The Washington state Legislature imposed limitations on the number of combined high school and college credits it will fund for students in the Running Start program this fall.
The Running Start program, which has been available since the late 1980s, provides an opportunity for high school students to earn college credits while completing their high school graduation requirements.
Before the budget proposal, the state paid the tuition for Running Start students to take up to 18 credits for a small student fee. The new budget only allows students up to 15 credits and limits a full-time student at the college to one class at the high school.
These changes were made as an effort to save the state money and are based on the amount of time per week a student spends at the high school.
“The credit reductions are a result of many cuts being made due to the economy,” Pierce’s Running Start Manager Valerie Frey said.
About $370,000 in state-funding cuts was geared toward community and technical colleges. Running Start students, however, are only being charged for college credits exceeding the state-funded limit, which depends on the a student’s time spent at the high school. This limit could be anywhere from three credits to 15 credits. These restrictions don’t apply to students in vocational programs or at skills centers.
For example, if a student has not passed the math portion of the Compass test, they would be allowed to take a math class at their high school while still being full time at the college.
“I have a few friends who have been (affected) because they missed a lot of credits in their first quarter at the college and now can’t make them up without paying for them,” said Courtney Linnborn, a current Running Start student.
She and many other college officials are working with Running Start students to help them plan for their education.
“We care about our students and want to provide as many opportunities as possible,” Frey said.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost