Curriculum Development - Establishing Course Pre-Requisites
Establishing Pre-Requisite, Co-Requisite and Advisory Courses
More information about Pre-Requisite, Co-Requisite and Advisory courses is available in the Pre-Requisite Process Manual. This manual is available from the Curriculum Committee Chair, from the Vice President of Instruction and in the division/area offices.)
Both the department and the curriculum committee must approve the prerequisite, co-requisite, or advisory by an approval separate from approval of the course. This approval must be based on a properly completed content review / prerequisite validation packet.
For advisories, submit: (1) Form 4A (Prerequisite checklist); (2) Summary narrative for the content review process including the entrance skills which justify the chosen prerequisite, co-requisite, or advisory; and (3) Updated form 4 (course outline) including entrance skills. For prerequisites and co-requisites, submit the preceding three items and at least one of the following (more than one if several types of prerequisite are deemed necessary):
- For standard pre/co-requisites: Catalog descriptions for courses equivalent to the target and prerequisite courses at three UC or CSU campuses, with a narrative if the comparability of the courses is not obvious.
- For sequential or health and safety pre/co-requisites: Documented content review establishing a link between entrance skills for the target course and the objectives of each pre/co-requisite.
The department submits the content review/prerequisite validation packet electronically to the office of the Vice President of Instruction via the appropriate area dean. If the packet does not seem to meet the guidelines of the validation process, the prerequisite subcommittee communicates with the department and requests additional documentation and/or clarification. Once the packet meets the requirements for prerequisite validation, the prerequisite subcommittee makes a recommendation for approval to the curriculum committee. The curriculum committee determines if the proposed prerequisite, co-requisite, or advisory is necessary and appropriate and does not pose an unnecessary obstacle to achievement of student goals. If so, the curriculum committee approves the prerequisite.
Some prerequisites can only be justified by data analysis. These prerequisites will be conditionally approved for two years via the above process. Conditional approval will be revoked if data analysis is not completed within two years or if the data analysis fails to show that a student who lacks the prerequisite is highly unlikely to succeed in the course. Prerequisites that can only be validated by data analysis include: Mathematics courses (when listed as prerequisite for a course outside of the math department), English or ESL courses (when listed as prerequisite for a course outside of these departments), prerequisites which require a certain letter grade in a previous course (a B or better in Chem 1A), and prerequisites which are stated with recency language (English 1A within the last two years). Some exceptions may apply. When processing the prerequisite validation packet, the curriculum committee will determine whether the prerequisite requires this level of scrutiny.
Prerequisites and advisories are subject to periodic review as follows: Entrance skills will be reviewed each time the course outline is reviewed. Prerequisite validation (documented content review or UC equivalencies) will be verified by department faculty and reviewed by the curriculum committee every six years.
Prerequisites and advisories for offerings under the heading"Special Topics in" or Experimental Offerings in" represent a special case. Advisories for these special offerings do not require content review or separate approval. Prerequisites and co-requisites for these special offerings do not require content review or validation documents, but must have their prerequisites approved by the curriculum committee.
Checking a Student's Prerequisite or Co-requisite Documentation for Your Class
Ask that students bring one of the following to you during the first few days of class:
- Assessment Placement Results (from the Assessment Center, verifying that the student has tested at the course placement level appropriate for the course) OR
- Transcripts showing that the student has taken the required course(s)
If a student cannot provide one of these documents, you must drop him/her from your class. The student may challenge the prerequisite requirement through your division office, by completing the "Pre-Requisite Challenge" form. Allow the student to attend class during the challenge process period.