Early Start Program (ESP) Preparation for College-level Math and English

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Get an Early Start for Fall 2014!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Is Early Start a mandatory program for all incoming SF State students?

Early start is only required for students you have taken the placement test, and received certain scores. See below.


Early Start English  EPT of 146 and Below
Early Start Math  ELM of 48 and Below


Who is required to take Early Start classes?  

Check your admissions notice and/or emails from SF State. Both will indicate if tests are required. Students are urged to test as early as possible to know if they need to complete summer Early Start classes.

Click HERE for more information regarding dates and deadlines: ELM/EPT Testing


Early Start English

Students scoring below 147 on the EPT must take and successfully complete ESE 99 at SF State (online or in-person).

Click HERE for more information: Early Start English Courses

NOTE: The Early Start English class must be completed before New Student Orientation in Summer 2014!


Early Start Math

Students scoring below a 50 on the ELM must take and successfully complete a remedial math course at SF State (online or in person).

Click HERE for more information: Early Start Math Courses

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What is a Smart Page and why is this important for Early Start?

The Smart Page is a student friendly portal where students will trigger the beginning of their Early Start registration process and indicate they are attending San Francisco State University. Access to the Smart Page portal can be found through your SF State Gateway.


Do I have to take my Early Start course(s) on SF State’s campus during the summer?

All ESE99 courses are required to be taken through SF State whether online or in-person. In special cases some 3 units equivalent Math courses may be taken (i.e. out of area students). Contact the Early Start Coordinator at (415) 405-0436 for more info


Will students be required to retake the ELM/EPT tests at the end of the summer in order to complete Early Start?

No, retaking the ELM will be a strong suggestion by the Early Start staff for students who have successfully completed the ESM 40 (1 unit) course. There will be a special August 2nd ELM test. Statistics show that there is a high probability of improvement on the ELM placement test after completing ESM 40.


When do I have to pay for my Early Start courses?

Early Start Payment Policies

Class Registration and Drops
Registration for classes and dropping from classes will stop at 12:00 noon one business day prior to the first day of class.

Payment Due Date
Students must pay within five calendar days and no later than one calendar day before the first day of class to avoid being dropped from the class for non-payment.

Course must be dropped before 12:00 noon on the business day before the first day of class for a full refund minus $20 processing fee. The $2 additional local fee in nonrefundable.


What happens if I did not enroll in any of my required Early Start Courses?

SF State students who are required to do Early Start classes and fail to enroll will not be allowed to attend SF State in Fall 2014.

What happens if I enrolled in my Early Start course(s) but did not successfully pass the class?

SF State students who enrolled in Early Start courses but did not attend or complete their required class(es) will now be allowed to keep their enrollment for the Fall 2014 semester. However, these students will now need to follow the next steps in order to fully meet compliance with Early Start:

Early Start English
1. Complete the Directed Self Placement (DSP) assessment at: http://etc.sfsu.edu/pages/directed-self-placement

2. Enroll into the appropriate DSP chosen English course during Open Registration which begins on July 24th and goes until August 17th.
3. Provide a progress report from current English instructor during mid-semester proving student is receiving a C or better.
4. Meet other Early Start participation which will be determined and messaged to students in the near future.

Early Start Math
1. Enroll into new appropriate math course during Open Registration which begins on July 24th and goes until August 17th. Depending on which Early Start Math course the student enrolled in...
ESM 40 (or other CSU equivalent to online course) - Make sure to be enrolled in the remediation math level that the student placed into based off of ELM scores.
ESM 60 - Drop MATH 70 and re-enroll into MATH 60
ESM 70 - Drop Quantitative Reasoning (QR) and re-enroll into MATH 70

2. Provide a progress report from current Math instructor during mid-semester proving student is receiving a C or better.
3. Meet other Early Start participation which will be determined and messaged to students in the near future.


I have been given a non-compliance status for Early Start and will not be able to enroll in Fall 2014 because of this. Is there a way I can contest & appeal my Early Start denial?

The Early Start program has an Appeals Committee that have created an Early Start appeals option for students who meet any of the following criteria:


Early Start Appeals Criteria

1)   If a student was required to Early Start and later discovered they qualified for an Early Start exemption through other waives such as AP credit, SAT, ACT, EAP scores.

2)   Extreme illness, providing care for a family member, passing of a family or of a loved

one (medical note from doctor, death certificate, etc.)

3)   Severe and extraneous personal situations or circumstances (out of the country for summer program involvement, financial hardships with documentation, etc.)

4)   Early Start course(s) not passed for compelling reasons


If a student meets one or more of the four appeals criteria, please contact the Early Start Coordinator for more information and next steps on the Early Start Appeals proccess at (415) 405-0436 or early@sfsu.edu.

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