Team # 772 -- Course Prerequisite Checking Team
Undergraduate Education

August 2007


Examine Penn State's current method for checking course prerequisites and recommend improvements.

Team Membership

  • Karen Schultz, Sponsor
  • Richard Cyr, Leader
  • Mary Ellen Bayuk, Member
  • Dawn Boyer, Member
  • Rich Carlson, Member
  • Lee Coraor, Member
  • Carol Findley, Member
  • George Khoury, Member
  • Mark Morrisson, Member
  • David Salvia, Member
  • James Sellers, Member
  • Lorie Stumpo, Member
  • Sherry Wagner, Member
  • Sherry Walk, Member
  • Eric White, Member

Results Achieved to Date

  • ExpectedResults: The team has submitted a recommendation to the sponsor.
  • Results from Richard Cyr 6/30/09

    A subsequent committee was convened and charged with implementing the recommendations.

    Committee on Prerequisite Checking
    Final Report 1/11/08

    The Committee on Prerequisite Checking (commissioned fall 2007, by The Registrar) has met and discussed the value of enforcing the current Faculty Senate Policy (34-58). We have also discussed how this could be implemented using the existing eLion system. In our deliberations we have considered the impact such implementation would have on the registration process, with particular attention to how FTCAP would be affected. The committee consulted with other institutions to discover how prerequisites are enforced elsewhere and how the faculty and students have responded to this change. Based on fact-finding and extensive discussions, we make the following recommendations.

    1-The University should enforce Senate Policy 34-58 and the eLion system should be
    adjusted for this purpose.

    2-The Office for Undergraduate Education should notify the ACUE Deans of the intent to
    enforce this policy.

    3- An implementation committee should be commissioned to (1) design a new eLion
    application that will inform students and advisors prior to registration regarding a student’s prerequisite status for a particular course and (2) modify the eLion and ISIS Registration systems to enforce prerequisite checking at the time of course registration. These systems should be beta-tested over one or more semesters in a few departments. The general specifications of such a system are included in Appendix I of this report.

    4-The acceptance of these recommendations will require minor modifications to
    Academic and Administrative Policies and Procedures, C-5: Lack of
    Prerequisites, Concurrent Courses, or Course Duplication.
    These recommendations are made with the goal of insuring that students are enrolled only in classes for which they have the necessary scholastic prerequisites. The committee feels that doing so will improve the likelihood of student success in all classes, and, moreover, will help insure that classroom seats are available to all qualified students.




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