The planning stage allows you to define your needs and create your list of wants for the model. The design stage and the planning stage often flow together, with the design process uncovering new wants and needs that you hadn’t uncovered during initial planning.

When designing your model, there are so many questions to ask, with each answer seemingly sparking even more questions.

Here are a few Qs to start with:

  • Will the model be co-mingled or cohorted?
  • Will the course(s) be 1 or 2?
    • 1 or 2 grades?
    • 1 or 2 LMS course shells?
    • 1 or 2 instructors?
      • Will these be full-time instructors? Adjuncts? TA’s? GA’s?
  • How many credit hours will be recorded?
    • How will this affect financial aid?
    • How will this affect faculty loading?
  • How will scheduling be done?
    • Same day? Opposite day?
    • Support course before or after college-level course?
  • Will the course(s) be capped at a specific number?
    • What is the minimum number to run a section?
  • How will students place into the co-requisite support course?
    • Cut-off score on a placement test?
    • Multiple measure placement?
    • Will you target a specific population or anyone in need of support?
  • How will the support course be structured?
    • Will there be support specific homework?
    • Will it be in class work/activities?
    • Will you use worksheets/supplements?

There is no right way to design a co-requisite model, which may be the hardest thing about it! It truly is a model that can be designed in a way that fits the needs of your students and campus, independent of all other factors. Researching the design of institutions similar to your own may be the best place way to figure out what might work best for you.



Want to identify similar institutions that have already designed a co-requisite model? Ask your Knewton representative, or email us at


Faculty Tip

Looking for some practical guidance about how to design your co-requisite model? Ask yourself: What has the greatest potential to make an impact for my student population?

When designing her institution’s co-requisite model, Lauren Fern of the University of Montana started with what she knew would work best for her students. Then, she looked at the financial realities facing her campus and modified her plan accordingly.

“Our institution wanted to implement the co-reqs, but due to financial reasons, we needed to be strategic in our efforts; doing what made most sense with our current course structures, and putting the needs of our student population first and foremost. In my mind, embedded courses are optimal, but they are more costly. We are currently using that model with our QR co-reqs and hope to do the same with our College Algebra next semester. Currently due to the existing structure of our SR course, we are co-mingling it and that has also worked quite well.”

There is not a right or wrong way to design your model, just be sure it works for your student population (and your institution’s budget constraints)!


Step 5. Socialize

Read more