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    General Information

    Running Start is a recognized alternative course of study offered by community colleges and available to high school students who have earned sufficient credits to obtain at least 11th grade standing. Eligible students must be enrolled in a Washington state public high school, or meet all applicable requirements for home‐based instruction students, and demonstrate readiness for college level or professional/technical coursework in a college environment.

    To learn more about Running Start options talk with your high school counselor, the Running Start Coordinator at your local community college and visit OSPI Running Start Program.

    Please Note: Running Start students must take full responsibility for keeping up-to-date on what's happening at Cleveland STEM High School, including important dates and deadlines (PSAT Tests, SATs, Senior Prom, Ordering Graduation Supplies, Graduation Rehearsal Dates and Times, Senior Meetings and any other Senior related events). Students can read CPUB and join the Facebook page to stay informed of upcoming events and deadlines. Also use your ECHO email and partner with your counselor if you have questions.

    Join our remind group for updates
    Text to RS-81010

    Due date for Running Start applications is May 1, 2021

    10th and 11th grade students who are interested in doing Running Start during the 2021-2022 school year must sign up by May 1. Check out the Steps to Getting Started section below and complete the required tasks by May 1.


    Running Start & Skills Center Information Session

    Current 10th and 11th grade students and families who are interested in learning more about the Running Start and Skills Center programs for next year are invited to a virtual information session on either Feb 25 or March 4. If you missed the virtual information session, you can view the presentation slides.

    There will be optional Q&A sessions to get more of your questions answered on how to apply for Running Start and Skills Center and the benefits and risks that you should weigh in making your decision on whether or not to join these programs. If you miss these sessions, please reach out to your counselor to chat about Running Start and Skills Center.



    • A High School Junior or Senior

    • Place into college level English OR math on the placement test (taken at the college)

    • Some colleges will accept your SBAC, ACT, SAT, or high school transcript for placement in lieu of the placement test. Check the college websites for more information.

    Steps to Getting Started

    1. Decide which two-year college you want to attend by visiting several campuses and checking out their course offerings on their websites. 

    2. Check the Running Start procedures on the website of the college you wish to attend. Some will require you to register as a student online or in person before taking the placement test.   Some may require that you attend an orientation session at the college.

    3. Take the placement test. (Testing schedules can be found on the college websites.) You will need to bring your CHS student ID card and money to pay a fee to the test center in order to take the test. Students with free/reduced lunch may qualify for a fee waiver from their CHS counselor. For more information about the placement test and access to test prep materials, check the college websites.

      You will receive your test results the same day and if they show you qualify to take English 101 and/or Math 107 you are eligible for Running Start. (You should receive a packet of registration material when you complete the test.)

    4. Schedule an appointment to meet with your high school counselor.  Bring your Running Start packet signed by parents to this meeting and a signed copy of the Seattle Public Schools Running Start Form. You will decide together which classes you will take at the college and which classes you will take at CHS. Your counselor will sign the Enrollment Verification Form included in your Running Start packet.

    5. Take your completed Running Start Packet, including the Enrollment Verification Form, to the college. You will meet with the Running Start Advisor and register for classes.

    6. If you are planning to begin Running Start classes for the Fall Term, you must complete all of the above steps by May 1.  This is the priority date for most colleges. Most colleges will still accept your applications after this date, but courses will begin filling up, limiting your choices if you apply late.  Check each college website for their specific dates and deadlines.  You can also begin Running Start during the school year by entering the college Winter Term or Spring Term, however this may be more complicated.

    Process for requesting a fee waiver

    For students who receive Free or Reduced Lunch, you are eligible for a Fee Waiver to pay for the Placement test and for books through Running Start.

    • In order for your school counselor to issue you a fee waiver to send to the Running Start office, you must send your school counselor a copy of the letter or email from Nutrition Services confirming that you receive Free and Reduced Lunch this year.
    • If you do not have a letter, you can request one by emailing Nutrition Services at: or by calling: 206‐252‐0675
    • If you are eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch, but you did not apply this year, you must submit an application for Free and Reduced Lunch at:

    Once Enrolled

    The college will send your grades to CHS at the end of each quarter to be posted on your transcript. If you need an official college transcript you will need to request and pay for an official copy from the college registrar where you took Running Start classes.

    College Websites:

    South Seattle College

    Seattle Central College

    Highline College

    Bellevue College

    Edmonds Community College

    Lake Washington Institute of Technology

    North Seattle College

    Shoreline Community College