One of the most important steps in planning for college is to ensure that you are academically prepared. Current high school graduation requirements differ from college entrance requirements. This means that students and families must clearly understand what colleges require when selecting high school courses.
Download the College Entrance Requirements grid to learn what is required for each type of college pathway.
We encourage all students to start planning for their life beyond high school as early as possible and take challenging coursework all through high school to maximize their post-secondary options.
Advanced Placement (AP)
The Advanced Placement program is a College Board program, allowing students to access college level curriculum and prepare for their post-secondary transition. Students who take AP tests in March can earn college credit, depending on their score and the college they plan to attend.
To learn more about Advanced Placement courses, talk with your high school counselor and visit the College Board.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
The International Baccalaureate Diploma program is a series of college preparation courses developed for juniors and seniors. The IB Diploma follows a two-year comprehensive program that incorporates the best elements of college preparation from a number of countries. IB courses are offered at two SPS schools, Ingraham and Chief Sealth International.
To learn more about the International Baccalaureate program, visit the IBO.
Running Start (Dual Enrollment)
Running Start is a recognized alternative course of study offered by community colleges and available to high school students who have earned sufficient credits to obtain at least 11th grade standing. Eligible students must be enrolled in a Washington state public high school, or meet all applicable requirements for home‐based instruction students, and demonstrate readiness for college level or professional/technical coursework in a college environment. There are major funding and enrollment changes to Running Start beginning in Fall 2011. Please read the Running Start Program Update for more information.
To learn more about Running Start options talk with your high school counselor, the Running Start Coordinator at your local community college and visit OSPI Running Start Program.
A Tech Prep course contains a signed articulation agreement between Seattle Public Schools (Career and Technical Education) and at least one community/technical college. A student earning a Tech Prep Completer has completed 360 hours in any single CTE program area. The student must have passing grades in all courses within the program area for the courses to be counted for completer status. Tech Prep is the ‘AP’ of CTE. This program enables high school students to complete college-level courses while still in high school.
To learn more about Tech Prep, talk with your high school counselor and explore Career and Technical Education or Seattle Community Colleges Tech Prep.