Skip to main content
info@wsac.wa.gov | (360) 753-7800
917 Lakeridge Way SW | Olympia, WA 98502

Dual Credit

Dual Credit Graphic

Dual credit programs give students the opportunity to earn high school and college credit simultaneously. Students who earn college credit are more likely to graduate high school, enroll in college, and complete college degrees.

There are three main ways that students can get dual credit. 

1. Credit by passing a college course

Complete and pass college courses through Running Start and College in the High School. 

2. Credit by examination 

Complete standardized exams with a score of 3 or better. Exams include Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge International Program.

3. Credit by articulation

Complete career and technical education (CTE) dual credit courses. 

Dual Enrollment Scholarship Pilot Program

The 2019 Legislature passed House Bill 1973 establishing the Dual Enrollment Scholarship pilot program to be administered by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC). To implement, WSAC convened a multi-stakeholder group to design the program within the guidelines identified in the legislation with representatives from the Council of Presidents (COP), the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Students who are eligible must qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (FRPL), be enrolled in College in the High School (CiHS) or Running Start (RS) courses at a pilot site location, and have a minimum GPA of 2.0. For RS, grants are distributed to the participating colleges and universities and scholarships cover course fees/lab fees and provide a textbook voucher. 

The CiHS component was implemented at 17 high schools for Fall 2019 and the RS component was implemented at 3 colleges in spring quarter, January 2020. The 2020 Legislature passed Senate Bill 6374, expanding the DES pilot program to cover apprenticeship materials for eligible students. Due to this expansion, the RS portion of the pilot program opened a competitive application process and selected 6 additional colleges to serve as pilot sites. View a map of current pilot site locations.

Dual Credit Programs in Washington State

Background

Background

The state's Launch Year Act, signed into law in 2011, requires all public high schools in Washington to work toward increasing the number of dual credit courses offered to high school students. Although there are a variety of dual credit programs offered in Washington, not all programs are available at all high schools.

2015 legislation (E2SHB 1546), expanded opportunities for College in the High School, established funding models, and provided for existing funds to be used to assist Running Start students with transportation, books, and fees.

Running Start

Running Start

Washington's Running Start program allows 11th and 12th grade students to take college courses at Washington’s community and technical colleges and at Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Washington State University, and Northwest Indian College. Running Start courses are regular college courses offered on the college campus. Students pay no tuition. However, they do pay for transportation, books, and fees.

College in the High School

College in the High School

College in the High School (CiHS) programs provide college academic courses to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. Courses are taught at the high school, by high school teachers, with college curriculum, college textbooks, and oversight by college faculty and staff. Students pay tuition. Some state subsidies are available for rural and small schools and for low-income students. WSAC administers the Dual Enrollment Scholarship Pilot Program and provides tuition assistance for low-income students enrolled in CiHS courses at participating pilot high schools. 

Washington Reviewed College in the High School Programs
2020-21 School Year

NACEP Accredited 
  • Eastern Washington University 
  • Edmonds College 
  • Everett Community College 
  • University of Washington 
  • Wenatchee Valley Community College 
Washington Reviewed and Approved 
  • Bellevue College 
  • Big Bend Community College
  • Cascadia College
  • Centralia College
  • Central Washington University
  • Green River College
  • Lower Columbia College
  • North Seattle College   
  • Skagit Valley Community College
  • South Puget Sound Community College 
  • Spokane Community College 
  • Spokane Falls Community College 
  • Tacoma Community College 
  • Walla Walla Community College 
  • Whatcom Community College 

AP, Cambridge International, IB

AP, Cambridge International, IB

Advanced Placement (AP), Cambridge, and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs enable students to take rigorous high school courses, taught by high school teachers, at the high school. Upon completion of the course, students may take a standardized exam. Depending on how they score, they may earn college credit. Colleges award varying levels of credit based on exam scores.  Use the online Dual Credit Look-Up Tool to determine which colleges grant credit for which exams and scores. Students do not pay tuition, but do pay fees for the final standardized exams. Fee waivers may be available for lower-income students, if funding is available.

CTE Dual Credit  

CTE Dual Credit

Career and technical education (CTE) classes integrate academics with technical skill development to help prepare students for advanced education and careers related to "professional-technical" occupations. The CTE Dual Credit program helps students transition from high school into postsecondary professional technical programs. Tech Prep is a cooperative effort between K-12 schools, community and technical colleges, and the business community to develop applied, integrated academic and technical programs. Courses are taught by high school teachers, at the high school. Students do not pay tuition.

More Dual Credit Programs

More Dual Credit Programs

Check the OSPI Dual Credit Resources Page or visit the program links below for information about other programs.

Bright Future Program

Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI) offers an award-winning dual-credit program—Bright Future—for 11th and 12th graders who enroll in allied health, business computers, pre-apprenticeship construction, or Cosmetology at SVI. Bright Future integrates community college-based workforce education programs with the academic program of high school juniors and seniors. In addition, it offers comprehensive case management, including academic and career advising, providing students with support while they earn a high school diploma, a certificate of mastery from a community and technical college, and work experience. Finally, the program helps graduates in their transition to work, further education, or both.

Career Link

Career Link is a high school completion program at South Seattle Community College for students ages 16 to 21 who no longer attend traditional high school. The program supports personal and academic development to help students achieve their high school diploma and make the transition to postsecondary education. Students may earn dual credit for high school completion and college credit. Youth who enroll in the program attend full time at no cost.

Early College

The Early College program provides low-income youth, first-generation college-goers, English language learners, students of color, and other young people underrepresented in higher education the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and one to two years of college credit at the same time, tuition free. More information can be found at the following links:

Gateways for Incarcerated Youth

The Evergreen State College faculty members lead seminars at juvenile correctional facilities for college credit, at no cost to youth. Evergreen students and volunteers serve as academic mentors and coaches in the Gateways for Incarcerated Youth program.

Gateway to College

Gateway to College assists students ages 16 to 21 who have dropped out of school or are in danger of dropping out. Eligible students may qualify for this program to concurrently accumulate high school and college credits, earning their high school diploma while progressing toward a certificate or associate degree. 

Technical College Direct Funded Enrollment Programs

The programs linked below allow students to concurrently earn high school and college credits while progressing toward an associate degree or certificate. Students who enroll have access to most of the training programs and support services at any of the three participating colleges: