Running Start

Running Start allows qualified high school juniors and seniors to take college-level courses. Students earn high school and college credits, which may be applied toward graduation and an associate or baccalaureate degree.

Olympic College: Many KHS students attend Running Start at Olympic College, though students may attend any WA State community college (i.e., Edmonds Community College, Cascadia Community College, Shoreline Community College, etc.). Please check out the Olympic College or Edmonds CC website for more information and to learn more about the program.


Is Running Start right for you? Are you an independent and highly organized student? Can you balance college and high school obligations and schedules? Do you want to earn both high school and college credits?

  • Must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA (except with approval by KHS administration).
  • Must be able to place into college-level English (English 101), and for full-time status, must qualify for college-level math (i.e., Precalculus, Calculus, Statistics). (Must bring Accuplacer or Compass scores to KHS counselor.)
  • Must have a history of good attendance at KHS.
  • Students may take a maximum of 15 credits tuition-free.
  • Books, supplies, some fees, and transportation are the student's responsibility.
  • Students may enroll in a combination of community college and high school classes or take classes only at the college.
  • Check out this presentation for more info.


  • Independent + mature learner
  • Has own transportation
  • Can provide for own books + supplies
  • Self-motivated + driven in an adult learning environment

Items to think about:

  • Olympic College or KHS may suspend eligibility to access Running Start if you do not maintain a satisfactory GPA.
  • Grades in college courses are recorded on the HS and COLLEGE transcripts. The grades become part of the student’s permanent HS and college record. Low grades or failure to complete courses may jeopardize HS graduation, admission to another college, and/or other future educational plans.
  • Student-Athletes must maintain a minimum class load for sports eligibility. Refer to Athletic Director for details.
  • Some students may find college classes' required independence, maturity, and speed overwhelming.
  • Running Start students must prioritize HS Core Curriculum courses to meet High School graduation requirements.
  • Transportation arrangements, books, and class fees are the student's responsibility.
  • Students are responsible for gathering all information about events/activities at KHS (ie, graduation info, testing, etc.). Students can access information through the KHS website (i.e., Daily Bulletin).
  • The scheduling of college classes may conflict with HS classes and/or extracurricular activities.
  • The college operates on the quarter system, and KHS operates on the semester system. Holiday and vacation periods may also be different.
  • Students may be exposed to alternative viewpoints and material of an adult nature. The average age of students is 25.
  • The rigor and challenge of Running Start classes vary. Please consider taking Advanced Placement courses at KHS instead of Running Start. Students have the opportunity to have rigorous and challenging courses while having the support of the high school environment.
  • Transferability issues for courses taken while in Running Start are the same as for all other community and technical college coursework. Parents and students are encouraged to educate themselves about the transferability of credits to other colleges, especially for private and out-of-state universities. The receiving school has the right to determine which credits they will accept.
  • By choosing to access programs outside of the NKSD, I fully acknowledge my responsibility to ensure that the classes I enrolled in comply with my pursuit of a KHS Diploma. As a running start student, I will call ahead of time to make appointments with the Counseling Office.

Course Equivalency Information: Olympic CollegeEdmonds Community College, and NWIC