Good Practices for the Implementation of Prerequisites

Curriculum Committee

Prerequisites are an essential tool in the construction of curriculum for courses in which student success is highly dependent on previously acquired knowledge or skills. However, effective use of prerequisites requires a balance of several countervailing factors. (Used in this general sense the term prerequisites applies also to corequisites and other limitations on enrollment.) Appropriate prerequisites also require a balance between externally imposed mandates and local control. State standards help to assure that prerequisites do not deny access but yet uphold academic standards--the balance stated above. But local control must be maintained over the mechanisms employed to institute prerequisites and to empower faculty in assessing academic standards. Striking this balance was one of the goals of the framers of the Title 5 prerequisite regulations passed in September of 1993.