AP 4260 Prerequisites and Corequisites - Administrative Procedures, Chapter 4 Academic Affairs

  • References: Title 5 Sections 55000 et seq.

Prerequisites, corequisites, advisories, recommended preparation, and limitations on enrollment are necessary to ensure that students succeed in their coursework and have access to the courses they require.  It is important to have prerequisites in place where they are a vital factor in maintaining academic standards.  It is also necessary to ensure that prerequisites, corequisites, advisories, and limitations on enrollment do not constitute unjustifiable obstacles to student access and success.  Therefore, to foster the appropriate balance between these two concerns, the Education Code requires that prerequisites, corequisites, advisories, and limitations on enrollment be established based solely on content review or content review with statistical validation.

1. Information in the Catalog and Class Schedule

The college provides the following explanations both in the college catalog and in the class schedule:

  1. Definitions of prerequisites, corequisites, and limitations on enrollment including the differences among them and the specific prerequisites, corequisites, and limitations on enrollment that have been established.
  2. Procedures for a student to challenge prerequisites, corequisites, and limitations on enrollment and circumstances under which a student is encouraged to make such a challenge. The information about challenges must include, at a minimum, the specific process including any deadlines, the various types of challenge that are established in law, and any additional types of challenge permitted by the college.
  3. Definitions of advisories on recommended preparation, the right of a student to choose to take a course without meeting the advisory, and circumstances under which a student is encouraged to exercise that right.
  4. Definitions of corequisite, non-degree-applicable basic skills courses, prerequisite, and satisfactory grade.

2. Challenge Process

  1. Any student who does not meet a prerequisite or corequisite or who is not permitted to enroll due to a limitation on enrollment but who provides satisfactory evidence may seek entry into the course by obtaining approval from a counselor and/or the appropriate division dean.
  2. Grounds for challenge include the following:
    1. Grounds for challenge specified in Title 5 Section 55201(f).
    2. The student seeks to enroll and has not been allowed to enroll due to a limitation on enrollment established for a course that involves intercollegiate competition or public performance, or one or more of the courses for which enrollment has been limited to a cohort of students. The student is allowed to enroll in such a course if otherwise he or she would be delayed by a semester or more in attaining the degree or certificate specified in his or her educational plan.
    3. The student seeks to enroll in a course that has a prerequisite established to protect health and safety, and the student demonstrates that he/she does not pose a threat to himself/herself or others.
    4. The student has the obligation to provide satisfactory evidence that the challenge should be upheld.  However, where facts essential to a determination of whether the student's challenge should be upheld are or ought to be in the college's own records, then the college has the obligation to produce that information.

3. Curriculum Review Process for Prerequisites and Corequisites

The curriculum review process is in accordance with all of the following:

  1. Establish a curriculum committee and its membership in a manner that is mutually agreeable to the college administration and the Faculty Senate.
  2. Establish prerequisites, corequisites, and advisories on recommended preparation (advisories) only upon the recommendation of the Faculty Senate except that the Faculty Senate may delegate this task to the Curriculum Committee without forfeiting its rights or responsibilities under Title 5 Sections 53200-53204 and within the limits set forth in Title 5 Section 55003.  Certain limitations on enrollment must be established in the same manner.
  3. Establish prerequisites, corequisites, advisories on recommended preparation, and limitations on enrollment only if:
    1. The faculty in the discipline or, if the college has no faculty member in the discipline, the faculty in a related discipline (as determined by using the Minimum Qualifications for Faculty and Administrators in California Community Colleges) do all of the following:
      1. Approve the course; and,
      2. As a separate action, approve any prerequisite or corequisite, only if:
        1. The prerequisite or corequisite is an appropriate and rational measure of a student's readiness to enter the course or program as demonstrated by a content review including, at a minimum, all of the following:
          1. involvement of faculty with appropriate expertise;
          2. consideration of course objectives set by relevant department(s)/discipline(s).  The curriculum review process should be done in a manner that is in accordance with accreditation standards.
          3. be based on a detailed course syllabus and outline of record, tests, related instructional materials, course format, type and number of examinations, and grading criteria;
          4. specification of the body of knowledge and/or skills which are deemed necessary at entry in the case of a pre-requisite and/or concurrent with enrollment in the case of a corequisite;
          5. identification and review of the prerequisite or corequisite which develops the body of knowledge and/or measures skills identified under iv.
          6. matching of the knowledge and skills in the targeted course (identified under (d)) and those developed or measured by the prerequisite or corequisite (i.e., the course or assessment identified under (e)); and
          7. maintain documentation that the above steps were taken.
      3. Approve any limitation on enrollment that is being established for an honors course or section, for a course that includes intercollegiate competition or public performance, or so that a cohort of students will be enrolled in two or more courses, and, in a separate action, specify which.
      4. Approve that the course meets the academic standards required for degree applicable courses, non-degree applicable courses, non-credit courses, or community service respectively.
      5. Review the course outline to determine if a student would be highly unlikely to receive a satisfactory grade unless the student had knowledge or skills not taught in the course.  If the student would need knowledge or skills not taught in the course itself, then the course may be approved for degree applicable credit only if all requirements for establishing the appropriate prerequisite have been met excepting only approval by the Curriculum Committee.
      6. Review the course outline to determine whether receiving a satisfactory grade is dependent on skills in communication or computation.  If receiving a satisfactory grade is sufficiently dependent on such skills, then the course may be approved for degree applicable credit only if all requirements have been met for establishing a prerequisite or corequisite of not less than eligibility for enrollment to a degree-applicable course in English or mathematics, respectively.
      7. Establish a plan for the research to be used to determine the impact on student success and whether there is any disproportionate impact of new prerequisites.
    2. A course which should have a prerequisite or corequisite as provided in e) or f) but for which one or more of the requirements for establishing a prerequisite have not been met may only:
      1. Be reviewed and approved pursuant to the standards for non-degree applicable credit or community service; or
      2. Be revised and reviewed as required to meet the criteria for establishing the necessary prerequisites or corequisites.
    3. The Curriculum Committee also reviews the course and prerequisite in a manner that meets each of the requirements specified above.
  4. Ohlone College’s Faculty Senate, through its Curriculum Committee, will adopt a plan specifying how prerequisites or corequisites in reading, written expression or mathematics will be added to courses.
  5. Course Review.  All courses at the college are reviewed on a six-year cycle, which includes review of each prerequisite, corequisite, or advisory to establish that each is still supported by the faculty in the discipline or department and by the Curriculum Committee and is still in compliance with all other provisions of this policy and with the law.  Any prerequisite or corequisite that is still supported is reviewed promptly thereafter to assure that it is in compliance with all other provisions of this policy and with the law.

4. Implementing Prerequisites, Corequisites, and Limitations on Enrollment

Implementation of prerequisites, corequisites, and limitations on enrollment must be done in a consistent manner and not left exclusively to the classroom instructor.  Every attempt is made to enforce all conditions a student must meet to be enrolled in the course through the registration process so that a student is not permitted to enroll unless he/she has met all the conditions.  If a student appeals or challenges the prerequisite, he/she cannot enroll in the subsequent course until the appeal or challenge is settled. Every effort will be made to settle appeals or challenges as quickly as possible.

5. Review of Individual Courses                                                 

If the student's enrollment in a course or program is to be contingent on his or her having met the proposed prerequisite(s) or corequisite(s), then such a prerequisite or corequisite must be established as outlined in AP 4260. If enrollment is not blocked, then what is being established is not a prerequisite or corequisite but, rather, an advisory on recommended preparation and must be identified as such in the class schedule and catalog. 

6. Advisories on Recommended Preparation

The college may recommend that a student meet a standard of readiness at entry only if recommended by the faculty in the discipline or department and by the Curriculum Committee as provided in above.  This process is required whether the college used to describe such recommendations in its catalog or class schedule as "prerequisites," or "recommended," or by any other term.

7. Blocks of Courses or Sections

Blocks of courses or blocks of sections of courses are two or more courses or sections for which enrollment is limited in order to create a cohort of students.  Such a limitation on enrollment may be established if, in addition to review by the faculty in the discipline or department, there is another section or another course or courses that satisfy the same requirement. 

Curriculum Committee Approved: May 2013
Adopted: November 2013