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Tougher Entrance Standards Hailed at CS Northridge

Times Staff Writer

Athletes who want to attend Cal State Northridge will face stricter admissions standards beginning in the fall of 1988.

The new requirements include two years of a foreign language, three years of math, one year of U.S. history and three years of electives in English, social studies, advanced math, agriculture or foreign language, and a year of lab science and visual or performing arts in high school. The requirements were approved by Cal State University’s Board of Trustees in January. Late last month, the board decided to implement the plan gradually over four years throughout the Cal State system.

“The primary reason for the new standards is to send a message to students as to what it takes to succeed in college,” said Charles Lindahl, dean of educational support services for the state university system. “If we spell out what it takes to succeed, students are savvy enough to do it. We had too many students arriving at college not having taken advantage of the educational opportunities in high school.”

Which is to say, too many high school students load their schedules with easy classes, then struggle when they get to college.

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Even though the tougher admissions requirements could make recruiting more difficult for Northridge coaches, CSUN Athletic Director Bob Hiegert said he supports the changes.

“I’m glad the state system is doing this. We’re not talking about summer leagues, we’re talking about college athletics. It’s something that people will have to get in their minds. These kids will have to apply themselves.

“Besides, the player you want to have on your squad is the kid who is eligible and a decent student. When you have the majority of your kids in the other category, you’re headed for trouble.”

Northridge basketball Coach Pete Cassidy said athletes who cannot fulfill the requirements will have to go to junior colleges. “It’ll go into effect gradually,” Cassidy said, “so students will be advised of the courses they need.”

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Beginning in 1988, students who lack some of the new requirements will be admitted as long as the requirements are met early in their college careers. If a student has had 10 of the 15 new high school units needed, he will be conditionally admitted. Freshmen entering in 1989 could be admitted with 12 of the 15 required units. By 1992, all 15 prerequisite units will be necessary.

Said Cassidy: “In the future, we might lose one or two players in recruiting, but it’s a good rule. Kids will be better prepared. After all, kids are supposed to be literate by the time they get to college.”


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