Running Start enrollment has doubled in two years at Big Bend Community College and now accounts for more than 15 percent of BBCC’s student headcount, according to enrollment numbers posted by the college.
There are 352 Running Start students attending BBCC this winter and 357 attended last fall. That’s more than double the 172 Running Start students at BBCC in winter of 2013.
The Running Start program allows high school juniors and seniors to attend community college tuition-free while they earn high school graduation credits and college credits at the same time. In 2014, 41 BBCC Running Start students earned a high school diploma and an associate degree at BBCC.
College officials think a change in requirements for entering the program contributed to the increase. Students formerly had to place at college level in both math and English to enroll in Running Start. The new requirement allows students passing one of those placement tests to enter the program.