Running Start Information for Students

Running Start Program Requirements

To qualify for Running Start:

  • You must be a Junior or Senior as determined by your high school and/or school district.
  • You must be currently enrolled in a Washington State public high school.
  • If you are home schooled, or a in a private school, you will need to enroll in your neighborhood public high school as “intent to home school”.
  • You can participate in Running Start for three quarters as a Junior and three quarters as a Senior.
  • Students must qualify for college level English or Math readiness, and submit proof to Enrollment Services (Registration).
  • Students must apply to the college and pay the $25 application fee.

How to Qualify for College Level English or Math

To qualify for College Level English or Math for the Running Start Program, you must provide one from the following:

High School Cumulative GPA

As soon as your first semester of sophomore year at your high school has ended, you can use your semester cumulative GPA to qualify.  If your cumulative GPA is 2.75 or higher, you will qualify for college level English and the Running Start Program.

If you do not qualify your first semester of your sophomore year, you may qualify with any future semester after that.  It is important that you request a copy of your high school transcript or grade report showing your second semester cumulative GPA, prior to your high school summer break.  If you have a cumulative GPA 2.75 or higher your second semester, you will qualify for college level English and the Running Start Program.

Smarter Balance Testing (taken at your high school) – English (ELA) Test

Students may use their Smarter Balance English-ELA Test taken no sooner than your sophomore year in high school.  If you score level 3 or 4 on the ELA Test, you will qualify for college level English and the Running Start Program.

Advanced Placement – AP Test Score

If you have or plan to take an Advanced Placement course at your high school, you may use AP Test Scores to qualify.  If you score a 3 or higher on the English (Language & Composition) or (Composition & Literature exam), you will qualify for college level English and the Running Start Program.

ACT – English and Reading Placement scores

Students who take the ACT placement test during their sophomore, junior or senior year may use ACT Scores to qualify.  If you score a 19 in both English and Reading, you will qualify for college level English and the Running Start Program.

SAT – “Evidenced Based Reading and Writing” Scores

Students who take the SAT Placement test during their sophomore, junior or senior year may use SAT Scores to qualify.  If you score 510 in “Evidenced Based Reading and Writing”, you will qualify for college level English and the Running Start Program.

English Readiness Assessment at Clark College

If none of the above options qualifies you for college level English and/or you are homeschooled, you may take Clark College’s English Readiness Assessment placement test.  For more details, please contact the Assessment Center at Clark College: (360) 992-2588.

Smarter Balanced Testing (taken at your high school) – Math Test

Students who take the Smarter Balanced math test no earlier than their sophomore year in high school may use Smarter Balance scores along with current high school math to qualify.  Students who score a Level 3 or 4 on Smarter Balanced Math and completed Algebra 2 or Pre-Calculus with a B or better in high school qualify for college level math and the Running Start Program

If you are a current sophomore in high school, you should be preparing to take the Smarter Balanced Math Assessment.  If you are a current junior, you may have already completed the Smarter Balanced Math.

Advanced Placement Scores – AP Calculus Exam

If you are currently in an Advanced Placement course at your high school, you may use AP Test Scores to qualify.  If you score a 3 on the Calculus AB Exam or Calculus BC Exam, you qualify for college level Math and the Running Start Program.

ALEKS at Clark College

Students without any other placement may take the ALEKS math placement assessment.  A minimum score of 36 will qualify you for college-level courses and the Running Start Program.  For more details, please contact the Assessment Center at Clark College: (360) 992-2588.

Where to Submit Your College Level Eligibility for English and Math

There are two locations to drop off your proof of eligibility:

You also have the option to scan/email your college level placement to  If you send via email, please make sure your name is clear on your documentation and you have included your Clark College student ID number (SID).

New Running Start Students - Application and Enrollment Procedures

To qualify for the Running Start Program, please click on the appropriate term below and follow all of the steps to enrollment.

Required Clark College Orientation for New Students in Running Start

Students who complete the Steps to Enrollment and qualify for Running Start will be invited to attend an orientation.

During this event, students will receive helpful information about attending Clark College, which will include meeting with Advising Services.  Please check your Clark student email periodically for upcoming details.

Qualifying students will be able to sign-up for Orientations in early March.

Orientations will begin in May 2019.

Current Running Start Students - Enrollment Procedures

As a current Running Start Student, you will need to do the following every term:
  • Monitor important dates and deadlines for every term.
  • Meet with your high school counselor every term and complete the Enrollment Verification Form (EVF).
  • Turn your EVF into the Enrollment Services office in Gaiser Hall.
  • Schedule Academic Advising appointment, as needed, to ensure your success at Clark College.  An Academic Advisor can assist you with class selection and degree completion requirements.
  • Monitor class schedule in your MyClark account.  You are responsible for your schedule and should:
    • Monitor your waitlisted courses.
    • Check your schedule for any tuition/fees that may be due.
    • Check that you are registered for the correct classes.
    • Be sure to check for building and class locations prior to the first day of the term.
    • Drop courses from your schedule that you no longer plan to attend.
  • Pay your Fall, Winter and Spring term tuition by the tuition/fees payment due dates.
  • Purchase your books and supplies.
  • Login to Canvas AND attend your classes.

Running Start Forms

There are two locations where you may drop off your forms:

  • Main campus - turn into the Enrollment Services office in Gaiser Hall
  • CTC campus - turn into the Student Services office at Clark College at Columbia Tech Center

When to Discuss Running Start With Your High School Counselor

Check in with your high school.  Your high school counseling office can provide you with timelines to meet and discuss the Running Start Program.

Note:  Your high school counselor should discuss with you which classes you need to fulfill your high school graduation requirements.  When you meet with your high school counselor, they will complete and sign your Enrollment Verification Form (EVF).  The EVF will determine the number of college credits you can take at the college.  Once your high school counselor has signed your EVF, you will turn in the completed form to the Enrollment Services office.

Enrollment Verification Form (EVF) - Required Every Term (Fall, Winter and Spring)

As a Running Start student, you must submit the Enrollment Verification Form each term you register (Fall, Winter and Spring terms).  The purpose of this form is to track the combined number of credits in which you are enrolled between your high school and the college.  Your high school counselor, your parent, and you are required to sign this form.  Turn your completed EVF into the Enrollment Services office as soon as you have met with your high school counselor. 

Note: We cannot bill your high school for tuition until you submit your EVF.  If you do not submit the form, you will be required to pay full tuition by the tuition/fees payment due date.

How to Qualify for the Running Start Program Fee Waiver

Clark College must waive mandatory college and/or student assessed fees for eligible, low-income Running Start students.  Eligible, low-income Running Start students are still required to pay class fees, tuition/fees for courses below 100 level, and textbooks.

NOTE: The RS Fee Waiver is only valid while you are in the Running Start Program.

When to Register For Classes

Log in to MyClark and choose from the menu on the right:
  • Access date/time - when you may begin registering for upcoming term(s)
  • Add and/or drop classes
  • Monitor your waitlisted classes
  • Check your Student Schedule

When to Begin Attending Classes

  • Spring 2019 classes begin Monday, April 8
  • Fall 2019 classes begin Monday, September 23

Check the Upcoming Events calendar for more information.

How to Determine the Number of Credits a Student Can Take at Clark College

The number of credits you can take in the college is determined by how many classes you are taking in the high school.  Your high school counselor will know and will specify this on your Enrollment Verification Form each term.

How Many College Credits Does it Take to Equal One High School Credit?

Five college credits equal one high school credit. Classes vary in credits, so it depends on the class you take.  See the table below as a guide. 

For example, a 1.0 high school credit class (English, Math, History, etc), which takes a school year to complete at the high school, can be completed in one quarter (11 weeks) at the college. 

Note: Some high schools may require more than one class to cover the content required.  For example, some high schools may require two 5 credit History classes to meet your high school graduation requirements.

Credits at Clark College

Examples of college classes

= High school credit

5 college credits

English, Math, History, Psychology, etc.

= 1.0 HS credit

4 college credits

Some Art, Chemistry and Music, etc.

= 0.8 HS credit

3 college credits

Health & PE, Biology, Economics, Women Studies, etc.

= 0.6 HS credit

2 college credits

Some PE and Human Development classes

= 0.4 HS credit

1 college credit

Some PE classes

= 0.2 HS credit