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Running Start: An Overview

Running start is a program where juniors and seniors can take Clark College classes for both college and high school credits. For some students, this opportunity can be life-changing.

The state of Washington subsidizes the cost of the classes for the student’s accessibility, which gives students an opportunity to earn college credits at a cheaper price than they would if they waited until after high school.

Image result for clark college running start
Courtesy. Clark College

“It was the best decision ever,” said Autumn Aho

Clark college advocates for responsible and mature CHS upperclassmen to get a jumpstart on their college education and get the opportunity to graduate with an AA degree, but they can sometimes feel they are missing out on the experience of high school. 

“For my full-time running start students, they feel so disconnected from the high school,” said CHS counselor Elizabeth Rollman, the running start coordinator. “For some that can be a good thing, and for some that can be a really hard thing.”

Aside from fears of missing out, students can run into other issues as well. “Running start students always have to pay for their books, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but college textbooks are really expensive,,” said Rollman. “One textbook can easily cost over 100 dollars.” 

While some students may struggle, making the choice to be a running start student can be a good option for others.

“In 30 years, I’m not gonna remember this spirit day when I’m doing great with college,” Aho said.

Featured image courtesy. Clark College

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