The Running Start Program provides a junior or senior in high school the opportunity to take courses at community colleges or technical colleges as part of the high school program. Credits received from transfer level (100 and 200) college courses count toward both high school graduation and community college degree programs.
The following is to assist students and parents in determining if Running Start classes are appropriate for them:
Students and parents should be aware when a student participates in a Running Start class, that student is starting a permanent college transcript which includes a college GPA.
Grades received at Clark College in Running Start classes will be used in computing the student's high school GPA. Marks/grades issued by Clark College cannot be changed or altered by the high school.
The transcript must show the course(s) attempted at Clark College.
State four-year institutions recognize community/technical college credits. Some in-state private colleges and out-of-state universities do not recognize college credit taken during high school. All Running Start students are advised to check with the four-year college they plan to attend to be sure their credits will be accepted.
The high school will not issue attendance, progress, or grade reports for classes taken in Running Start at Clark College. The college communicates with students regarding Running Start classes (not parents).
Entrance Into the Program:
Starting in the fall of their sophomore or junior year, students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their school counselor to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the Running Start program and their High School and Beyond Plan.
Starting in January of their sophomore or junior year, interested students should (1) attend a Running Start Informational Night at Clark College, (2) apply for admissions to Clark College, (3) pay the application fee, (4) receive their Student ID Number, and (5) submit proof of qualification to the Running Start Office. In addition, juniors and seniors may apply in October for winter quarter entry and December for spring quarter entry.
To be admitted to the Running Start program, students must have completed the sophomore year in high school and have earned at least 12 high school credits. To qualify, students must have one of the following: (1) a cumulative 2.75 G.P.A., (2) a Smarter Balanced score of 3 or 4 on the Math or English tests, or (3) an ALEKS math test score at college level.
After testing, qualified students must meet with their high school counselor to forecast any courses to be used to meet high school requirements. Students wanting to use Running Start courses to meet art, C.T.E. or P.E./health graduation requirements must receive counselor approval prior to forecasting. Without prior-approval, course work taken that is not listed on the equivalency chart will be transcribed as elective credit. It is expected that most students will have completed the basic graduation requirements of art, C.T.E. and P.E./health during their freshman and sophomore year, so approval for Running Start courses to supersede high school coursework will be limited to special circumstances.
Students must attend a New Student Orientation with college representatives.
After Entering the Program:
Students will be treated as college students while in attendance at community college. Parents do not have access to information about college attendance and grades.
Students will be treated as a high school student while in attendance at high school.
To continue, students must maintain a minimum of a college grade point average of 2.0
For all other courses, the Chief of Secondary Education will evaluate and determine course comparability and determine how many credits to award for the course(s) requested.
A junior is defined as any student who has completed four (4) semesters of high school, and at least 12 high school credits,
Major Elements of Running Start:
The maximum length of enrollment in the community college is two years (six quarters) for a Grade 11 student and one year (three quarters) for a Grade 12 student. Once enrolled, the student must maintain a college GPA of 2.0.
High School and Running Start classes must be scheduled to NOT overlap or require missing all or part of either class.
Running Start students must be enrolled in a participating school district, receive prior confirmation of credit transferability from the district, and be accepted by the community college or vocational college within normal admission standards. (Home school students must have an Intent to Home School form on file at district office before enrolling at the high school to access Running Start.)
A school district must grant academic credit to a pupil enrolled in a Running Start course for high school credit if the pupil successfully completes the course. If no comparable course is offered by the school district, the school district superintendent shall determine how many credits to award for the course.
Transportation, as well as books and lab fees, to and from the community college or technical college are the responsibility of the student and parent/guardian. Students who qualify for free/reduced-price lunches may qualify for book funding at Clark College.
In accordance with RCW 288.50.535, students who earn an AA through Running Start may also earn a high school diploma from the college. Students and parents interested in this option must meet with a high school counselor to sign a district diploma waiver.
Being a Running Start student requires planning ahead. Many of the "Acceptable Equivalent Courses" are offered only one quarter per year. Make sure to plan not only for fall quarter, but winter and spring as well.
If you have any questions regarding Running Start, please call the Running Start office at Clark College (360) 992-2842 or email Linda Calvert firstname.lastname@example.org