Running Start

Looking for new educational opportunities?

The Running Start Pilot Project allows highly qualified high school students to earn a high school diploma while simultaneously earning an Associate of Arts degree from SWIC. While courses are offered at all SWIC campuses (Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City, and Red Bud), specific programs and courses may be available only at the Belleville Campus.

Anxious to get started on your college degree?

Running Start students will be integrated into existing college classes with advanced rigor and subject matter. Students will have the opportunity to work in a challenging educational environment and to excel academically while completing high school and college requirements.

Get on the fast track to a college education!

As SWIC students, Running Start participants can transfer to a four-year institution in the same manner as other community college students.  Students may choose to participate in high school athletics and other after-school programs. Running Start students may participate in SWIC student clubs, organizations, and activities, but may not compete in intercollegiate athletics.

What You Need

To be eligible for the program, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be currently enrolled as a high school sophomore
  • Possess and maintain a 3.00/4.00 GPA
  • Be in good standing with their high school institution
  • Be on track to graduate on time
  • Be recommended by their high school principal or counselor
  • Have completed one year of high school algebra and geometry
  • Take the SWIC COMPASS placement assessment and test into college-level English and math courses
  • Have completed all documents necessary for participation

You Should Know

Through Running Start, students will have the following responsibilities and opportunities:

  • Be subject to all college rules and regulations
  • Begin creating their college transcripts and records
  • Be considered as both a high school and college student
  • Attend school according to the college calendar

Tuition and Fees

The participation fees vary by high school.

Students are expected to provide their own transportation to the college campus. They may drive to any SWIC campus with no charge for parking.

Need more information?

Contact your local high school principal or the Running Start office at 618-641-5142 or

Students who qualify for the program by meeting all standards and criteria are identified by the high school and subsequently invited to an informational meeting for students and parents.

2014-15 Participating Schools

  • Belleville District 201
  • Cahokia
  • Granite City
  • Marissa
  • Mascoutah
  • New Athens
  • O'Fallon Township High School