Helping Students Navigate Junior/Senior Level Courses and Start on Minors at Your Community College
Yes, they can earn three minors. And a few minors, such as a Computer Science minor in Microcomputer Applications, can be completed totally online. Other minors may require lower division prerequisite courses that could be taken at the Community College level. Once students with Associate’s Degrees are transferred to the General Studies Degree Program, they very rarely have any room at all for 100 or 200 level courses. In order to finish our degree, students need 40 credits of Upper Division (300 or 400 level) courses. Just something to consider when working with graduate school or specific career/field oriented students: do they have the correct foundation for the Upper Division courses required to meet their goals?
On the other hand, students who are primarily focused on degree completion only, should have no trouble finishing out the General Studies degree regardless of the elective courses they’ve taken to finish their Associates in Arts or Sciences. Most Western Illinois University online courses do not have enforced pre-requisites. Only “enforced” pre-requisites are mandatory.
When navigating Western’s Course Search system, STARS, students may notice that a course has an ENFORCED pre-requisite, this means that the student must have the pre-req posted to their transcript prior to the beginning of the semester or the registration system will automatically drop them from the course about one week before the start date.
Transferred Students (those students that have been accepted to the university and whose transcripts have been received and processed by the University) can check their transcript through STARS. Select “Transcript” from the drop down menu. Students can clearly see if you have credit posted for specific courses.
More in-depth information about required vs. enforced pre-requisites to pass along to your transferring students:
If you notice a course has a pre-requisite, but it doesn’t say “enforced” pre-requisite, check your transcript. If you don’t have credit for the pre-requisite , most often instructors will grant permission to distant adult students who display responsibility, respect, and determination. STARS course search includes a link to the department website where you can locate the faculty contact info, or use the campus directory. wiu.edu/directory.
Contact instructors through your wiu email, so you have written proof of their permission. With soft pre-requisites, the registration system will not remove you from the course for not meeting the pre-req, but you could find yourself on the first day of class learning from the instructor that the course will not be feasible without pre-requisite knowledge. This is very rare, however. Most pre-requisites are helpful, but not mandatory.
If you see a pre-requisite that asks if you have coursework from certain general education curriculum categories. Catagory I is Communication Skills (Eng Composition I and II, and Speech.ategory II is Natural Science and Math. Category III is Social Sciences. Category IV is Humanities/Fine Arts, Category V is Multicultural Studies.
When you register, you will be alerted if the course has a pre-requisite. Don’t be alarmed. You may meet the pre-req, or can easily get permission to have it waived if it’s not an “enforced” pre-requisite.