressed their enthusiasm and interest in having our students in the Honors courses they teach. According to GEHP research EEP students provide youthful and intelligent perspectives and enrich the classroom experience.

  • EEP graduates and transfer students provide a link with our nation's most prestigious universities. This includes Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Cal Tech Johns Hopkins, USC, Stanford and all UC campuses including Los Angeles and Berkeley. EEP alumni maintain a close relationship with the program and its current students, often providing guidance and advice. EEP students also rely on alumni for counseling on such topics as study skills, academic success and graduate school admissions. Most formal EEP students are members of CSLA's alumni association and may be a valuable campus resource. Some EEP graduates have begun to make an impact as contributing adults in medicine, law, engineering, computer science, research and business.

  • The majority of EEP students pursue majors in the Natural and Social Sciences and serve as a valuable and important asset for academic research. EEP students have worked under CSLA faculty in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and other sciences.

  • CSLA's EEP students have been featured in local, regional and national media. The Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press, many local newspapers, K-CAL television HBO's Politically Incorrect and ABC television's Good Morning America have featured EEP students. The university benefits from the positive attention and prestige associated with the program.

  • EEP students are active in, and positively impact campus organization, activities, and projects including the GEHP Club, the Creative Writing Club (CWC) the Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) Student Environmental Association (SEA) and the Kiwanas Circle K Club. The EEP students have held ASI office, been on the GEHP Board of Directors, published or co-published scholarly and artistic works and have been awarded numerous awards, scholarships, and grants.

  • The EEP stndents involve their parents and families in events, creating and enriching the spirit community. As the average age of most CSLA students is over 25, they typically do not involve themselves or their families in campus life. EEP students, being young adolescents, naturally involve their parents and siblings in campus activities and events.

    For questions about the EEP, mail rmaddox@calstatela.edu

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