Running Start


Parents play a big role in their child's education, and that's why we created a section just for parents. We want to provide you with the tools to be informed and supportive in your Running Start student's endeavor. 


About Running Start

Running Start is a good fit for students who:

  • Are ready for the challenge of college-level coursework
  • Are motivated to participate in the college environment and possess the maturity to do so
  • Seek academic challenges not available at their high school

Green River’s Running Start program at a glance:

  • Students from over 30 high schools and 15 school districts
  • Over 1,100 participants each quarter
  • The average GPA is approximately 3.0
  • Mixture of full-time and part-time students
  • Students enrolled in both transfer and career and technical education programs


Green River offers many degrees for Running Start students to pursue while here, both transfer and career training focuses. There are 11 degrees designed to transfer to a university and over 26 career training programs to provide training for a specific career field. Below are some resources to help your child navigate the options:

  • Degrees: lists Green River's degrees and their requirements here
  • College Transfer Center: resources for transferring to a university, including transfer equivalency guides, transfer fairs, workshops, and other important events
  • The college catalog is helpful for course descriptions, degrees offered, and academic policies
  • The annual schedule:  find out when classes will be offered throughout the year
  • Mandatory Running Start Planning Workshop: This mandatory workshop is exclusively for all new Running Start students who are taking 10 or more credits per quarter. All other Running Start students are welcome to attend as well - your student will learn a lot! We will cover how to choose a degree based on a major, the ins and outs of transferring to a university, and how to plan for future quarters.
  • Advising: After attending a planning workshop, students can call (253) 833-9111, ext. 2641 with questions or to schedule an advising appointment.

Most Green River students are transfer-bound to a four-year college. The direct transfer agreement (DTA) degrees are accepted by 21 in-state institutions and many out-of-state colleges. When a student is accepted at a college or university and transfers with an associate degree, the instutition considers all credits to satisfy general education requirements and will view the student as a junior upon transcript evaluation. However, most universities require Running Start students to apply as freshmen if they transfer immediately following high school graduation. Running Start students may apply as transfer students if they complete one quarter of community college in fall quarter after high school. Green River College general education credits transfer well, regardless of the direct transfter agreement. Always check with the receiving institution regarding credit transferability. For examples of how in-state institutions work with Running Start students around transfer credits, see this document

Important Things to Know

Student Privacy Act

Running Start students have the same rights and responsibilities as any other college student. All student educational records are maintained according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), concerning information that becomes part of the permanent record and governing the conditions of its disclosure. Only the student’s name, dates of enrollment, and degrees earned can be released without the student’s authorization. If you would like access to your student’s records, they need to grant the Running Start staff permission to talk to you by filling out a FERPA waiver form. All college credits earned are posted to the high school transcript, and available for viewing through the school district's Skyward portal.

Quarterly Registration

Each quarter, students must obtain an Enrollment Verification Form from their high school counselor. It needs to be complete and include your signature prior to submitting it two weeks before registration begins. Running Start students must be registered by the following dates:

  • Fall quarter 2014: September 15, 2014
  • Winter quarter 2015: December 29, 2014
  • Spring quarter 2015: March 23, 2015

Academic Standards

In order for Running Start participants to remain eligible for the program, students must make satisfactory academic progress. Each quarter, student transcripts are reviewed to ensure this is happening. Students must demonstrate satisfactory progress by:

  1. Earning a minimum 2.0 quarterly grade point average, and
  2. Completing all enrolled credit
  • Failure to earn credit in coursework results in an "I", "NC", "W" or a grade below a 1.0 on the transcript.
  • Students have a small window of opportunity to withdraw from a class and not have it post to their permanent transcript: follow the important deadlines published in the quarterly class schedule to remain informed.

Students have three opportunities to demonstrate satisfactory progress. Any third quarter of not meeting standard will result in dismissal from the Green River Running Start program.

Running Start Academic Standards

Transition to College

As your student transitions to college, it’s important to keep in mind the following and to offer appropriate support:

  • Encourage personal responsibility
    • College is voluntary
    • It’s important to read all materials
    • Asking questions is a must
    • Utilizing student services (tutoring, advising, etc.)
  • Help set realistic expectations in terms of:
    • Time management
    • Work hours
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Family commitments
  • Being a college student requires maturity
    • Be responsible in terms of attendance and classroom conduct
    • Course materials are not censored
    • Treat college as a job – notify instructors of absences
    • Be aware of important dates, registration processes, and how to navigate the website
  • Running Start students begin making a permanent college transcript right away, which follows them to other institutions
  • For more information about helping your student transition to college, please view this PowerPoint presented at Parent Night for parents of new Running Start students. 
  • Financial aid eligibility at Green River will be affected by a student's academic performance in Running Start.
    • Specifically, the Financial Aid Academic Progress policy states: "The college will look at all attempted credits regardless of the source of tuition payment."
    • Time spent at Green River College reduces the overall time period your student can be considered for financial aid because students are taking college level classes.
    • Academic progress policies vary from institution to institution; protect your transcript by completing all attempted credits. Have your student see a Running Start advisor for questions.