The California State University
High School Success
Partnering to Prepare Our Students for Success  
  Back to Search
Santiago High
Prepare for College
Prepare for College
How did your students place upon entry?


To help your students prepare for college, we recommend that you take the following actions:

  1. Learn more about the award-winning CSU preparedness resources below, and share them with your students.

  2. Find out what it takes to become academically prepared for college, and ensure that your students are on the right path to be prepared for the rigors of college while still in high school.

    • What does it take to be academically prepared?

      • There is a difference between college admission eligibility and college readiness. To be eligible for the CSU students need to complete the A-G courses with a C or better and meet the CSU Eligibility Index (an index of GPA calculated from the A-G courses and SAT or ACT scores).

      • To be ready for college-level coursework, students need to do more than complete the A-G sequence of courses successfully. They need to make sure they are academically prepared for the rigors of college by reaching college-level proficiency in English and math. Students who begin at the CSU without having completed the college-level proficiency requirements are placed in supported instruction for General Education (GE) coursework. 'Supported instruction' refers to various ways the CSU helps students in General Education (GE) coursework achieve college success. Supported course models may include labs, tutoring, workshops and stretch courses (courses extended over more than one term).

    • How is it determined if students are to be placed in supported instruction?

      • The CSU’s Academic Preparation policy is designed to inform entering freshmen of placement in appropriate baccalaureate-level courses based on their skills and needs.

      • There are several ways to determine which GE and math courses are right for each student. Multiple measures will be used to evaluate each student's academic preparation in these subjects. Multiple measures include: Standardized Tests: (CAASPP/EAP, ACT, SAT, AP, IB and CLEP ), high school and college coursework, overall high school GPA, and high school math GPA.

      • The CSU will use the highest achieved measure to determine placement in appropriate GE English and math/quantitative reasoning courses.

      • First-time freshmen in need of support as determined by the skills assessment will be placed in supported instruction. Supported instruction is designed to assist students in credit bearing courses. Students may also be required to participate in the Early Start Program.

      • The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is designed to provide an early indicator of students's readiness to take college-level English and math courses. The EAP is one of the measures the CSU uses to determine student placement in the appropriate GE English and math/QR courses. In the spring of their junior year, all students take the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in English Language Arts/Literacy and math/QR. CAASPP/EAP results are included in the CAASPP Individual Student Score Report that students receive from their school in the fall of their senior year.

      • The SAT and ACT can also help students determine their college readiness. The CSU recommends the exams are taken in the spring of the 11th grade.

      • If a student determines they are not ready in any area, the CSU recommends that they take their senior year to improve their skills.

      • For more information visit

    • What do my students need to do once they have been accepted to the CSU?

      • Once students have been accepted, the multiple measures will be applied by looking at their transcripts and coursework out of high school. Depending on the course of study indicated by the student, they will be placed in the appropriate math or English course.

        • If a student has not been designated as "proficient" in either math and/or English by one of the methods listed above, they will be placed in supported instruction.
      • Students required to participate in the Early Start Program will be sent information once they have completed their intent to enroll forms.

      • The Early Start Program gives students the opportunity to earn college credit in written communication and mathematics/quantitative reasoning the summer before their first term.

Enroll at a CSU
Enroll at a CSU
How many enrolled at a CSU campus?


As you explore the CSU enrollment trends of your students, we recommend that you take the following actions:

  1. Take several steps to increase the number of your students who attend a CSU campus.

    • Encourage your students to successfully complete the A-G courses.

    • Encourage your students to maintain a B or better GPA in the A-G courses in order to meet the CSU Eligibility Index requirements.

    • Encourage your students to take the ACT or SAT by the spring of the 11th grade.

    • ​​Help your students to understand that the CSU is the nation’s largest and most ​​affordable public four-year university system.

    • Help students to understand the financial aid process and the availability of scholarships.

  2. Reflect on the number of students from your high school that attend the CSU, and analyze the year-by-year trends.

  3. Explore data from other high schools to see comparisons with other schools in your community.

Choose a Major
Choose a Major
How many students declared a major upon arrival at the CSU?


As you explore the CSU major selection trends of your students, we recommend that you take the following actions:

  1. Look at the data and reflect on the following questions:

    • Are the majors that your students select what you expected given the types of programs that you have?

    • Do the choices reflect the needs of the community?

    • Is there a healthy balance of students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)?

  2. Play an active role in helping your students in their major selection.

    • Encourage your students to think about college majors and preparation as early as possible, and ensure that they are clear on differences between STEM/pre-med/nursing majors that require heavy science and math prerequisites, and those that are more exploratory, like liberal studies.

    • Help your students to see the realities of their major choices early. If they are interested in a STEM or pre-med track, encourage them to take prerequisites early to find out ASAP whether this is the path they want to follow.

    • Help support students to better prepare for popular majors by:

      • Exposing them to career options through local employers.

      • Creating opportunities for students to meet professionals in those fields.

Get Off to a Fast Start
Get Off to a Fast Start
How many completed a full course load (30+ units) in their first year?


As you explore the course-taking patterns of your students once they arrive at the CSU, we recommend that you take the following actions:

  1. Inform your students about the importance of getting off to a fast start.

    • Students that complete 30+ units their first year of college are much more likely to graduate than those that do not.

    • When students do not take full unit loads it will take them longer to degree and cost them more.

    • Help students to understand that if possible, their goal should be to graduate in four years.

    • Help students understand that the goal is to graduate in four years whenever possible.

  2. Help your students understand the opportunity costs associated with not taking at least 15 units each term.

    • Loss in financial aid eligibility over time. Pell grants run out after 6 years.
    • Loss in wages by delaying entry into the full-time workforce.
    • Increase costs in tuition, books and fees over time.
    • Real costs associated when balancing a part time job not directly tied to career interests, and a full academic unit load.
    • The risk of taking on heavy debt and predatory loans after 6 years.
Earn a CSU Degree
Earn a CSU Degree
How many graduated?


As you explore the CSU graduation rates of your students, we recommend that you take the following actions:

  1. Review the CSU’s Academic Preparation Policy, including Early Assessment Program (EAP) with 11th graders, and help them access the resources they need to maximize the 12th grade year, so that they become college-ready.

  2. Encourage students to visit their campus financial aid office to become familiar with their services. All students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between October 1st and March 2nd each year.

  3. Encourage students to seek on-campus rather than off-campus employment to help finance their education.

  4. Encourage students to pursue internships relevant to their major and career interests to help keep them engaged in their studies and progressing toward their degree.

  5. Encourage proven success strategies that keep students connected in college such as getting involved in campus activities and groups, getting to know professors, and staying focused on academics.