Running Start

Approved by the Washington State Legislature in 1990, Running Start allows eligible Washington high school juniors and seniors to attend college part-time or fulltime and receive both high school and college credit. Students do not pay tuition, but are responsible for textbooks and material fees. The college courses must meet the high school’s graduation requirements, and must be courses numbered 100 or above. Washington high school students are eligible to attend Clatsop Community College as Running Start students. 

Running Start is a great opportunity for students to get a head start on their four-year college plans and save on college costs.  Most of the Running Start students have excelled at Clatsop, however, Running Start is not for everyone. College life and classes offer much more flexibility and independence than high school. RS students are held to the same standards as any other college student. This may present problems for those students who are not quite ready for the college experience.


  • You must be considered a junior or senior at Illwaco or Naselle High School. Home school student may register with their local high school to access Running Start. 
  • You must be a resident of Washington State.
  • You must have a 2.5 high school GPA
  • You must be making satisfactory progress toward high school graduation as determined by your high school.
  • You must place into college level writing and reading on the COMPASS placement evaluation.   The COMPASS is available at your high school or CCC.

Students are responsible for college fees, textbooks, and transportation. Students eligible to receive free or reduced priced lunch may be eligible for a "non consumable" fee waiver.  Click here for information about fees and the waiver process. (.pdf, 30KB)

The process starts at your high school. Students should contact their high school counselor and discuss how Running Start might work for them. After agreement that Running Start is the way to go, there are a number of forms that need to be submitted to the high school and then to the Clatsop Recruitment Coordinator. After eligibility for the program has been established, there will be a forecasting session before each college quarter. College and high school staff will work with students to put together the best schedule for you. Referral Form (.pdf, 211KB)

At Clatsop Community College, we want each of our students to have a positive and enriching educational experience. We will do everything we can to ensure that Running Start students succeed. We offer counseling and advising and we communicate regularly with high school counselors and Clatsop instructors as we monitor the progress of each Running Start student.


Spring Term 2016- March  28 - June 10

(No Running Start Summer Term)

Fall Term 2016 - September 26 – December 9

Winter Term 2017 - January 3 – March 17

Click here for more information on Running Start from the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

You must provide your own transportation. If getting to and from Clatsop Community College in a timely manner will be a problem for you, Running Start is not a viable option for you.

  • Class participation is an integral part of college. Most instructors require students to participate in discussions.
  • The students in your classes will range in age from 16 – 86 so you should expect a variety of opinions and adult topics.
  • You must meet deadlines. Even though you may be academically ready, the independence and speed of college classes can be overwhelming.
  • Grades earned at Clatsop Community College become part of your permanent college transcript.
  • College classes typically demand an average of at least two hours of homework outside of class for each hour in class.
  • The College faculty may or may not take attendance. It is your responsibility to be prepared for class and to meet all deadlines.
  • Some of the art classes at Clatsop use undraped models as a part of the learning experience.
  • College classes may conflict with high school classes or some extracurricular activities, such as sports.
  • The College operates on a quarter system. Most high schools operate on a semester system. Holiday and vacation periods may be different. You will be expected to attend classes at the college even though your high school is not in session. It is important to plan carefully to avoid conflicts between college classes, family, and activities.
  • The high school is the final authority on what is required for high school graduation. You must work closely with your high school counselor to ensure that you meet your graduation requirements. You will be responsible for keeping informed about high school deadlines and activities.
  • You and your parents will sign a Release of Information form so that your grades and progress can be shared with your high school and your parents.


Lisa Nyberg

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Last Updated: 
January 25, 2018, 2:26 pm
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