Memo: Executive Order 1110 – Assessment of Academic Preparation and Placement in First- Year General Education Written Communication and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning Courses

TO: CSU Presidents

FROM: Loren J. Blanchard, Ph.D., Executive Vice Chancellor

While the CSU has made significant progress in improving college readiness over the past two decades, today nearly 40 percent of admitted freshmen are placed in developmental education courses that typically do not count toward a baccalaureate degree. Improving college readiness of all students is a cornerstone of Graduation Initiative 2025 because of its direct relationship with progress toward degree completion and closing equity gaps. This new academic preparation policy, Executive Order 1110, aims to address inequities in college readiness head-on in order to close gaps in degree attainment and afford all students the opportunity to succeed. The final executive order addresses first-year placement in written communication and mathematics/quantitative reasoning, the Early Start Program and new models of developmental education.

Through robust discussion, consultation and sharing of ideas, the final policy has been shaped by input from faculty, students and administrators. For example, concerns regarding the need for instruction in pre-baccalaureate content for those students with the greatest need for support resulted in a final policy that restructures developmental education while providing flexibility for course design and curricular innovation. Additionally, as a result of feedback received, the timeline for implementing changes to the Early Start Program has been extended to summer 2019. Further, students who require support in both mathematics/quantitative reasoning and written communication will only be required to focus on one of those disciplines during the Early Start Program.

Across the CSU, work will continue to support this evolution of approaches to assessing, addressing and supporting academic preparation. Beginning this week and continuing throughout the upcoming academic year, faculty, staff and administrators will have opportunities to examine models of developmental education and assessment and placement. Following consultation with campus constituents, a coded memorandum will be released outlining implementation and operational matters related to this executive order. Over the next year, selected campus faculty, students, advisors and administrative leaders will participate in workgroups to develop a recommended set of best practices related to advisement and course placement. Finally, as this executive order reaches beyond the needs of the California State University, a communication plan will soon be launched to share this information with PK-12 educators and community college partners across the state.

If you have questions regarding this executive order, please contact Student Academic Services at or (562) 951-4744.

c: CSU Office of the Chancellor Leadership
Dr. Christine Miller, Chair, Academic Senate CSU
Provosts/Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs
Vice Presidents for Student Affairs
Associate Provosts/Associate Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs
Deans of Undergraduate Studies
Directors of Admissions and Records
Admissions Advisory Council