Running Start

Grade 12 – The Running Start Program

Hillside Student Community School Bellevue community charter high schoolIn their 12th grade, Hillside students enroll in Running Start, a state funded program in which students earn high school and college credit simultaneously through courses taken at college or community college. Students typically graduate through Hillside with college level courses on their transcripts.

In addition to their Running Start coursework, students are invited to attend Hillside’s ‘Senior Seminar’, in which they receive individual guidance and oversight in the process of applying to colleges, and to continue to participate in Hillside’s after-school clubs and fall and spring electives.

The advantages of this program are many. After three years of intensive coursework at Hillside in grades 9 – 11, students are ready to test their wings in a college setting. At the community college our students take courses tailored to their interests that are not available in a regular high school curriculum, from Mandarin Chinese to Linear Algebra. Students realize that the skills they gained at Hillside serve them very well in a 30 student per class college setting and prospective colleges see that the student can succeed in at the college level.

Following this approach, Hillside students have been accepted at top colleges and universities such as Harvard, Oberlin, MIT, Whitman, Reed, University of Chicago, University of Washington Honors Program, Swarthmore, Stanford, Bowdoin, Bard, Hampshire, Columbia, St. John’s, Cornell and many others. They have found that the confidence and skills they developed at Hillside have contributed to successful experiences at such institutions.