- Students and families can register for up to 15 tuition-free college credits per quarter based on high school enrollment.
- Earn high school and college credit simultaneously.
- With careful planning, students can earn an associate degree along with their high school diploma.
- Experience the rigor of college-level coursework and increased personal responsibility.
- Wide variety of classes and degree options.
- Flexible class schedule (day, afternoon, evening, hybrid, and online course options) at multiple campus locations (Auburn, Kent, and Enumclaw).
- Small class sizes (average class size is 32 students).
- Participate in college activities and leadership opportunities, with the exception of intercollegiate athletics.
- Running Start is not entirely free. The average quarterly cost for a full-time Running Start student is approximately $200 in fees per quarter. Textbooks can range from $100-300+ per quarter. We have a Fee Waiver & Book Loan Program to students who qualify, which can reduce the cost of attendance.
- Classes move at a faster pace than high school; a year-long high school course is condensed into an 11 week quarter.
- Green River has a different break schedule than high school. Students are responsible for planning their schedules accordingly.
- Parent/guardian access to student records is limited. The College must abide by strict privacy rules. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records without student written permission. We provide all Running Start students an opportunity to complete a Release of Information form.
- College is an adult learning environment. Courses may cover controversial issues.
- Students must arrange their own transportation to and from campus; parking is free.
- What is the Running Start Program?
- How do I know if Running Start is right for me?
- How do students qualify for Running Start?
- Can students take English assessment at another college and have it apply at Green River?
- Can home and private schooled students participate in Running Start?
- How many quarters can a student enroll in Running Start?
- Can Students attend Green River full-time or part-time?
- The COMPASS didn’t accurately reflect my student’s abilities…help!
- What classes are students not allowed to take?
- Can students take online classes?
- How do I know which classes at Green River apply toward high school graduation requirements?
- Can students receive a degree from Green River at the same time they get their high school diploma?
- Should students stay at Green River to finish my AA degree before transferring?
- Do Running Start classes transfer to other colleges/universities?
- How many quarters can a student enroll in Running Start?
- Can parents receive information about their daughter/son’s academic progress or grades? Why or why not?
The Running Start program was created by the state legislature in the early 1990s as an opportunity for eligible high school juniors and seniors to earn college-level credit, tuition free. Your school district pays tuition for up to 15 credits per quarter. Books, fees, supplies, tuition for additional credits and transportation to the college are your responsibility. Classes taken at the college as part of the Running Start Program are limited to "college level courses" (numbered 100 or above). You may enroll simultaneously in high school and college classes or exclusively in college classes. How you choose to enroll will depend upon the classes or credits you need for high school graduation. Your total enrollment should equal one full-time load. You will receive both high school and college credit for classes taken at Green River and are considered to be dually enrolled in both educational systems. High school graduation requirements are established by each school district. Check with your high school counselor to verify the courses and number of credits required in order to graduate. Generally, one five (5) credit class at the college earns one (1) high school unit.
Running Start is a good fit for students who:
- Are ready for the challenge of college-level coursework.
- Are motivated to participate in the college environment and possess the maturity to do so.
- Seek academic challenges not available at their high school.
- View Program Benefits and Considerations.
Prospective students must meet the following criteria:
- Be enrolled through a public high school/district. Homeschooled and private school students are encouraged to contact their local school district for instructions on their enrollment procedures.
- Be a junior or senior, according to grade level placement policies of the district the student is enrolled through.
- Be eligible for ENGL& 101. (visit greenriver.edu/
placement for assessment and placement options.)
- Be 16 upon admission to the program, or turn 16 during the first quarter of enrollment in Running Start. Prospective Running Start students must also complete an assessment to demonstrate they are prepared for college-level coursework.
Yes. Students must enroll through the local public high school and must be considered a junior or senior. Students do not have to attend classes in the public high school in order to participate in Running Start. It is the responsibility of the public school district to establish grade placement criteria for homeschoolers who want to earn a high school diploma from a public high school. Some schools consider age appropriateness; others review credits and prior learning. In other cases, a standardized achievement test may be used in the absence of adequate documentation of a student’s home-based education.
All qualified students can enroll a maximum of three quarters (Fall, Winter and Spring) during their junior year and a maximum of three quarters (Fall, Winter and Spring) during their senior year. A special circumstance exists for second-year seniors who have previously participated in Running Start. Please contact the Running Start Office for details.
Yes, students can take all of your classes at Green River, or some at Green River and some at your high school. The average credit load for Running Start students is 12-15 credits per quarter (approximately 3 classes). The maximum number of credits for which Running Start will cover tuition is 15 credits per quarter, providing you do not exceed the combined enrollment limit which is detailed on your Running Start Enrollment Verification Form.
Running Start students are strongly encouraged to continue with math courses – even if they have met their high school’s math diploma requirement. Stopping out of a math sequence can make it difficult later on to get back into the groove of taking math. Students may complete math at the high school or decide to take math at Green River – either way, it’s a good idea to do so.
Please visit the Placement section of our site for information on advising and placement. Aside from the COMPASS, there are other ways students are placed into math at Green River. If your student feels their COMPASS scores are not an accurate reflection of their skills, these options may be useful to them.
Students can take any classes they wish, but Running Start pays for only those classes that are college level (100 or higher). Students may take classes below college level, but will be responsible for paying tuition and fees associated with those classes. Here are classes Running Start does not cover:
- Read 104, Engl 100
- Math 0xx (anything below 100-level)
- Any course that starts with BASIC, ESOL, HSC, or R ES
Yes, it is the opinion of the Attorney General's office that Running Start students will be treated as regular college students and enrolled in regular college classes. These classes are considered to be within the normal delivery of the college curriculum. While online (eLearning) classes give more scheduling flexibility, they can be challenging for some students. Before enrolling in an eLearning class students may want to ask themselves how well the following statements describe them:
- I feel comfortable using reading and writing as my primary means of communication and learning.
- I feel I can learn in an environment where oral lectures are not the primary mode of learning.
- I am self-motivated and can work independently.
- I have no problem communicating with my instructor and other classmates through electronic means such as email and discussion boards.
- I have no problem asking questions when I don’t understand something or need clarification.
- I have or will have access to a computer with internet access on a regular basis.
- I feel comfortable in my keyboarding abilities.
- I feel comfortable with basic computer skills such as email, creating and saving files, and downloading files.
- I can dedicate approximately three hours of work per credit hour to my eLearning class.
If your student answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions, eLearning could be a good option for him/her!
The high school counselor can answer this question when your student meets with him/her to fill out the verification form for Running Start. Different schools accept different courses from Green River to meet specific requirements, such as CWP/CWI or Senior English. It is critical for the student to work with the high school counselor to make sure that your student is meeting his/her high school graduation requirements. A meeting with the high school counselor every quarter a student is in Running Start to complete a verification form is necessary. On this form, the high school counselor will indicate which graduation requirements are needed. Students should also use the District Equivalency Guide found in the Current Student section of this website.
Yes, it is possible to graduate from high school with an associate degree at the same time. This takes careful planning, so be sure to ask a Running Start advisor for help toward the planning of an AA degree. If your student does not plan to graduate from a public high school, he/she has the option of asking the college to issue a State of Washington high school diploma upon completion of an associate degree.
There are advantages to finishing an AA degree before transferring to a 4-year university in Washington and some out-of-state institutions (universities which have “direct transfer agreements” with Green River; listed in the College Catalog). At some universities in Washington, it may be difficult to transfer with an assortment of credits if you do not complete an AA degree. This is a good question to ask the university to which you plan to transfer.
College credits are transferable to Washington State public colleges and universities, and to most private colleges in the state. It is important for students to consult with college admissions representatives and departmental advisors as early as possible. Students should contact out-of-state colleges for their policies on accepting Running Start credits.
All qualified students can enroll a maximum of three quarters (fall, winter and spring) during their junior year and a maximum of three quarters (fall, winter and spring) during their senior year. A special circumstance exists for second-year seniors who have previously participated in Running Start. Please contact the Running Start Office for details.
Running Start students have the same rights and responsibilities as any other college student. All student educational records are maintained according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), concerning information that becomes part of the permanent record and governing the conditions of its disclosure. Only a student’s name, dates of enrollment, and degrees earned can be released without their authorization.
The Washlngton State Legislature established the Running Start Program as an option to offer high school students more choices regarding their education. Read about getting started with the Running Start program.
Enumclaw High School
High School and Beyond Plan (Transition Portfolio)
Requirements for Running Start Students
The purpose of creating a High School and Beyond Plan is to help ensure that you have the necessary paperwork in order, and have completed important background information to aid you in your transition to years 13 and 14. It is also an excellent source of information when you are applying to a four year college, applying for scholarships, and/or applying for a job. This is a portfolio and should be typed and bound (ie. Three-ringed binder, report cover, etc.) OR could be compiled electronically using google slides.
Your High School and Beyond Plan must be completed and presented to your counselor before January 15th. It is your responsibility to contact your counselor to schedule a meeting. Contact information can be found on the EHS website.
Required Portfolio Components (in this order):
- Cover Sheet
- Table of Contents
- SMART Goals
- Personal Data Sheet and/or Resume
- Four Year College Comparison OR Career Comparison
- Academic History
- Credit Check
- Personal Statement or Scholarship Essay
- High School and Beyond Plan (Transition Portfolio) Check-Off Form
The cover sheet is to either appear on the outside cover of your portfolio or be included as the first page. Color adds to the presentation. You must have your name, Enumclaw High School, Transition Portfolio, and the date the portfolio is completed. A picture would also be a nice addition. Most students choose to include a senior picture, a picture of a career interest, or a picture of a college of interest.
The personal data sheet (in Word or PDF format) is an organized and thorough account of your extra-curricular activities/hobbies/interests/community organizations/volunteer experiences, etc. throughout high school. Whenever applicable, include dates of involvement. This is the document you will give those individuals to whom you ask to complete a letter of recommendation for you. Ensure that your name appears at the top. A template can be found on the Swift page although you are free to modify to fit your style. The purpose of the resume is to make you stand out above and beyond all other applicants for a job of interest. It would be a good idea to look at resume models on the internet.
Many four year colleges require you to write a personal statement as part of the application process. Prompts can be found on applications. However, if you’d rather search for a scholarship for which you qualify that requires a personal essay, you may write to that prompt. You will be writing an essay that emphasizes your unique voice although all six writing traits (content, organization, sentence fluency, word choice, voice, and conventions) are important.
***In order to graduate on time, you MUST present your portfolio to your counselor before January 15th! It is your responsibility to contact your counselor to schedule an appointment!***