Seattle Public Schools

High School, Postsecondary, and Career Planning

Advanced Level and Dual Credit Courses

Advanced Level/Dual Credit Courses

High School Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

The high school Advanced Placement program is a College Board program that allows students to access college-level curriculum. This curriculum assists and prepares students for their college or university coursework.

Students who take AP exams, which are administered annually in May, can earn college credit, depending on their score and the college they plan to attend. Read more about AP at Seattle Public Schools.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

The International Baccalaureate Diploma program is a series of college preparation courses developed for juniors and seniors. The IB Diploma follows a two-year comprehensive program that incorporates the best elements of college preparation from a number of countries.

IB courses are offered at three SPS schools:

To learn more about the Seattle Public Schools International Baccalaureate program.

Running Start

Running Start is a recognized course of study offered by community colleges and available to high school students who have earned sufficient credits to obtain at least 11th grade standing.

Eligible students must be enrolled in a Washington state public high school and demonstrate readiness for college level or professional/technical coursework in a college environment.

The program provides high school students the opportunity to enroll in college-level courses for credit, with free or reduced tuition for up to 15 credits, while earning high school credit. Part-Time Running Start Enrollment is also an option. The number of credits allowed is determined by the number minutes per week that the student attends high school.  Families are responsible for fees, books and other costs. Fee waivers may be available for students receiving Free or Reduced Lunch.

Running Start Important Information

  • Students enrolled in “part-time” Running Start may run into conflicts with the scheduling of classes at the college AND their high school.
  • If/When there is a conflict in your schedule, your high school classes take precedence.
  • Student’s may need to choose between courses at the high school or the college based on availability.
  • Students may not leave high school classes early or arrive late.
  • Seattle Schools must report the official cumulative grade point average (g.p.a.) on all Transcripts per state law, this g.p.a. is not weighted.
  • Grades earned at the college are calculated “within” your official cumulative high school g.p.a.
  • Your College Transcript and your High School Transcript may have different grade point averages.
  • College credits earned prior to high school graduation may not transfer to private or out of state colleges. It is your responsibility to verify if grades will or will not transfer.
  • Families will not have access to college transcripts, records, grade reports, attendance, etc.
  • During the school day, students should not be on the high school campus unless they are enrolled in a class at the high school.
  • Colleges support for students with disabilities by offering accommodations through 504s and their Offices of Accessibility or Disability Services.
  • All graduation requirement courses must be completed by the end of winter quarter in order to participate in Seattle Schools Graduation ceremonies.
  • Unenrolling from Running Start courses, or not enrolling in Running Start for a quarter may impact your Seattle Schools Enrollment.
  • Seniors Transcripts are updated in the fall after graduation when official transcripts are received from the college.
  • Students who earn their diploma from the local college must provide documentation to their High School registrar in order for records to be accurately maintained, not doing so may mean your high school transcript does not show you have graduated.
  • Students who are unsuccessful may be placed on academic probation. A student may be dismissed from the Running Start Program if his/her academic status remains unsatisfactory.
  • The number of credits earned through Running Start may impact the number of credits available through the Seattle Promise Scholarship, check with Seattle Colleges for details.

To learn more about Running Start options talk with your high school counselor, the running start coordinator at your local community college and visit OSPI Running Start Program.

Many local Running Start programs have implemented a vaccine mandate for students taking in-person classes on campus. To understand the policy at your local community college, please contact the college directly.

College in the High School

A College in the High School program is a dual credit program in which a college approved eligible high school teacher offers a college course on a high school campus or in a high school environment, and in which eligible students are given the opportunity to earn high school credit to be awarded by a district, charter school, or tribal compact school and college credit awarded by the participating institution of higher education.

There are three main differences between College in the High School and Running Start.

The first is where the course is offered and who teaches the course. College in the High School is taught on a high school campus by an eligible high schoolteacher. Running Start is taught on a college campus by a college faculty member.

Finally, the second difference is funding. Running Start students may enroll tuition free up to the equivalent of a full-time student each term, and for a maximum of the equivalent of two years of full-time enrollment. College in the High School students wanting to earn the available college credit may be responsible for paying a fee to the college. The maximum fee shall not exceed $65 per college credit.

Dual Credit CTE

A Dual Credit CTE course contains a signed articulation agreement between Seattle Public Schools (Career and Technical Education) and at least one community/technical college. Students earn both High School and college credits while taking classes at the High School. Dual Credit CTE Courses are also part of many of the CTE Graduation Pathway options.

To learn more about Dual Credit CTE, talk with your Career Connected Learning Coordinator or CTE Teacher.

How will colleges treat these credits?

Students and families should know that Colleges and Universities receiving and applying these college credits are subject to the that schools’ policies. It is best to review the transfer or dual credit policies for the college you are interested in attending for details on how they apply or treat these types of credits.