The Running Start Program was initiated by the Legislature as a component of the 1990 parent and student “Choice” Act (Chapter 9, Laws of 1990, 1st Ex. Sess.). It is intended to provide students a program option consisting of attendance at local community colleges and the simultaneous earning of high school and college/university credit. Credits can also be transferred to other college and universities in Washington. Schools cover tuition costs; students and families need to pay for books, transportation, lab fees, and any other costs other than tuition. For eligible Running Start students, the district will award 1.0 high school credit for each five credit college-level class. Classes must be approved by the guidance counselor.
To be eligible for Running Start students must:
- Be of junior standing, with the correct number of credits.
- Take the Compass Test (placement test) at the community college student plans to attend.
The majority of students at Foster High School attend Highline Community College and South Seattle Community College. Counselors and advisors will provide information regarding Running Start in the spring for sophomores, juniors, and parents and guardians.
Enrolling in Running Start
Things to think about before enrolling in Running Start:
- Am I prepared for college level work?
- 1 hour of class work = 2 hours of homework
- Courses are at a much faster pace
- Little or no flexibility on assignments (No late assignments)
- No parent/guardian or school progress notification
- Have I taken academically rigorous courses to prepare for college level courses?
- Grades from Running Start will still be with you after you graduate high school (Good or Bad)
- Running Start is not a credit retrieval program, and should only be taken after the student and family is fully confident that he/she is fully prepared academically and socially
Step 1 Obtain a Running Start brochure from your high school or Community College or attend a Running Start information session (Offered in the Spring for Sophomores & Juniors during Advisory and in the evening for parents).
Step 2 Contact the community college and sign up for the COMPASS test.
Step 3 Prepare for the COMPASS exam before taking the actual test.
Step 4 Review your COMPASS scores with your counselor. Students must place into college level Reading and Writing in order to participate in Running Start and be at a Junior status.
Step 5 Community Colleges will have the Running Start paperwork needed to enroll. Parent/Guardian, High School Counselor and student signatures are required each quarter in order to enroll.