Summer Running Start Pilot Aims to Reach Underserved Students

Published: 
Friday, April 23, 2021

SPSCC today announced their participation in a pilot Summer Running Start program focused on reaching underserved high school students. One of three community colleges in Washington State invited to participate, SPSCC will welcome up to 250 students from local urban and rural school districts.

Summer Running Start students can take up to five credits, typically one class, through the tuition-free program. Class fees, books, and supplies still need to be paid by the student, although fee waivers and book loans are available for low-income students.

SPSCC is working closely with Elma, Olympia, Shelton, Tumwater, and Yelm school districts to identify students who can benefit from Running Start. Due to limited capacity, interested students and families should contact their high school counselor this spring.

“Summer Running Start is one of the many ways SPSCC and Yelm Community Schools (YCS) actively collaborate to deliver impactful and equity-focused educational programming for students,” said Lisa Cadero-Smith, YCS assistant superintendent. “This program offers another viable pathway for Yelm students to achieve their postsecondary goals.”

Eligible students who aren’t able to participate in the Summer Running Start program, but want to earn college credits, are able to take summer classes at SPSCC as a regular tuition-paying student.

Summer Running Start is a two-year pilot program funded through House Bill 2864 via the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The program will help OSPI evaluate interest in a year-round Running Start program and will explore the barriers that keep some students from participating.

Female Running Start student standing on a neighborhood street
SPSCC is one of three community colleges in Washington State invited to participate, and will welcome up to 250 students from local urban and rural school districts.