Running Start is a program approved by the Washington State Legislature in 1990, which allows eligible high school juniors and seniors to challenge themselves academically by taking classes at a community college. Students are limited to college-level classes (numbered 100 and higher) and must live in Washington.
Running Start students and their families do not pay for qualifying tuition for Running Start courses, but they pay college fees and buy their own books, as well as provide their own transportation. Students receive both high school and college credit for these classes and therefore, can accelerate their progress through completing specific credit requirements for high school graduation and course requirements for a technical certification or Associate’s Degree.
Successful Running Start students are generally self-motivated, emotionally mature, and looking for additional academic challenges. They also have excellent study and time management skills. The college is an adult environment and there may be topics of an adult nature discussed in the classroom. Subject matter and expectations will not be changed because there are minors in the classroom.
Below are the general steps in the Running Start Process:
Interested Columbia High School students and parents should gather information and research the Running Start program. Running Start information can be found in the following areas: CHS Counseling Center, CHS website, any Washington Community College website, CGCC website, and the OSPI website. Links to popular sites are located on the CHS website.
Review the admissions requirements for the college of choice. Each institution will have their own set of requirements for admissions.
Complete the admissions process, which includes meeting with a college advisor to discuss college goals and create an educational plan
Review the CHS and college Running Start equivalencies to determine which courses will meet your high school graduation requirements (CGCC, CWU and Clark equivalencies can be found on the CHS website)
Following a meeting with an advisor, you will then fill out your RSEVF (Running Start Enrollment Verification Form), submit it to your high school counselor to confirm the number of credits eligible through the RS program and to sign off on it.
Return the completed form to your college advisor at the start of each term for verification and billing purposes. In most instances, you CANNOT register for classes until your RSEVF is completed