Students of Running Start

Entrance to SPSCC Center for the Arts.

Entrance to SPSCC Center for the Arts.

John Sohn, Journalist

As the new school year settles in, many have probably heard of a program by the name of Running Start. Derek Bonaldo, OHS Counselor, describes Running Start as, “an opportunity for kids that want to do dual credits and get college and high school requirements met and possibly graduate with an associates degree along with their high school diploma after two years in the Running Start program.” Bonaldo also explains that, “these kids are sent to South Puget Sound Community College and they take college classes that fit in both equivalencies of a college associate’s degree program and also a high school equivalency.”


Running Start has already received tons of positive feedback from students that take it. Isabella Verdugo, Junior at OHS and SPSCC, says that, “I like running start, it’s definitely different compared to taking high school classes because you’re getting about 10-20 hours of homework depending on your classes every week, but I personally like it because I’m taking classes not only for my high school requirements but also for my associates degree.” Bonaldo adds that, “the other benefits of Running Start is that you get a better idea of what college is like, if you’re able to do task organization on your own, you have a lot more free time, and also graduating with a associates degree would save a lot more money if you’re transferring into a another program with a lot of college credits, instead of having to pay for those credits once you get into the college.” Verdugo states that, “It’s more about being independent instead of having teachers telling you when things are due.” Verdugo is taking English 101, CCS 101, Criminal Law, and Intro to Law: Diversity this quarter.

Some students usually attend Running Start with specific goals in mind. Andrew Wilson, Junior at OHS and SPSCC, decided to do Running Start because he is, “working to graduate and achieve an Associate in Arts degree at the same time.” Wilson currently takes CCS 101, CCS 102, English 101, and Chemistry 110. Running Start has a wide variety of different classes and  interesting electives. “I took a look at the classes available at OHS and determined that there weren’t many electives/general classes that appealed to me. I enjoyed Yearbook and VISCOM but other than that, the electives are not as interesting as the electives available at SPSCC,” remarks Wilson. This year, there are roughly about 150-200 OHS juniors and seniors that do Running Start.