Skip To Main Content

Running Start Program

Steilacoom High School’s Running Start Program expands the educational opportunities of high school students who are juniors and seniors. Students may take college-level courses while still in high school and earn high school and college credit. The student enrolls simultaneously in high school and college classes (or solely in college classes) for the purpose of earning credit to be awarded by the high school toward graduation and college credit. Courses can be taken during fall, winter, and spring quarters only. Summer quarter is not eligible. Students from Steilacoom HS typically enroll at Pierce Community College, but they may also take classes at Tacoma Community College, Clover Park Technical College and South Puget Sound Community College

Running Start Information

Students eligible for Running Start include any registered at a public high school in Washington State, including a person who is otherwise attending a private school or receiving home-based instruction, who meets each of the following conditions:

  • The person is under the age of twenty-one at the beginning of the school year (September 1 through August 31st).
  • The person is eligible by reason of his or her residence or admission under the law to enroll in the school district through which the person seeks to obtain high school credit towards graduation.
  • The person is determined to be in the 11th or 12th grade. This includes completion of all 9th and 10th grade graduation requirements, 12 credits and has met the college Guided Self Placement requirements to enroll in a college-level course.

Students and their families are well-advised to give careful consideration to the appropriateness of the program before enrolling. Those students interested in enrolling must follow the enrollment guidelines:

  1. A student must be registered at a high school to take part in any Running Start courses. A student must be a junior or senior.
  2. A student must have prior approval and a credit check from the high school counselor before beginning classes at a community or technical college if they are planning to use those classes for high school credit.
  3. A student enrolled in a Running Start program may also continue to enroll in a high school program.
  4. The intent of the Running Start program is for students to meet the high school graduation requirements by or before their regularly scheduled date for graduation, not just to collect college credit.
  5. Graduation requirements for completing a high school diploma are established by the school district, and students must consult with their high school counselor to identify how college courses will apply toward graduation. This is reviewed each quarter when the Enrollment Verification form is completed.
  6. Effective as of June 2011, the amount of college credit that a student can take each quarter is dependent upon the number of classes a student is taking at their home high school. Any credits taken beyond the parameters are paid for by the student.
  7. All Running Start courses must be college level courses (100 level or above). High school completion courses (below 100 level) are not eligible for Running Start funding.
  8. All Running Start students must meet with their high school counselor prior to registering for courses each quarter to complete a quarterly Enrollment Verification Form (EVF) which reports enrollment data and guides students toward the college course equivalencies needed to fulfill graduation requirements at the high school. This form is then reviewed by the college advisor to assure that course options are selected that also meet the student’s college requirements.