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Frequently Asked Questions

What are Prerequisites and Corequisites?
A prerequisite is a course or qualification that must be satisfactorily completed before you may register for another course. You must earn a minimum grade of “C” or “Credit” in the prerequisite course.

A corequisite is a course that must be taken at the same time as the indicated course. If you do not take corequisites, you can be dropped from courses requiring the corequisites.
 
What are Limitations on Enrollment?
Limitations on enrollment are additional requirements that must be met before you can enroll in a class. There are actually several different types of limitations:

  • Performance courses may require students to try out for intercollegiate athletic teams or to audition for courses involving public performances (for example, band, chorus, competitive speech, and theatre) prior to enrollment.

  • Enrollment in blocks of courses or sections may be a requirement so that a group of students will enroll together in that set of classes. Typically the students are part of a special program such as PUENTE or Future Teachers.

  • Enrollment may be limited due to legal requirements imposed by statute, regulation, and/or contract. For example, some courses may require that the student have a valid driver license, a health clearance, a nursing license or certificate, etc.

 
What are Recommended Preparation and Recommended Concurrent Enrollment?
Recommended preparation is previous training or coursework that helps you successfully complete a subsequent course. You are encouraged to complete the recommended preparation course (with a grade of “C” or better) to improve your chances of success.

Recommended concurrent enrollment is a course that you should complete - but are not required to complete - while enrolled for another course. Enrollment in such a course improves student success.
 
Why have all these requisites and advisories?
Recognizing that the proper establishment of prerequisites, corequisites, limitations on enrollment, and recommendations is critical to student learning, the Southwestern College faculty has taken great effort to ensure your success by diligently reviewing each requisite and recommendation prior to its implementation.

The College endeavors to inform you of the skills you need to succeed in courses before you enroll in these courses without denying you access to the college curriculum, and, at the same time, to uphold academic standards in establishing efficient and effective educational programs.

Prerequisites are critical in the development of college curriculum in which student success is highly dependent on previously acquired skills or knowledge. Prerequisites assure that you have the skills and knowledge without which you would be highly unlikely to receive a passing grade in the course.

Once SWC has established a prerequisite, Title 5 (the regulations that govern California Community Colleges), requires the College to ensure each prerequisite is enforced consistently, equitably, and fairly.
 
Who determines what the prerequisites would be for each course?
Faculty in each SWC discipline establish course requisites and advisories.
 
How do I know if a course has a prerequisite or any of these other course restrictions and recommendations?
In both the catalog and class schedule, requisites and advisories are listed immediately under the course title for all affected courses.
 
Are all these requisites and advisories enforced?
Requisites - prerequisites, corequisites, and limitations on enrollment - are enforced at Southwestern College.
  • If you have not met the listed prerequisites, you will not be able to enroll in courses requiring the prerequisites.

  • Prerequisites may be met by satisfactory completion of courses at Southwestern College or equivalent coursework at another college or university.

  • Some prerequisites may also be fulfilled by satisfactory results on the appropriate validated Southwestern College assessment.

  • If prerequisites were completed at another college or university, you will need to bring copies of appropriate transcripts and/or assessment results and clear the requirements through the Assessment Center (located in the Student Services Center) prior to registration.

Advisories - recommended preparation and recommended concurrent enrollment - are non-enforced recommendations.

  • You are strongly encouraged to follow recommended preparation and recommended concurrent enrollment wherever they are listed in the catalog or class schedule to improve your chances for success in Southwestern College courses.

  • Enrollment may not be denied to any student not meeting a recommended preparation or recommended concurrent enrollment.

 
Do I have to follow the recommended preparation and recommended concurrent enrollment?
No. However, while you cannot be denied enrollment in any course for not having met a recommended preparation or recommended concurrent enrollment, you should plan to follow these recommendations. Being adequately prepared for courses will help you reach your educational goals.
 
How does the enforcement process for prerequisites work?
When you attempt to enroll in a course, the computer will determine if there is a prerequisite for that course. If there is a prerequisite, the computer then searches your record to see if you have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite course with a grade of “C” or better. In the case of some mathematics, English, and reading courses, if you have not successfully completed the necessary prerequisite course, the computer will also search your record for the appropriate assessment result (course placement). Your registration in the selected course will depend upon your having successfully completed the prerequisite:
  • If you have successfully completed the prerequisite, the computer will permit you to enroll in the course—provided that section is still open for enrollment.

  • If you have not successfully completed the prerequisite, the computer will not permit your enrollment in the course. Depending on how you are registering, you will receive an immediate response from WebAdvisor or the recorded voice on the telephone telling you that you did not meet the prerequisite for the selected course. You should contact a counselor regarding alternative courses that will help you meet your educational goal.

 
How does the enforcement process for corequisites work?
When you attempt to enroll in a course, the computer will determine if there is a corequisite for that course. If there is a corequisite, the computer will then determine if that corequisite must be taken at the same time or if it could have been completed previously.

If the courses must be taken simultaneously, you will receive an immediate response from either WebAdvisor or the recorded voice on the telephone (depending on how you are registering) telling you that a corequisite course is required and you will receive information on how to register for both courses. The computer will not permit you to register for only one of the courses.

If it is permissible to have completed the corequisite previously, the computer will search your record to see if you have satisfactorily completed the corequisite course with a grade of “C” or better:
  • If you have successfully completed the corequisite, the computer will permit you to enroll in the course - provided that section is still open for enrollment.

  • If you have not successfully completed the corequisite, the computer will not permit your enrollment in the course unless you take the courses concurrently. Depending on how you are registering, you will receive an immediate response from WebAdvisor or the recorded voice on the telephone telling you that a corequisite course is required and informing you on how to register for both courses.
 
Can I add a course if I have not met the prerequisite?
No. All prerequisites are strictly enforced by computer. This enforcement occurs during the registration period and the class change period. When adding a course after the semester/term begins, you must obtain an add code from the instructor or the instructor's signature on an add form. When you attempt to add the course - whether you attempt to do so online, over the telephone, or in person at the Admissions Center - your records will be checked by computer to ensure you have met the necessary prerequisite(s).
 
Can an instructor add me into his or her course if I have not met the prerequisite?
No. All prerequisites are strictly enforced by computer. Obtaining an add code or an instructor's signature does not assure you of enrollment in the class.
 
What if I have completed a prerequisite at another college?
You can request that a course or assessment you have completed at another college be used to meet a Southwestern College course prerequisite:
  • If you completed a course that you wish considered for meeting the prerequisite, you must file a Prerequisite Evaluation Request for External Course. The request form is available at the Assessment Center, Counseling Center, CalWORKS Office, and at both the Higher Education Center at National City and the Higher Education Center at San Ysidro.

  • If you completed an assessment that you wish considered for meeting the prerequisite, you must file a Prerequisite Evaluation Request for External Assessment. The request form is available at the Assessment Center and at both the Higher Education Center at National City and the Higher Education Center at San Ysidro.

Submit the completed form with appropriate documentation - transcript/grade report and/or assessment results - to the Assessment Center. Please be sure to indicate if you have submitted official transcripts to the Admissions Center; in most cases we are able to access these transcripts, but in some instances we may contact you to provide another copy. Transcripts submitted for prerequisite evaluation may be unofficial. In rare circumstances, you may be required to provide a copy of the catalog from the college where you completed the coursework.

Forms and documentation can be faxed to the Assessment Center. The fax number is (619) 216-6602.

Most evaluation requests will be processed within 24 hours of receipt of the request.
 
If my Prerequisite Evaluation Request for External Course or Assessment is approved, am I guaranteed a seat in the class?
No. If your request is approved, you are only eligible to register in the class. Depending on when you file the request, the desired course section may be closed, and you will have to either attempt to add the desired course during the class change period or find another course section. In some cases, you may have to wait until the next term to register for the course.
 
How do I find out about the results for my Prerequisite Evaluation Request for External Course or Assessment?
You may pick up your results at the Assessment Center or have the results emailed to you. If you elect to have the results emailed, you must provide your email address on the request form.
 
Is there a deadline for the College to provide a response to my Prerequisite Evaluation Request for External Course or Assessment?
There is no deadline, but the College will make every effort to process each request on a timely basis. Most evaluation requests will be processed within 24 hours of receipt of the request. However, you may have to allow additional time for processing of forms submitted at the Higher Education Center at National City and the Southwestern College Education Center at San Ysidro, or if the request requires approval from one of the School deans.
 
Can I challenge a prerequisite?
Yes. You have the right to challenge any prerequisite or corequisite listed in the college catalog and schedule of classes. The basis for such a challenge is outlined in Title 5.
 
On what grounds can I challenge a prerequisite?
You may challenge a prerequisite or corequisite on one or more of the grounds listed below:
  • The prerequisite/corequisite was not established in accordance with SWC District policy.

  • The prerequisite/corequisite is in violation of Section 55201 of Title 5.

  • The prerequisite/corequisite is discriminatory or is being applied in a discriminatory manner.

  • You have the knowledge or ability to succeed in the course without having met the prerequisite/corequisite.

  • The prerequisite/corequisite course was not made reasonably available, thereby causing you an undue delay in attaining your educational goals.

You bear the initial burden of showing that grounds exist for making the challenge.
 
How do I file a petition to challenge a prerequisite?
A counselor can help determine if you would benefit from the challenge. If you elect to challenge a prerequisite or corequisite, you may obtain a Requisite Challenge from the Prerequisite Office in Assessment Center. Submit the completed form with supporting documentation to Prerequisite Office.
 
How do I find out about the results for my petition to challenge a prerequisite?
The pertinent dean or designee will review the petition and will provide you with written notification as to the outcome of the challenge.
 
If my petition to challenge a prerequisite is approved, am I guaranteed a seat in the class?
No. If your challenge is approved, you are only eligible to register in the class. Depending on when you file the challenge petition, the desired course section may be closed, and you will have to either attempt to add the desired course during the class change period or find another course section. In some cases, you may have to wait until the next term to register for the course.
 
Is there a deadline for the College to provide a response to my petition to challenge a prerequisite?
Yes. The College must provide you with the outcome of the challenge within five working days after you submit the challenge petition.
 
Can a prerequisite be waived?
Yes, but only in rare circumstances. You may file a Matriculation Appeals Petition to request a prerequisite be waived only if the prerequisite course has not been made reasonably available. The Matriculation Appeals Petition can be obtained at the Counseling Center, and you must submit the completed form to the Counseling Center.

Instructors and counselors cannot waive course prerequisites.