Running Start is a dual credit program intended to provide students an option consisting of attendance at certain institutions of higher education and the simultaneous earning of high school and college/university credit. Running Start was initiated by the Legislature as a component of the 1990 parent and student Learning by Choice Law. Students in grades 11 and 12 are allowed to take college courses at any of the Washington community and technical colleges.
Running Start Students and their families do not pay tuition for the approved number of college credits they are awarded from their high school, but they do 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 accelerate their progress through the education system. The exercise of that right is subject only to minimal eligibility and procedural requirements, which are spelled out, in state administrative rules. See RCW 28A.600.300 for more information.
The mission of Bellevue College Running Start Program is to empower the intersection of identities of underage and high school students by offering educational opportunities, challenges, and resources which guide students to take control of their academic entry, progress, and completion. Additionally, in tandem with Achieving the Dream the Running Start Program encourages and provides resources for students to take advantage of their dual credit opportunity and guide them along the path to complete their career and educational goals.