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The Southwestern College Prerequisites Office enforces prerequisites and corequisites for courses and programs at the College. We also evaluate student work for other institutions to see if they meet enrollment requirements for courses and programs, such as Nursing,  at Southwestern College.

A prerequisite is a course or qualification that must be satisfactorily completed before you may register for another course or enter a program. The faculty have determined that the skills or knowledge taught in a prerequisite course are necessary for success in the following course. A minimum grade of "C" or "Pass" must be earned in the prerequisite course to satisfy the prerequisite. Some prerequisites may be satisfied through placement, an external exam, such as the Advanced Placement Exam, or by completing course that is equivalent in content at another institution. All prerequisites are strictly enforced at Southwestern College. 

If you believe that you meet the skills represented by a prerequisite course listed in the Southwestern College Catalog, you can submit evidence of satisfaction of the prerequisite for evaluation.

Prerequisites FAQs

Steps to Satisfy Prerequisites

  1. Please read the SWC course description or program requirements carefully in the Southwestern College Catalog to make sure that you are registering for the courses you need to meet your educational goals.
  2. If possible, setup an appointment with a counselor to develop a Student Educational Plan (SEP) and determine the classes you need to take.
  3. If you believe you have the skills required to enter a course and are able to document those skills; refer to the accordions below:

Using coursework  from other institutions to satisfy requisites

Coursework from another regionally accredited college or university completed with a satisfactory grade of "C" or better. 

To submit a request for evaluation of your coursework for prerequisites, use the External Course Prerequisite Evaluation Request form. (Login with MySWC required. Be sure to logout of all personal Google accounts before using the link.)

Most requests require proof of the passing final grade in the course as officially posted by the institution. Students can use official transcripts already on file  with Admissions and Records show the course and grade needed. Students can also submit an unofficial transcript or grade report with the petition to facilitate a faster evaluation. Documentation must contain the student's name and the institution's name visible on the same report as the course and grade information.

If you are using a course that is "in progress," you can submit it for evaluation and a provisional permission to register. Students are responsible for providing documentation of passing final grade before the first day of class (or risk being dropped).

Processing of evaluation requests can take 3 - 5 business days. Please submit your requests at least a week before your registration appointment to avoid registration delays.

Using AP or IB score to satisfy requisites

We accept certain Advanced Placement exam results of 3 or higher and some International Baccalaureate exam scores of 5 or higher to satisfy course requisites or to give students higher placements. We follow the External Exam Credit guidelines in the Course Catalog in using exam scores to clear prerequisite.

The Prerequisites Office does not give course credit for exam results. Student seeking course credit should use the Student Petition to request credit for their AP and IB exam scores.

To submit a request to have your scores evaluated to satisfy requisites for a specific course, use the External Assessment Prerequisite Evaluation Request Form. (Login with MySWC required. Be sure to logout of all personal Google accounts before using the link.)

If Southwestern College has confirmed receiving your score report, you do not need to submit scores again. Otherwise, including a copy of the Student Score Report with your request will facilitate faster processing.

For AP scores, the preferred documentation is the "Student Score Report". Screenshots from the College Board website are usually not sufficient. This  report can be downloaded from the College Board website by clicking "Download Score Report". The documentation must include 1) the student's full name (first and last), 2) the year the test was taken, 3) the name of the test or tests taken, and 4) the score all on the same page. 

Processing of evaluation requests can take 3 - 5 business days. Please submit your requests at least a week before your registration appointment to avoid registration delays.

Prerequisites for language, art, performance and other skills acquisition courses

For some language, art, or skills acquisition courses, students can satisfy some prerequisite through certifications, departmental review of a portfolio of work and/or audition.

For these courses, please contact the faculty in the relevant discipline for a placement evaluation. Email SWCPrerequisites@swccd.edu for help identifying faculty members to complete a placement evaluation.

Once the evaluation is complete, the Southwestern College faculty member will complete a Instructor Skills Memorandum to Assessment and send it to the Prerequisites Office from their Southwestern College email address to communicate that a successful demonstration of skill has been completed by the student. The Prerequisites office will use the information in the Skills Memorandum to update the student's record to allow enrollment at the level communicated by the faculty member.

Program Enrollment Prerequisite Evaluation (PEPE) Request
(for enrollment in nursing and other programs)

Documentation of completion of prerequisites and General Education requirements for the applications to the Southwestern College Police Academy, Surgical Technician and/or Nursing Programs can be requested by completing the Program Enrollment Prerequisite Evaluation Request form. (Login with MySWC required. Be sure to logout of all personal Google accounts before using the link.)

Please make sure that all required courses have been completed and that final grades are posted and available before submitting the form.  In-progress coursework cannot be evaluated for these programs. Incomplete forms will not be processed. Please read all form instructions completely and carefully before submitting the form.

Processing of evaluation requests can take 3 - 5 business days. Please submit your requests at least a week before your application deadline to avoid missing the deadline.

Requisite Challenge Process

Students may submit a challenge of a requisite that cannot be satisfied through previous coursework or external examination results for consideration by the Department Chair and/or School Dean for the following reasons:

  1. Student can document and/ or demonstrate that they already have the required skills to be successful in the course without the requisite class or an equivalent.
  2. The requisite represents an undue delay in meeting the students' educational goal because the college has not made the requisite course reasonably available (usually within the last year or more).
  3. The student wishes to take a prerequisite course concurrently with another course and can demonstrate the necessary knowledge or ability to succeed in both courses simultaneously.
  4. The requisite is being applied in a way that is unfair or contrary to college policy and state regulations
    For each of these reasons the student is required to provide compelling evidence to support the challenge. 

If you feel that you have a challenge that meets one of the above criteria, the Requisite Challenge Form is available in the Assessment Office. During remote operations or at other times, students can email the Faculty Coordinator, Ryan Lennon, at rlennon@swccd.edu for the appropriate forms and help in filing your challenge.

The approximate processing period for completed challenges is 10 working days during spring and fall semesters. The processing time is increased to 15 working days during summer or other break periods. Please be sure to initiate challenges with enough time to meet registration deadlines.

Additional Types of Course Requisites

Southwestern College also has other kinds of requisites that students should be aware of.

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