Who's Eligible for Running Start?

Students must be in 11th or 12th grade as determined by the public high school. Home schooled students will work with their school's District Office annually to determine grade level (home school students in the Bellingham District should contact the high school registrar). Students attending a private school must register with a public high school to receive Running Start funding.

Eligible students must place at college-level English and reading as determined by Accuplacer tests.

Attend an Information Meeting...

To learn more about Running Start, please attend a one-hour information meeting. No RSVP necessary.  (Campus map). 

Sign-up to take the Placement Test...

To qualify for Running Start, students take both the Sentence Skills (English) and Reading placement tests.  (Students who have earned a score of "4" or "5" on the AP English Language/Comp exam are exempt from placement testing.) A one-time Testing Fee of $20 will be charged unless the student is eligible for a Fee Waiver. Call 360.383.3123 to sign-up for a test.

Placement Testing for Fall 2014 and Beyond!

  • Placement testing continues throughout the summer by appointment. Please call the Running Start Office at 360-383-3123 to schedule a testing appointment.

Important testing information: 

  • Bring picture ID with you.  Arrive on time. Before paying the testing fee, go to the assigned testing room unless otherwise directed.
  • When you complete the English and Reading tests, you will be given your scores. Please bring them to the Running Start Office where you will receive more information and learn about your next steps. If you need further information about enrolling in courses, please contact the Running Start Office at 360.383.3123 or email
  • For directions to the campus and to locate the Laidlaw Center, please view our campus map

Practice Questions:
Practice Questions are available for review (on the right-side column, select Free Sample Questions. Review the Sentence Skills and Reading exercises only - DO NOT USE the Math or ESL questions).

Special testing instructions for students with an IEP or 504 plan:
Students who need to test under special conditions should make arrangements through a Running Start advisor before coming to the College. Advisor names and phone numbers are listed here. Please do not sign up for a group test before speaking to an advisor.

ESL - English as a Second Language Testing:
Students who were enrolled or are currently enrolled in ELL or ESL classes in high school should contact the Running Start Office at 360.383.3126 and arrange to take the QUIA test at the College. Please allow 3.5 hours for this test.

Math Testing:
Students who wish to take a math class or a math-based science class at the college must first take the WCC math placement test.  (Students are encouraged to take math either at the high school or at the college every year.)  The math placement test is usually completed in a separate session after students have taken the initial Sentence Skills and Reading tests (outlined above). 

Students take the math test independently in the Testing Center (Laidlaw 133) during open hours.  Testing Center hours for the Summer Quarter (July 1st to August 8th) are as follows:

  • Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday: 8:30am-4pm
  • Tuesday: 8:30am-7pm
  • Call 360.383.3052 for open hours between quarters.

Please bring photo ID and arrive in the Testing Center at least 1.5 hours before it is scheduled to close.  When re-taking a math test, please report to the Running Start office before going to the Testing Center.

  • Study help can be found on WCC's Online Math Center.  This site has a list of concepts covered on each math test. Paper handouts of this information are also available in the Running Start Office, Laidlaw 134.
  • No calculators needed. 
  • Bring photo ID and your Whatcom Community College ID number
  • Only college-level math is funded by Running Start.  However, students may self-pay for below-college level (algebra) courses.

When you have your Math Placement results, bring your score sheet to the Running Start office in Laidlaw 134, or call a Running Start advisor the next day.

Important Forms


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View the Fall 2014 Schedule!


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Running Start Office
Laidlaw Center 134
8 a.m. - 5 p.m., M-F
P: (360) 383-3123
Campus Map / Directions