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For Parents

Running Start Parent Video Testimonial

Parental Access to Faculty and Student Records

Tacoma Community College is covered under FERPA (Federal Education Right to Privacy Act) and follows federal guidelines concerning access to student records. We are not allowed to give information regarding a student's attendance or progress (even if the student is under 18 years of age). Faculty will not discuss a student's progress with anyone without the student's participation. Students are expected to conduct themselves like college students.

Release forms are available through the Running Start office and must be given to the Running Start advisor for parents to have access to student records such as class schedule and grades. Running Start advisors do not have access to information about attendance or performance in courses until grades are submitted at the end of the quarter.

Is My Student Ready for Running Start? 

It is important to carefully consider each student's maturity level in choosing the Running Start Program. Although a student is academically prepared for college-level course work, he/she may find the independence necessary for a successful experience too demanding. Students are starting a permanent college transcript when they take the first college class. If they perform poorly, they may jeopardize future college plans. Parents and students should carefully evaluate readiness.

Running Start classes place an increased demand on students, so it is important to monitor their class loads. Running Start students should be enrolled full-time between the high school and college, but should not over-enroll or take too few classes. Discuss the total academic picture with your high school and college counselors.

Program Limitations

  • Costs of transportation, class and campus fees, purchase of textbooks and materials are the responsibility of the student. Textbooks can run $100 to $200 per course and fees can average $50 to $200 per quarter (book and fee assistance is available for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch at the high school).
  • The college operates on a quarter system, which is different from the high school academic calendar. Students are expected to attend classes at the college even though their high schools are not in session.
  • The high school is the authority on graduation requirements. Students must work closely with high school counselors to avoid problems with graduation. 
  • Students who are socially connected to high school may feel they are missing out on their high school experience.
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