WA State Running Start & Cal Poly SLO Success (Mechanical Engineering Major)

I just wanted to inform students and parents of WA state Running Start program that you can get into CA schools. When I first attended a meeting with my oldest d many years ago they said that Running Start was just accepted by WA schools. So when my youngest d decided to go this route, I figured she would just stay in state. When it came to time to apply, on her list she chose 4 CA schools She was accepted into all of them. (Cal Poly SLO, Cal Poly Pomona, SDSU and UCSD) She only took 3 AP courses (Calc AB, BC and World History) She only took one AP test. (She had to pass Calc AB with a 5 in order to skip to Calc 3 at the college) She took Calc BC to stay in touch with her classmates at the HS and her fabulous Calc Teacher who provided extra help if she needed it while taking Calc 3 and Calc 4 at the college. When it came time for Cal Poly to accept her classes, she was happy that they took all her courses. She finished her Calc series, Physics series, English and Speech requirements. She still has a few humanities courses to complete but they also took her Statics, Dynamics and Mechanics of Materials series too. So with that being said, she is hoping that she will be able to graduate possibly a year early and therefore saving money. So I hope this helps someone who is considering doing Running Start and to say that you do have options other than WA and other NW schools.

I think that you may have misunderstood what was originally told to you or the person had no idea what they were talking about. Like other states that have similar dual entry programs, the credits are guaranteed to transfer to in state public schools by law. Out of state public and all private schools can decide what to do with them. Depending upon the school, they may take all, some or none.


Yes, in WA it’s guaranteed. Elsewhere it isn’t. Cal Poly in particular is very helpful and accepting of outside credits, maybe more so to FTF than a CA CC transfer student.

I am in WA and my kids were repeatedly told that Running Start was only useful within WA. Last kid just graduated in June.

Every state has direct articulation agreements for DE classes taken in HS and for CC courses. Just because a school OOS doesn’t have those agreements, doesn’t mean they’ll ignore the courses. It depends completely on the destination school.

Then you have some very unknowable people giving the presentations. Anything that generates a college transcript needs to be reported when applying and is eligible for transfer credit evaluation.

This school correctly describes the process IHS COUNSELING - Frequently Asked Questions

My kids had no interest in Running Start because none of them wanted to stay in WA. Kinda bugged that we got that bad info.

In the “It depends what the meaning of is, is,” they are correct. It only works as a direct, guaranteed articulation agreement in WA. Outside of WA, your results will vary. CP for example is very good at using outside credits, whereas Dartmouth, who won’t even take AP, might not be. So, does it “work” outside of WA? No and yes.

The Ohio publics are pretty generous with their transfer credits from other schools. We looked at out of state publics and found that the credits earned at public universities in Ohio were not only accepted, but accepted as fulfilling the major (engineering) or GE requirements as well, not just as general credits.

Case Western is a private in Ohio that has updated its transfer credit policies. They’ve become very generous in their evaluations of transcripts for both dual enrolled and transfers too.

If you’ve got a lot of running start/dual enrollment credits and want them to be useful look at schools in Ohio.

I know. I remember getting told that same information. I plan on letting my kids’ former HS counselors know about it so when they give these informational talks on AP, IB & Running Start, they have correct information.

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You know, I had no idea CP is helpful and accepting of outside credits. I was just talking with another mom from WA who has a S at CP and I was saying that my D was thinking of maybe doing a summer school class to get rid of an econ class. She was under the impression that CP was not accepting of our local college credits. Again, we have bad information being said out there by our school counselors.

My son took several AP classes that were dual enrollment (DE) at the local university. When he got to Cal Poly and met with his first advisor, they went through every possible use of his credits and determined the better of AP vs DE and used the best option. For example, AP Chem would have tested him out of half of his Chemistry requirement, but the DE credit got him out of the whole thing. So yes, very helpful.

Now, the second question is should a student actually use that credit? Cal Poly is also helpful at rounding up syllabi and old tests from classes students will potentially skip. If they take the test and are clueless, they should repeat. If they are a little rusty or hammered it, they should brush up and move forward. My son was able to start in Calc III, Physics II, and skip Chemistry all together. It benefited him greatly as he was able to get a BS/MS in ME in 5 years, with a thesis, at a relatively moderate course load. The average ME takes 5 years for a BS alone.

My kids didn’t want to leave campus for a half day every day to go to community college, and instead preferred to take AP classes at their high school, so it worked out fine. I’m just bugged that we were misinformed.

Who would? The cat’s meow is dual enrollment where the upper level AP classes like Physics C and Chemistry dually enroll with a college class that teaches the curriculum. Essentially it’s a college class in the HS.

Dual enrollment was only offered for a handful of classes at our school - like some Spanish classes. It wasn’t offered for any AP classes.

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