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The faculty of the College has always designated prerequisites to some of its courses with the intent of increasing the probability of student success. These prerequisites are currently under review.

Prerequisites are advisory and are based on a combination of factors. If a student enrolls in a course without fulfilling the prerequisite, the instructor of the course will assume that the student has all of the prerequisite skills and knowledge to complete the course successfully. If a student takes and successfully completes a transferable course without first taking the prerequisite, it is possible that the four-year institution will not accept the course as transferable.

Prerequisites are of two types:

Basic Skills Prerequisites. Students will greatly enhance their probability of success by meeting the prerequisites for those courses that require basic communication and/or computational skills. The multiple criteria used by counselors and instructors in determining the recommended placement into a course may include English/ESL and Math assessment test scores, school transcripts, demonstrated persistence, life experience, educational objectives, as well as other factors.

College Level Prerequisites. Consistent with the California Education Code and the educational philosophy of this College, some of the courses at the College require that students be able to demonstrate the ability to communicate and/or compute at the college level or have some previous knowledge of the subject matter prior to enrollment in Associate Degree credit and/or transfer courses. Some prerequisites are required by four-year colleges and universities, and others assist students to develop the skill that the faculty of the College have deemed necessary to succeed in a given course.

Hartnell College strongly advises students who do not meet the course prerequisites to seek academic counseling for appropriate course selection prior to enrolling in courses.