Student Services will be closed on Thursday, September 22 from 8 – 11 a.m. for President's Day and the 50th Anniversary kick–off celebration.


Running Start is a program that allows 11th and 12th grade students to take college courses at Washington's 34 community and technical colleges. Students earn both high school and college credits for these courses.

Running Start students and their families do not pay tuition. They are responsible for mandatory fees, books and transportation. Students receive both high school and college credit for these classes, which accelerates their progress through the education system.

Mission Statement

The mission of Running Start is to provide student services support to qualified high school students who are registered in college courses at Seattle Central while following all Washington State Running Start laws and college policies and guidelines. We are able to serve our students and the college through:

  • Promoting academic success through advising and counseling sessions.
  • Promoting a successful transition from high school to college.
  • Offering college transfer and career advising and counseling.
  • Promoting Running Start through outreach to area high schools.
  • Supporting accessibility and equity of the Running Start Program for eligible students.

How to Apply to Running Start


To qualify for the program a student must:

  • Be under 21 years of age and enrolled in any Washington State public high school or school district.
  • Be a junior or senior in high school. Fifth or second year seniors can only enroll in Running Start if they have already participated during their regular junior or senior year and then only take high school graduation requirements.
  • Place in English 101 and/or college level math (100 level or above) on the COMPASS Test. Running Start also accepts placement scores from any other Washington State Community College.
  • For Natural Science courses students must also place into a minimum of MATH 084.
  • Have parent/guardian and counselor signatures and approval to participate in the program.

Priority Applications Dates

We will accept applications after these dates but course selection may be limited.

  • Fall: May 1
  • Winter: November 1
  • Spring: February 1

Procedures for Acceptance

  1. Prepare for the COMPASS Test (if applicable) by visiting
  2. Come to the Running Start office (BE1102 C1) with a picture ID to get a student ID number for college–level placement assessment.
    • Bring your $19 testing fee, and take the COMPASS Test. No appointment is required. Please click on the COMPASS link for testing hours.
      Note: If you qualify for free or reduced lunch, you may have the testing fee waived by bringing in a completed Fee Waiver form that is signed by your high school counselor.
    • OR, you may be assessed through other approved options including ACT, SAT, Smarter Balanced test scores and more. Learn more about your options.
  3. Take test results to the Running Start office, fill out an Enrollment Packet, and schedule an advising / registration appointment with a Running Start Advisor.
  4. Meet with a high school counselor and complete the Enrollment Verification Form included in the Enrollment Packet.
  5. Bring the completed Enrollment Packet and a copy of your test scores to your advising / registration appointment.
  6. Attend the mandatory Running Start Orientation.


Name Title
Grace Vazquez Secretary
Todd Haak Manager, Running Start Program

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