Courses - Requisite Amnesty Program

A limited program that allows subjects to revise their enforced catalog-level course requisites.

What is a requisite and why enforce them? 

A requisite is the academic preparation required of all students to be successful in a course. Requisites can take the form of a prerequisite (completed prior to the start of the course) or co-requisite (taken concurrently with the course). See the policy on Requisites.

Institutional research has shown that students who enroll in courses without the necessary preparation have higher rates of D, F and drop than students who are appropriately prepared. Enforcing requisites is a way to ensure that students are only enrolling in courses for which they are prepared. For students to make smart decisions about their education, they need clear, consistent information. 

  • D/F/Drop rates are higher for students who don’t have the course prerequisite; targeted minority students and first generation in college students are more likely to enroll in a course without having the necessary requisites
  • Overall, 8% of undergraduate course outcomes are D/F/Drop; this represents a large number of seats that do not result in students making progress toward degree

What is the Requisite Amnesty Program?

Prior to the implementation of the PeopleSoft student information system (i.e., SIS) in 1999, the enrollment system was not able to enforce course requisites. Historically course requisites were listed at the bottom of the course description as free-form text (Prereq> ...). It was up to instructors to persuade students who enrolled in a course without the proper preparation that they should drop. The implementation of SIS created the technical ability to enforce requisites, as well as to use enrollment controls to limit who can enroll in a high demand course. The technical ability did not automatically mean that the campus culture or habits changed. There was also no requirement that the text included after Prereq> match what was being enforced by the enrollment system.

The University Curriculum Committee (UCC) resolved that in the interest of student success, a project should be undertaken to allow units to update course requisites via a batch process rather than through individual course change proposals (22 May 2015). As of 1 September 2015, all course proposals (new and change) that go through the course approval process must have requisites that are enforceable in the enrollment system. Courses that were approved prior to 1 September 2015 and have had no course change proposals submitted after that date number approximately 9,000 and updating this volume of courses within the structure of the course proposal process would require an extraordinary amount of resources. Since the faculty in the units that are responsible for the subject listings are most knowledgeable about the academic preparation necessary to be successful in the course, the UCC has granted the subject owners and their school or college the authority to revise course requisites using a spreadsheet rather than by individual course change proposal. Once the school or college has approved the changes the spreadsheet will be reviewed administratively by Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR) to ensure that the changes meet all requirements. This subject-by-subject spreadsheet update process is known as the Requisite Amnesty Program (RAP).

A reorganization of course catalog information was completed carry out this project. The text that formerly appeared after Prereq> was parsed into the new field "Enroll Info." An additional field "Requisites" was added to distinguish enforced requisites from the old Prereq> free form text. No text was deleted. To see more on how Enroll Info can be used, see the course proposal element policy. More information on the reorganization can be found here (pdf).

Graduate Attribute and Voluntary Removal of Cross-listing

In the spring of 2018, the UCC approved a request to expand the types of course catalog information that can be changed via the Requisite Amnesty Program (RAP). It is now possible to remove the graduate course attribute using the RAP spreadsheet. It is recognized that subject owners may have been a little generous in requesting the grad attribute during the initial implementation project and now that graduate student appropriate requisites must be used on courses with the grad attribute, it is realized that the grad attribute needs to be removed. There really isn’t a need for review or any type of judgement call if the subject owner says the course is in fact is not designed for graduate students, updating this via the RAP is an efficient means of making the change.

It is also possible for the subject owner to remove their subject from a cross-listed course. The reasons for cross-listing courses are limited now that the university has a searchable online catalog and schedule of classes and considering that cross-listing has resource costs, there is a compelling reason to simplify removing a cross-list if the cross-listed subject is not acting as a full partner in offering the course. It is not acceptable to remove other cross-listed subjects via RAP, just the subject that the RAP sheet is for (e.g., MATH can’t remove a COMP SCI cross-list via the MATH spreadsheet).

To remove the grad attribute or a cross-listed subject via a RAP spreadsheet, highlight the cell or text in yellow that will be removed.

End of Requisite Amnesty

Currently, the university is  in a transition phase where through the project the Enroll Info will be eliminated at the completion of Requisite Amnesty, likely in 2021. Once the project is complete the Enroll Info separator will be removed and information such as recommended (but not enforced) preparation will merge again with the description. From now until the end of the Requisite Amnesty Project, it is possible to add and delete text from Enroll Info but it is recommended that text not be added here. There will be further communication about timeline and process for removing the Enroll Info separator.

To see more on how this can be used, see the course proposal element policy on Enroll Info.

Materials for Subject Owners and Requesting a Requisite Amnesty Spreadsheet

After reading the guidelines, those who are ready to participate in the Requisite Amnesty Program should email Michelle Young to request a spreadsheet with all courses in the subject listing. Courses that have already been updated through Requisite Amnesty cannot be updated again and will be grayed out. If changes are greater than what is allowable through Requisite Amnesty, a course proposal must be submitted through the regular course proposal process.




Keywords:RAP, Requisite Amnesty   Doc ID:108695
Owner:Melissa S.Group:Academic Planning and Institutional Research
Created:2021-01-29 12:26 CDTUpdated:2021-04-26 13:13 CDT
Sites:Academic Planning and Institutional Research
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