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University News

CAPI Programs Aid First-Time Freshmen
by Dave Reid


from Dateline (February 13, 2003)

Helping first-time freshmen to achieve proficiency in math and English before enrolling at Cal State Fullerton is the goal of a number of campus outreach programs and classes.

One of the programs to enhance proficiency is the Collaborative Academic Preparation Initiative (CAPI), which is funded by a CSU Chancellor's Office grant.

CAPI's mathematics segment is aimed at strengthening math and testing skills. One component involves students taking an eight-hour course to prepare for the Entry Level Mathematics exam.

Another is the Mathematics Diagnostic Project, in which participating high school teachers use test item analysis to suggest adjustments in instruction that can lead to improvement in students' conceptual performance and understanding.

The Organizing Student Achievement Institute, a third component, is an ongoing effort to increase student achievement in math, particularly in preparing for success on the California High School Exit Exam.

Mathematics faculty members Martin Bonsangue, Chuck Funkhouser, Gerald Gannon, Armando Martinez-Cruz and David Pagni participate in CAPI and other outreach efforts.

“Our goal is to have students qualify to enroll in Composition 101 at the university for college credit, as opposed to remedial classes.”

On the English side, CAPI's major thrust is enhancing teaching skills of high school instructors, according to Mary Kay Crouch, associate professor of English, comparative literature and linguistics and lead CAPI coordinator.

Ten faculty members work in the program providing assistance to teachers at five local high schools. CSUF students serve as learning assistants at these schools in mentoring students, often on a one-on-one basis.

“In the beginning,” said Crouch, “many teachers didn't realize what the English Placement Test was all about. Now they know.”

One of the many services provided by faculty members is giving tips to high school students on what is expected from students in university English classes.

“We see high school teachers as partners in this program,” she said. “Our goal is to have students qualify to enroll in Composition 101 at the university for college credit, as opposed to remedial classes, which earn no credits. Our overall aim is to keep these instructors on the cutting edge of teaching.”

In addition to Couch, participating faculty members from English, comparative literature and linguistics include John Powers, Candy Somoza, Barbara Beale, Kim Vandervort, Robert Nazar, Donna Mintie, Cheryl Zimmerman, Jai Hee Cho and John White.

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