By Steven Ho
City College students and faculty members have expressed concern and reported problems with a new policy to enforce course prerequisites through the Banner system which is set to begin in 2015.
The change comes as the City College administration moves to enforce all approved prerequisites through Banner, also known as Web4, in accordance to Title 5, Section 55003 of the State Chancellor’s Office.
City College currently has about 30 percent of the prerequisites enforced through Banner but plans to enforce the remaining 70 percent, which are currently enforced in class.
The enforcement for new prerequisites will start spring 2015 semester and the remaining approved prerequisites that haven’t been enforced on Banner will be implemented in fall 2015.
Students that have not completed a prerequisite for a course will be blocked from registering and will receive a message that says, “You have not met the prerequisite for this class. Please contact the Matriculation Office at (415) 239-3751.”
The problem with enforcing course prerequisites through Banner is that the system will not recognize courses taken at other schools. Students must take a prerequisite challenge exam or provide transcripts before registering for a particular course.
“If a student has financial aid obligations then they can’t show that they have a full load, because they can’t register for the class until the class has started,” said Library Department Chair Karen Saginor.
The implementation in fall 2015 was supposed to give department chairs enough time to prepare for the new policy. Several department chairs have already expressed concerns about the implementation of prerequisite enforcement on Banner.
Many departments currently have policies to allow students to register for courses even if they have not taken course prerequisites to give students the opportunity to challenge the prerequisites.
“The policy of the engineering and technology department is not to have prerequisites enforced at Banner level,” engineering instructor Wendy Kaufmyn said. Yet “I had a student that is telling me that he tried to enroll but he wasn’t able to because he doesn’t have this one class.”
The policy may lead to class cancellations for low enrollment because, “students may give up and not try to take the class,” said Saginor.
“It was my understanding that we would be able to explore, change, or go back to advisories”, Music Department Chair Madeline Mueller said. “We have to have all these prerequisites so we’re not bias” with a student’s demonstration of exit skills.
Once a prerequisite is enforced on Banner, departments will no longer be able to stop it starting in April 2015.