Prerequisites, Corequisites, and Recommended Preparation

The Board of Trustees of the San Mateo County Community College District allows colleges to establish Prerequisites, Corequisites, and recommended preparation for courses and educational programs. Prerequisites and Corequisites must be determined to be necessary and appropriate and must be established in line with Title 5 regulations in the California Administrative Code.

A prerequisite is a condition of enrollment that a student is required to meet in order to demonstrate current readiness for enrollment in a course or program. Prerequisites are so designated in course descriptions in this Catalog. A prerequisite course must be completed successfully before enrolling in a course which follows. Successful completion is defined as earning a grade of “C” or better.

A corequisite is a course that a student is required to take simultaneously in order to enroll in another course. Corequisites are so designated in course descriptions in this Catalog.

Basic Skills Advisories or recommended preparation for a course or program is a condition that a student is advised, but not required, to meet before or in conjunction with enrollment. Advisories are designated as “recommended’’ in course descriptions in this Catalog.

This designation recommends the minimum level needed in reading, writing, and/ or mathematics (or any other knowledge and/or skill) to be successful in the course. .

Basic skill levels are recommended rather than mandatory, but students are strongly encouraged to adhere to them and follow the advice of their counselor. Counselors use placement test results and other information to determine whether a student needs to raise his/ her skill levels before enrolling in a target course.

Some courses are designated as Open Curriculum (OC) courses. This designation means that specific levels of reading, writing and/ or math are not required for successful course completion. Most OC designated courses are activity courses which do not require students to use reading, writing, and/or math skills. Some OC designated courses are entry level reading, writing, and/or math courses. Specific levels of proficiency for enrollment in these courses are not designated because students may begin at their current instructional levels and proceed to higher levels of performance until they reach exit levels for course completion. Some of these courses such as READ 826, ENGL 826, ENGL 827, and MATH 811 may require that placement test results and other information be on file prior to the first day of class.

How Can Students Meet Prerequisite Requirements?

There are several ways for students to meet prerequisite requirements.

  1. Students may take the prerequisite courses.
  2. Students may clear prerequisite/s for math and/or English courses by achieving the appropriate level on the Cañada College Assessment Test.
  3. Students may clear prerequisites by successfully completing the Credit by Examination process.
  4. Students can complete the prerequisite course or an equivalent course at another accredited college or university in the United States. This equivalency must be approved by a counselor at Cañada College.
  5. Students may clear prerequisites through International Baccalaureate (IB) and/or by achieving the appropriate level score on the College Board Advanced Placement Examinations AP and/or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). The use of AP Tests as prerequisites must be approved by a counselor at Cañada College. See AP, IB and CLEP charts of this catalog.

Prerequisite Checking and Enrollment Blocks

The San Mateo County Community College District enforces all prerequisite and corequisite requirements. Most prerequisites are subject to computerized prerequisite checking and students who have not met the prerequisites are blocked from enrolling in the course. Students will be dropped from a course for not meeting the prerequisite requirements.

How Can Prerequisites and Corequisites Be Challenged?

Prerequisites and Corequisites may be challenged. Students who wish to challenge a prerequisite or corequisite course must complete a “Prerequisite Challenge Petition”. To file a petition, the completed Prerequisite Challenge Petition, a letter justifying the challenge, and all documentation (transcripts, samples or work, letters) must be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office. Students will be notified of the results of the petition within 5 working days. If denied, an appeal to the decision may be made through the Office of the Vice President of Student Services.

A petition to challenge a prerequisite or corequisite must be submitted prior to the first day of the term, and must be based on one of the following grounds.

  1. The prerequisite or corequisite is not established in accordance with district policies or Title 5 regulations.
  2. The student has the knowledge and ability to succeed in the course despite not meeting the course prerequisite.
  3. The student is subject to undue delay in goal attainment because the prerequisite or corequisite has not been made reasonably available.
  4. The prerequisite or corequisite is unlawfully discriminatory or applied in an unlawfully discriminatory manner.

The “Prerequisite Challenge Petition” is available on the Cañada College WEB Site at, and in the Counseling or Admissions and Records Office, Building 9, first floor.