The Course Requests Guide
Course Requests are requests made by students, parents, and faculty to enroll students in courses offered in upcoming terms.
Schools will approach the course request process differently depending on their internal policies. For example, some may have only faculty create course requests for students, and bar students from that process altogether. Other schools may ignore the need to formally approve or deny course requests.
This refresher assumes that Course Requests have already been set-up for a school year (the upcoming school year and terms have been created and published, and all initial settings, such as prerequisites, have been established).
Looking for guided and comprehensive information on setting up course requests? Enroll in our Blackbaud University course to learn more!
Initial Course Request Settings
Course Requests can be made by students, parents, teachers, advisors, and Online Signup Managers. However, Online Signup Managers can restrict other user roles from making or approving course requests.
Course Request can be made by approved user types once the
Signup Begin Datefor a term has begun. Online Signup Managers, however, can make course requests regardless of the
Course Request configuration occurs between two locations:
Course Request Setupand the
Course Settingsfor each course.
If you have enabled Prerequisites for courses, then please ensure you revisit each course to confirm they are properly set-up.
Course Request Setup
Course Request Setupdetermines when user roles can begin to request courses, how courses appear to users (based on various exception factors), and communicate a policy that details minimum and maximum request amounts.
Exception to Communicate
Has already taken the course,
Lacks prerequisite, and
Assigned to a different grade levelsettings can filter course request results and enforce course requirements based on the selected options.
Show Messagefunctionally differs between the three options. When selected under
Show Messagewill communicate a message and block the student from requesting the course. When selected under
Assigned to a different grade leveland
Has already taken the course, the student will be notified of the exception check, but still able to request the course.
The following options are present in the three self-describing exception checks:
Ignoreis set for a section, then those conditions will not be applied and students will be able to freely request courses without restriction.
Show Messagewill notify and block students from submitting a course request, if they do not satisfy the prerequisite requirements of the course.
Hide course from course list
Hide course from the course listremoves the possibility of a student selecting the course request.
Read More about Course Requests Setup
Term Settingsdetermine when each user type can create course requests, how long they can submit requests, and how many course requests they must select per term. Each grade level can have different
End datesand different
Maximumcourse enrollment counts.
Course Requeststab within
Departments and Courses>
Course Requestscontains the specifications for how a course may be requested.
The availability of the course is determined by preset factors within
Course Request Settings.
Step 1: Availability Setup
When multiple start terms exist, students can requestdetermines what term options are available to students based on if a course is offered in multiple terms.
Requires recommendation, if checked, makes course enrollment possible only if a teacher or faculty member recommends the course to a student.
Step 2: Course Prerequisites
Course Prerequisites establish barriers to ensure students meet the competencies required to request a course.
Note: If you are using prerequisites within your course requests, please read the following section titled Prerequisite Overview to help ensure they are properly set-up.Read More about Course Settings and Prerequisites
To prevent students with unearned competencies from requesting courses, associate prerequisite conditions with courses.
For example, let's explore the usage of the prerequisite
Minimum Grade. The
Minimum Gradeprerequisite check looks at students’ grades in a corresponding course, and if the grade they received is, or is higher, than the
Minimum Grade, then the students' may request the course.
If the course to which you are adding prerequisites is offered in more than one term, then there is an additional step.
For example, assume that Chemistry is offered in the Fall and Spring terms. Additionally, assume that the Final grade for Chemistry in the Fall term is Q2, and the final grade for the Spring term is Q4.
With the above scenario in mind, add the Minimum Grade prerequisite, associate it with Chemistry, and then associate it with the Q2 Final Grade Plan Grade. Repeat this step by adding a second prerequisite, this time adding the Q4 Final Grade Plan Grade.
The reason we must follow these steps, ensuring that a prerequisite check exists for each offered course instance, is that a prerequisite check will only check one
Grade Plan Gradeper prerequisite.
If a student – Daniel – took Chemistry in the Spring term, received a befitting grade, and the prerequisite check is set to only acknowledge the Q2 Final grade, then the system would inappropriately bar Daniel from completing a course request for the course requiring the
Create a prerequisite for each unique offered instance of a course where a separate
Grade Plan Gradeis recorded and ensure
Show Messageis set under
Course Request Settings.
Note: Ensure that your
Minimum Gradematches a grade in the courses’ corresponding Grade Translation table. If you have questions, work with your school’s Grading Manager or assigned Blackbaud K-12 Grading Consultant.
Courses can be requested by students, parents, teachers, and managers if allowed. Prerequisite checks can be ignored if a faculty member manually requests a course for a student. However, recommended courses still abide by the same prerequisite requirements as traditionally requested courses.
The following locations enable or disable course request access for each user role:
- Students and Parents - Core > Users/Access > Manage Roles > Constituent (Student and Parent) > Tasks > Online Signup (Edit Requests and View Requests)
- Teachers (Non-advisors or managers) - onRecord > Settings > Course Request Setup > Term Settings > Select Teachers, or another user type, under Recommendations for specific terms and grade levels.
- Advisors - Core > Users/Access > Manage Roles > Employee / Volunteer > 2. Advisor > Recommend Work List
- Online Signup Managers - Managers are always able to make course requests. They are the only role that may do so, in addition to doing it outside of the Signup Begin and End dates.
Teachers can only Recommend courses. Your selection under Term Settings > Recommendation does not extend to other user types outside of the selected role. For example, if Teacher is selected, users with the Co-Teacher role cannot recommend courses.
Access can also be revoked under Core > Users/Access > Manage Roles > Employee / Volunteer > 2. Teacher > Course Recommendations
As a Student or Parent
Students may request courses on or after the Signup Begin Date (configured in Course Request Settings) for their grade level. Students and parents must also be approved to make course requests via the corresponding task found in Manage Roles.
Identify and request courses as needed under
Hide Course from course listis set under
Lacks Prerequisite, then courses will not appear unless students have met the prerequisite.
Alternates: if a course cannot be scheduled for a student, the
Alternatewill attempt to be scheduled if automated scheduling is used and configured.
Alternatesare prioritized based on their position in the list.
Select as many courses as required on the course request policy, and select
Show Messageis set under
Course Request Settings, then a message will appear informing the student of necessary competencies required to request when the user selects
Save. Teachers can override this check, but students cannot. Students can override the prerequisite check message for
Has already taken the courseand
Assigned to a different grade level than the course.
As a Faculty Member (Teacher)
Teachers can recommend courses to their students, once the Signup Period is active. Recommendations differ from course requests in that they will appear as suggested courses that the student may – or may not – decide to request.
Navigate to the class page and select
Course Recommendations. A teacher can only to make recommendations to students currently enrolled in a course they are teaching.
Identify a student, and in the corresponding row, under
Recommendations, type in the name of a course to recommend.
Teachers can recommend students to any course categorized within the department categorized within the course they are making the recommendation. For example, if a teacher makes a recommendation from Anatomy - categorized under Sciences - they can make recommendations to other courses within the same category, such as Advanced Biology, Astrophysics, and Environmental Science.
The student will then see the recommendation under
Recommendationson their course requests page. If the student accepts the recommendation, then the recommendation is treated like a standard course request and therefore abides by the same prerequisite requirements, if applicable.
As a Faculty Member (Manager)
Faculty members who have specific permissions enabled for them can request, recommend, and approve course requests. These users will have access to the following locations:
Requests and Recommendations, and
Both locations give the manager access to the
Approve Course Requestsmodal, which, in addition to approving or denying course requests, allows the manager to recommend or request them.
Requests and Recommendations, select the context menu beside a student and select
Edit requests and recommendations.
Add a request by selecting the
Add a request, and type in the name of an existing course.
If applicable, select the term that should apply to the course.
Approvedto immediately confirm the course request for the student, though this is not necessary, because course requests marked as
Pendingwill still be scheduled.
If applicable, add a recommendation; the student will see this recommendation from their
Course Requestspage, and optionally be able to add it as a request.
Courses marked as
Requires Recommendationwill only be visible to students by completing this step.
Approve Course Requests
Course Requests can be approved or denied. Online Signup Managers and Managers and Advisors are both able to approve course requests.
Courses Requests originate with a
PendingCourse Requests will still be scheduled in the same way that
ApprovedCourse Requests are scheduled.
Denyis the only option that will prevent a request from being scheduled.
As an Advisor
Advisors can approve course requests via:
Advisers can then drill down in the list using filters to see their advisees' Course Requests.
As a Manager
Managers have two venues to approve course requests:
Requests and Recommendations
Approve All, or, select students and