Over the years, many students at Deer Park High School students have taken advantage of the Running Start program to earn college and high school credit. But what if there was an alternative to the “inconveniences” of Running Start? Well, there is.
More and more schools across in Washington and across the country are offering “College in the Classroom” opportunities for high school students. These College in the Classroom courses are similar in many ways to Running Start classes, but instead of driving to the local college to take classes, students can complete coursework at their high school under the instruction of selected teachers at DPHS.
College in the Classroom courses have been around for the past several years – in fact, Deer Park has offered college courses from a number of different state universities, including: Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, and the University of Washington.
College in the Classroom offers Deer Park School District a great opportunity to partner with institutions of higher education in our state, while Deer Park students get the opportunity to gain both college and high school credit when enrolled in these courses. Truly a win/win scenario! While the teachers are existing faculty at DPHS, the curriculum and course expectations are established by the university granting credit. The teachers must meet university qualifications in order to teach college courses and regularly meet with university administrators and faculty.
What are the key differences are between Running Start and College in the Classroom?
Aside from College in the Classroom classes taking place at the high school campus, students can still have the social interaction with their peers, save immensely on travel costs associated with Running Start, and have the opportunity to college credits for free! Yes, free. Compared to a traditional college course, where credits can cost over $500 per credit, College in the Classroom courses at Deer Park High School are offered at no cost to the student.
Presently, Deer Park High School offers EWU English 101, EWU English 170, EWU Gov100/Econ, and EWU History 110, EWU Spanish, CWU Pre-Cal I & II, and CWU Calculus 124.
The Running Start program was enacted by the Washington State Legislature in 1990 to allow eleventh or twelfth grade students to enroll in courses at local community or technical colleges. The cost for the Running Start program, including tuition costs for participating students, is deducted from high school funding by the State and forwarded to local community colleges and technical schools. Students are responsible for books, supplies, lab and parking fees, and transportation.
Once a student qualifies for Running Start s/he makes a decision about how many classes will be taken at the college and how many will be taken at high school. Courses taken at the community college are counted toward high school graduation requirements. Students may construct a schedule that meets their individual needs. A release form must be completed by the high school counselor and turned in at the community college before the student registers for college classes.
Students who wish to drop a Running Start class will need to notify their high school counselor and the Running Start coordinator.
Is Running Start Right For Me?
Limitations of Running Start