Prerequisite Implementation FAQ

  1. Why are we doing this?
    We believe it will benefit the students. National research, as well as work by the PCC Institutional Effectiveness office, demonstrates a clear correlation between student preparation in basic skills and student success in college. A majority of faculty at PCC endorse the move toward prerequisites (based on the feedback through surveys and forums) based on a fundamental understanding: students with pre-college skills struggle in (and drop-out of) college-level courses, and they would be better served obtaining basic skills in reading, writing ,and math before they take these college-level courses.
  2. When will this be effective?
    The goal is have the prerequisites in the catalogue for the fall of 2008. The original policy called for a fall 2007 implementation, but PCC’s infrastructure (evaluating transcripts, the Banner system, etc.) won’t allow the college to enforce prereqs until the fall of 2008.
  3. What will satisfy the prerequisite requirement?
    • A ‘C’ or higher in WR 115, or reading and writing placement scores for WR 121
    • A ‘C’ or higher in RD 115, or college-level reading skills demonstrated by an ASSET reading score of at least 45 (or Compass 88) and
    • A ‘C’ or higher in MA 20 or placement into MTH 60
  4. What is the SAC role in this process?
    As we move through this process, SAC input is welcome as the Prereq Committee tries to reduce barriers for students, enhance their educational experience, and increase the likelihood of their success. SACs will use 2006-07 to determine if there are any courses they feel need to be excluded from the prereq requirement (see #10 below).
  5. How many students will be impacted?
    Institutional Effectiveness is currently working on the estimated number of students, and thus the estimated number of new sections needed. The IE office will provide a one-term snap shot of the students to better understand the specific population impacted.
  6. Will requiring prerequisites add to the financial aid burden of students?
    No, because the students would have taken these basic skills courses anyway – the difference is that now they will be taking them at the start of their program of study.
  7. Will additional prerequisite courses lower enrollment from current courses?
    This may happen in some courses, but it’s not a certainty. When Psychology   instituted prereqs, there enrollment drop was negligible. Other institutions reported an initial drop in affected courses, but then there was a return to previous levels.
  8. What will happen to under-enrolled classes?
    The proposal is to allow lower-enrolled courses during a transition period of up to 2 years – allowing courses with a dip in enrollment to continue with a minimum of 10 students.
  9. Will there be enough reading/writing/math classes for those who need it?
    The college has made a commitment to be sure there are enough courses for students who need them.
  10. What is the opt-out process for SACs wanting to exclude their courses from the prerequisites?
    There is a two-part process: 1) SACs will let the Curriculum Office know by 12/15/06 about their intention to exclude any of their courses from the policy (this is to help the college plan for the number of additional DE sections for students), and 2) SACs will formally petition the Curriculum Committee to offer a rationale for opting-out of particular courses.
Committee Chairs for 2006-2007: Porter Raper, Diane Mulligan, Reine Thomas