Go: Where to Begin

Dual credit is an opportunity for growth and exploration. Participation in dual credit should be driven by a student’s personal, career and educational goals and interests with awareness about fit within the different programs including academic readiness and preparation. The key to all advanced coursework is the role and value of learning.

If you decide dual credit is a form of accelerated coursework you are interested in, the first step in learning more about dual credit is to visit with a student’s high school counselor. They will have great information about current programs and what courses a student should consider based on their college and career goals.  

Washington’s public four-year college and universities are also a great resource.  Each college reaches out to high schools every year to provide opportunities to connect about college.

Some tips:

  • Plan early, respect deadlines and be responsive to communications.
  • Ask questions and keep track of contacts and correspondence.
  • College and high school are different. Depending on the type of dual credit program you choose to participate be aware that:
    • Application and enrollment are handled by the college that offers the course for Running Start and College in the High School.
    • Calendars may be different between colleges and high schools.
    • How credit is transcribed to your high school and college transcript.
    • Understanding access to student information if enrolled at college or university through Running Start and College in the High School. Who has access? What information is accessible to individuals that are not students?

Families – What is Important to Know

Dual credit is an opportunity for growth and exploration. Dual credit programs provide students with an introduction to college including coursework, study habits, college culture and expectations. College requires preparation, commitment and organization. For some students this is a different experience compared to prior educational experiences.  Dual credit programs offer a bridge between K-12 and higher education that gives students a strong start in their first year of college. Participating in dual credit also provides students with an opportunity to explore their educational and career options.

Some tips:

  • Talk with your student and help them think through what their personal, educational and career goals are.  Students don’t need to have an exact plan or know all of the details about their future but should know their interests and considerations about their future. Do they have a specific goal?  Are they interested in learning more and exploring?
  • Talk with your student about their learning style. Do they do well on exams?  Are they an applied learner? Do they like to learn with peers or work alone?
  • Washington’s public four-year colleges and universities support access to, the enrollment in and successful completion of the most rigorous, quality and relevant high school curriculum that a student is ready and prepared to undertake, taking full advantage of the diverse options available to them throughout their middle and high school years. 
  • Washington’s public four-year college and universities do not value one dual credit program over another. We look at the whole student and a student’s journey up to the point they apply to one of the state’s public four-year college or universities.
  • While students may earn college credit in addition to high school credit, Washington’s public four-year college and universities believe the experience of participating in a dual credit course provides value in the experience, preparation and exploration. Students will gain valuable knowledge, skills and experience even if they choose not to take the exam.
  • Talk with your student’s high school counselor and the college or university to learn about the different dual credit programs and what may be the best fit for your student both in terms of learning as well as scheduling and access. We want this experience to be a positive one for the student.
  • College cost savings may be achieved through dual credit but is dependent on several caveats. There has been no national research or research in Washington to determine if and if so, how much college cost savings may be attained through dual credit programs. When consider college savings students should:
    • Focus on college courses found in the first year of college in a wide variety of subjects such as English, mathematics, natural sciences, humanities and social sciences.
    • Reach out to colleges and universities and meet with admissions counselors to learn more about courses that meet general education requirements or provide exposure to majors students may be interested in exploring.
    • Washington has several resources for dual credit college equivalencies:
      • College and university AP/IB/Cambridge equivalencies 
      • College and university course equivalencies

More to explore! To learn more about dual credit options, visit our resources page.