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C-5: ENFORCEMENT OF RECOMMENDED PREPARATION AND PREREQUISITE, CONCURRENT, CO-REQUISITE COURSES

Prerequisite, concurrent, co-requisite and recommended courses approximate the elements required for a student to succeed academically in a given course. Course instructors, or others designated by the academic unit in which their courses are offered, have the right to permit students to take the course without having the stated prerequisite, concurrent or co-requisite requirements, if the student demonstrates mastery of the material through some other means. Academic units are encouraged to develop procedures that are transparent and equitable for all students.

Prerequisite Enforcement

If course registration systems do not permit automatic enforcement of prerequisite, concurrent or co-requisite courses, faculty, or others designated by the academic unit in which their courses are offered, should review class enrollment lists during course registration periods and well before the start of a semester to identify students who may need to be disenrolled. Faculty may identify students to be disenrolled from a course for which they do not have a listed prerequisite, concurrent, or co-requisite course to the unit’s associate dean or the dean’s designated staff member to implement disenrollment.

If course registration systems permit automatic enforcement of pre-requisite, concurrent, or co-requisite courses, prerequisite, concurrent and co-requisite courses are enforced at the time of course registration. Students are considered to have met the requirements if the prerequisite, concurrent, and co-requisite courses are completed, in progress, or if the student is officially enrolled at Penn State for the courses in a semester that concludes prior to the date they will begin to take the course that requires the prerequisite courses.

Prerequisite Override

Prior to course enrollment, students can identify information on courses they plan to take, including whether they lack a prerequisite, concurrent or co-requisite course. Students can request an override by submitting to the course instructor a prerequisite override request using the registration drop/add form and supporting documentation that demonstrates they will have achieved mastery of the prerequisite, concurrent or co-requisite material prior to the start of the class. The course instructor or those designated by the academic unit review the request and documentation. If approved, the academic unit can enroll the student in the course.

Supporting documentation may include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

Students transferring courses to Penn State should recognize that it may take several weeks for a course to be transferred and appear in the student information system. When an official transcript from another institution is not yet available and the academic unit has required that the student provide supporting documentation to demonstrate mastery, the student may be required to submit other evidence of successful completion (e.g, an unofficial transcript, grade report) to the academic unit to receive an override approval.

Students transferring courses to Penn State that will not be transferred as a direct equivalent may request that an override apply to multiple courses within the same academic unit or in multiple academic units. If the override request applies to multiple courses, the student is responsible for submitting to each of the course instructors a prerequisite override request and supporting documentation.

Course Disenrollment

After the course registration period, students may drop, fail to pass or otherwise not complete Penn State or transfer courses needed as prerequisite, concurrent, or co-requisite courses for the next semester. Thus, prior to the start of each semester, the University Registrar will review course enrollments and identify students who do not have prerequisite, concurrent or co-requisite courses completed. The University Registrar will notify these students and their academic adviser of missing prerequisite, concurrent and co-requisite courses. The University Registrar also will send information on students who lack prerequisite, concurrent or co-requisite courses to each academic unit for distribution to course instructors. Each academic unit can then notify students and determine with course instructors which students lack required courses and do not have an approved override and may need to be disenrolled.

Students who drop one class in a set of concurrent or co-requisite courses to be taken in the same semester may be disenrolled from all concurrent or co-requisite classes, unless they have an override previously processed.

Faculty may identify students to be disenrolled from a course for which they do not have a listed prerequisite, concurrent, or co-requisite course to the unit’s associate dean or the dean’s designated staff member to implement disenrollment.

Senate Policy:  34-58, Course Availability

Senate Policy:  34-60, Prerequisites and Concurrent Courses

Revised: ACUE (3-4-99)
Revised: ACUE (4-7-05)
Revised: ACUE (10-4-12)
Revised: ACUE (5-5-16); Effective Fall 2016

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