Running Start

Back to Top Get on the fast track to a college education!

Running Start allows highly-qualified high school juniors to earn a high school diploma from their local high school or homeschool while simultaneously earning a transfer degree from SWIC: an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Fine Arts, or Associate of Engineering Science. 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.

Running Start 1.0 allows highly qualified high school seniors to earn one year of college credit while simultaneously earning credit to earn their high school diploma from their local high school or homeschool. At the end of the year, high school graduates may choose to return to SWIC to complete an associate degree or they may transfer to another college or university. 

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.

Back to Top 2016-17 Participating high schools

The Running Start Program began as a pilot program in fall 2012 with ten students from one high school. Today, the program has 228 students enrolled for fall semester 2016, representing 14 public high school partners and area home schools.

    • Belleville 
    • Cahokia
    • Collinsville
    • East St. Louis 
    • East St. Louis Charter
    • Granite City
    • Highland
    • Home Schools
    • Lebanon
    • Marissa
    • Mascoutah
    • New Athens
    • O'Fallon 
    • Triad
    • Waterloo

    Back to Top Get a running start on college!

    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.

    Program Requirements

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

    • Be currently enrolled as a high school sophomore, preparing to enter junior year
    • 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 placement assessment and test into college-level English and math courses
    • Have completed all documents necessary for participation

    To be eligible for Running Start 1.0, students must meet the following criteria:

    • Be currently enrolled as a high school junior, preparing to enter senior year
    • 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 two years of high school algebra and geometry
    • Take the SWIC placement assessment and test into college-level English and math courses
    • Have completed all documents necessary for participation

    Southwestern Illinois College has established the minimum program requirements listed above. Some high schools have enhanced the program requirements. Please contact your local high school for more information. 

    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 RunningStart@swic.edu.

    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.

    Back to Top Transferring after Running Start

    Running Start participants have transferred to these colleges and universities following program completion:

    Ball State UniversitySoutheast Missouri State
    Barnes-Jewish Goldfarb School of Nursing Southern Illinois University Carbondale
    Baylor University Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
    Bradley University Saint Louis University
    Brigham Young University Provo Southwest Baptist University
    Concordia University of Montreal St. Andrews University, North Carolina
    Greenville College University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    Illinois State UniversityUniversity of Kansas
    Kansas State University University of Kentucky
    Louisiana State University Baton Rouge University of Minnesota
    McKendree University University of Missouri - Columbia
    Missouri University of Science and TechnologyUniversity of Missouri - St. Louis
    Ozark Christian CollegeUniversity of Southern Mississippi - Gulfport
    Penn StateUniversity of Tampa
    Purdue University Washington University 
    Quincy University Webster University 
    Rockhurst University 

    Running Start students have been accepted by these additional colleges and universities:

    Arizona State UniversityGeorgia Institute of Technology
    Arkansas State University Illinois Institute of Technology 
    Augusta University Indiana University
    Belmont University St. Francis Medical Center College of Nursing 
    Butler University St. Xavier University 
    Columbia College - Chicago University of Alabama 
    Concordia University University of Arizona 
    Culver-Stockton College University of Chicago 
    DigiPen Institute of Technology University of Colorado 
    Duke University University of Denver 
    Eastern Illinois University University of Mississippi 
    Franciscan University