Requisite Amnesty Program
Explanation of Terms
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).
Requisites are enforced at the time of enrollment in the student information system (SIS) via a requirement group. (Ex. The requisite text for a QR-B course is “Satisfied Quantitative Reasoning (QR) A requirement”. The requirement group used to enforce the prior completion of QR-A is 001859, which includes completion via a QR-A course, UW Math placement exam results, and AP/IB test credit.) An in-progress course can provisionally be used to meet a requisite.
Why enforce 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 that they are prepared for. For students to make smart decisions about their education, they need clear, consistent information.
- D/F/DR 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 (aka 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.
NEW In the spring of 2018, course information was updated to remove the Prereq> followed by free form text in favor of displaying the text that is part of the enforced requisite in a separate field labeled "Requisites" and reserving the text at the end of the course description (now labeled Enroll Info:) for free form text that may provide students with additional information about recommended preparation (generally for graduate students) or restrictions on enrollment that are not directly enforceable in the enrollment system. For example there is a course on fermentation where students must be 21 or older to enroll. The enrollment system can not enforce this but the course is restricted to consent of instructor and they give permission to enroll to individual students once they have verified the student's age. By referring to the requirement of being 21 or older in the Enroll Info: section, students will know they should not ask for permission to enroll unless they are at least 21. The Enroll Info section is not a place to list enforceable requisites, how the course might meet requirements for a specific program or any other information that can be found elsewhere in places such as program requirements, schedule of classes etc.
The University Curriculum Committee 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. As of September 1, 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 September 1, 2015 and have had no course change proposals submitted after 9/1/2015, 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 to ensure that the changes meet all requirements. This subject-by-subject spreadsheet update process is known as the Requisite Amnesty Program (RAP).
NEW Re: Graduate Course Attribute and Removal of Crosslisted Subjects – Updated Information (March 2018)
The University Curriculum Committee recently 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 now also possible for the subject owner to remove their subject from a crosslisted course. The reasons for crosslisting courses are limited now that the university has a searchable online catalog and schedule of classes and considering that crosslisting has resource costs, there is a compelling reason to simplify removing a crosslist if the crosslisted subject is not acting as a full partner in offering the course. It is not acceptable to remove other crosslisted subjects via RAP, just the subject that the RAP sheet is for (ex. MATH can’t remove a COMP SCI crosslist via the MATH spreadsheet).
To remove the grad attribute or a crosslisted subject via a Requisite Amnesty Program spreadsheet, highlight the cell or text in yellow that will be removed.
Materials for Subject Owners
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.
List of Subjects with current status in RAP (Excel file)