‘Running Start’ picks up steam

Nashua Community College, along with our high school partners, is proud to see the Running Start program create new opportunities for students each year – but the past fall has been one of marked growth.

This is due in large part to local high schools since they deliver college courses that enable students to earn college credit from their classrooms.

How it works:

Credentialed by the Community College System of New Hampshire, high school faculty teach Running Start courses right in their classrooms. The curriculum of a high school Running Start class is aligned with courses taught at NCC, so the content and rigor of the class is comparable to the college course. To secure their college credits, high school students pay $150 per class, and need-based funds are available through CCSNH. The $150 per course cost is a steep discount from a typical college class, which runs $210 per credit for three and four-credit classes. Students who successfully complete Running Start classes can request a college transcript, no different than the transcript of any other college student. The credits can be used toward college and university programs all over the country, not just at NCC. Students earn their regular high school credit along with college credit. For a list of where students have transferred Running Start credits, visit www.ccsnh.edu/academics/running-start.

Running Start opportunities in Greater Nashua:

More than 15 high schools coordinate with NCC to deliver 40-plus courses from Automotive Service & Maintenance to Website Development, and everything in between. Running Start is known for offering Career and Technical Education courses, but advanced science courses such as Anatomy and Physiology, art classes like Photography & Digital Imaging, and computer and software courses are all available. Students can also fulfill general credits, such as English 101, through Running Start.

While the program has been in place nearly 20 years, we’ve been seeing a recent surge of interest from students and parents; as well as the State of New Hampshire. In 2018, funding will be available for junior and senior students to take up to two STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) per year. Once approved by local school boards, students in designated STEM and STEM-related courses can be reimbursed for these Running Start courses after finishing the class with a C or better. Reimbursements will be available after final grades are verified.

The next academic year will bring a longer list of courses, and potentially new school partners as NCC and high school staff continue their work to bring college opportunities to the high school level.

With the fall semester drawing to a close, the next opportunity for high school students to enroll in Running Start classes will be spring semester for half-year classes, and next fall for full-year classes. Depending on the high school, courses are offered on a full-year and semester basis. The best way to learn more is to talk to high school counselors about what is available at your high school, and how to enroll. More information about Running Start, including a course list, participating schools, and how high school teachers can be credentialed to lead Running Start classes, can be found online at nashuacc.edu/academics/running-start.

Lucille Jordan is president of Nashua Community College, located at 505 Amherst St., Nashua.