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A prerequisite is a course that must be completed BEFORE enrolling in another course. Some prerequisites are required as a condition of articulation between Solano and the University of California and the California State University systems. Others have been established by Solano faculty members through analysis of course content and/or research demonstrating that success in a specific course is related to success in the prerequisite course.
How does a prerequisite differ from a course advisory?
A course advisory is a course or other preparation that is recommended in order to enhance the student's probability of success in a course. These recommendations come from faculty members who have had extensive classroom experience in teaching the courses. The difference between prerequisites and course advisories is that, whereas prerequisites must be completed as a condition of enrollment in a course, a student is encouraged - but not required - to follow course advisories. Nevertheless, course advisories should be taken seriously. (For specific information on advisories, students should consult their counselor or faculty advisor.)
There have always been prerequisites. What's different?
Recent changes in Title 5 (56002) require that, if a course has a prerequisite, it must be valid (that is, necessary for success in the course for which it is a prerequisite.) Furthermore, the College must ensure that the prerequisite: 1) has been approved in a separate action by the Academic Senate's Curriculum Committee, and 2) is equitably and fairly enforced at registration.
When does Solano Community College enforce prerequisites?
The computer registration program enforces prerequisites when a student tries to register for a course, either by phone or in person. If a student has not completed a prerequisite at SCC, s/he will be blocked from enrolling in the course for which the prerequisite is required.
If the student satisfied the prerequisite at another college or in high school, does it have to be verified?
Yes. Students who have satisfied prerequisites at another college or high school must submit a transcript (official or unofficial) to the Admissions and Records office. Upon demonstration that the student indeed meets the specific prerequisite, the student's electronic records will be updated, allowing her/him to enroll in the desired course, space permitting.
Can an instructor sign a student into his or her class without the student completing the course prerequisite?
No. The purpose of prerequisite enforcement is to make sure students have the necessary background to be successful in the course. An instructor's signature alone will not override the computer's block to enrollment. For a student to be allowed to enroll in the course the instructor or division dean must post an electronic "approval" into the target course or an "equivalency" to the prerequisite course.
How will prerequisites affect enrollment in late-start/short-term courses?
If the student has not satisfactorily completed the prerequisite, s/he will not be allowed to enroll in the course even though enrolled in the prerequisite course unless the prerequisite course is specified as one that "may be taken concurrently." In the case of such short-term (usually one-half semester), sequential courses, only students who have completed the prerequisite course will be allowed to enroll at the beginning of a semester. However, when the prerequisite course reaches the 50% completion point and upon recommendation of the course instructor, the division dean will post electronic approvals into the subsequent course for students making satisfactory progress in the prerequisite course. Immediately upon posting of the approvals, students can register online. If a student does not successfully complete the prerequisite course, s/he will be administratively dropped from the subsequent course.
Can a student challenge a prerequisite?
Yes. Title 5 also stipulates that, although prerequisites are to be enforced, students have the right to challenge prerequisites based on very specific grounds.
On what grounds can a student file a challenge?
The student can challenge the prerequisite on one or more of five specified reasons: 1) the prerequisite approval did not follow SCC District Policy (ref. #6023); or 2) it is not necessary for success in the course; or 3) it is unlawfully discriminatory; or 4) the prerequisite course has not been made reasonably available and, thus, if the student has to wait to take it, s/he will be delayed in the completion of her/his official educational goal (that is, the Individualized Education Play [IEP] timeline will not be met); or 5) the student can substantiate having the knowledge or skills to be successful in the course despite not meeting the prerequisite.
How does the student file a challenge of a prerequisite?
The student needs to meet with the appropriate Division Dean. If the student elects to challenge, he/she may take any appropriate documentation to the Division Dean. If the challenge request is not approved, the student will not be allowed to register in the course in question.
Is there a timeline for processing challenges?
Yes. The challenge must be acted upon in a timely manner according to the appropriate dates and deadlines for adding courses.
Whom do I contact for more information?
See a counselor (707-864-7101), faculty advisor, division dean or the Office of Admissions and Records (707-864-7171.)