Summer Running Start Pilot Makes Strides Reaching Underserved High School Students


In 2021, South Puget Sound Community  College (SPSCC) became one of three schools in Washington State to  participate in a two-year Summer Running Start pilot program funded by the  Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) through House Bill  2864. This year, SPSCC has seen great success in enrollment, showcasing how  high school students are making the most of the year-round Running Start  program’s flexibility. 

This Summer Quarter, SPSCC served a total of 226 Running Start students from  19 high schools, enrolled in 396 classes. Additionally, 37 of this year’s high  school graduates participated to finish their final credits needed to complete their  associate degree at SPSCC. 

The highest enrolled classes for Summer Running Start students include math,  art, English, communications courses, and College & Career Success (CCS). CCS 101 is a required SPSCC course that introduces the mindset and skills  necessary for students to become confident, reflective, self-directing, and  successful learners at college. Summer Running Start allows high school  students to complete this requirement and have a strong foundation to continue  in higher education. 

The program also experienced huge gains in ethnic representation. Last year,  17% of enrolled Summer Running Start students identified as a student of color.  This year, that number jumped up to 35%. Additionally, around half of the  students qualified for financial aid supported under the Elementary and  Secondary School Emergency Relief grant and other state grant funding.  

The Summer Running Start pilot program is focused on reaching underserved  high school students. The program will continue to help OSPI evaluate interest in  a year-round Running Start program and explore the barriers that keep students  from participating. 

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