Nov 302010
Authors: Rick Miranda

On Monday, Vice Provost Alan Lamborn sent out a notice to all students that CSU is changing the way it enforces prerequisites for classes. For the vast majority of students, this isn’t going to change anything in terms of registration or interfere in their path to graduation.

This will impact students who fail a course that is a prerequisite for any course they plan to take the following semester.

What has changed is that CSU now has the technology to update academic records on Jan. 4, rather than after the start of the subsequent semester.

This change allows us to more strictly enforce prerequisites, which have always been required but which we have not been able to fully enforce before now. A failing grade in a prerequisite now will negate registration for the class for which the prerequisite was required. In other words, if you fail classes this fall but need those to satisfy prerequisites for classes next spring, you will be dropped from those classes on Jan. 4, before the semester starts. Of course, you can and should speak with your academic advisor about questions on overrides and your overall academic plan.

As I said, this is a change that will not affect the vast majority of CSU students. If you believe you will end this semester with all passing grades, this change benefits you. Previously, someone who didn’t complete the proper prerequisites could still be occupying a seat in the course you need on the first day of class. While these people were eventually detected, it inhibited the ability of other students deserving of those seats from taking their needed classes.

If you think you are on the borderline –– if you think you might be failing a course that is a prerequisite for a class you’d planned to take this spring –– then it’s best for you to get a “plan B” in place now for the spring semester. Make an appointment with your advisor as soon as possible to discuss your options.

College coursework is at times very difficult and there is no shame in academic difficulty. Resources are available, and a great place to start is The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) on the Oval. But it is best that you stick as closely as you can to your academic plan to make sure you graduate when you want to. A back-up plan can help keep you on this track despite any temporary setback, so again, if you think you might be failing a prerequisite, contact your advisor right away.

Again, for the vast majority of CSU students, this change is nothing to worry about –– in fact, it’s something to be happy about. But for others, preparing a back-up plan now can help you stay on track. If you want a sports analogy, then let me sum it up this way: CSU is calling registration a little tighter to make sure it’s as fair as it can be for all.

Rick Miranda is Provost and Executive Vice President of CSU. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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