Prerequisite. Those lovely things that you're supposed to take before you enroll in certain other classes. Prerequisites can often be annoying for students and seem to make little sense at times. They are there so us so that we , the students, don't take classes we're either a) not ready for yet or b) need to first gain the basic subject knowledge so that we can build upon it.
For example, you wouldn't expect a freshmen straight out of high school to be able to bypass English Comp and the world/British lit classes and go straight for Chaucer.
But most of you reading this know all of this, right? So why am I even bringing it up?
The last few semesters I've seen a smattering of freshmen in 3000 level classes, which I understand. Sometimes, freshmen are ready, or at least think they're ready. Plus, with AP tests and college credit while still in high school being popular in some areas, it makes sense that some incoming freshmen couldn be ready for 3000 level courses.
The problems start when you have freshmen in 4000 level seminar classes. No I take that back, that is just the most obvious problem. The problem is when you have people in 4000 level classes that have either forgotten everything from English comp or have never taken it. No, that isn't the full problem either.
The problem is when you have students in any advanced class that have not had the basics required to underst said advanced level class. Take an advanced American History course, in say the civil war, the students should have a basic understanding of the Civil War from their required American History classes, and so on and so forth.
I'd like to think, at my school at least, that these are computer errors with the on-line registration program (side note: Never mind that online registration programs are supposed to automatically assess a student's transcripts and have blocks in-place to prevent this kind of jumping). That freshmen really aren't being allowed (into seminar classes) by their advisors.
I'd really like to think that.