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    Helping Students Prepare for College

    There are many steps students should take to be prepared for college. 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.

    Some high school courses offer students the ability to earn college and high school credit. These Dual-Credit opportunities support student success in college. 

    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 three SPS schools, Ingraham, Chief Sealth International, and Rainier Beach.

    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. 

    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.

    SAT and PSAT

    Seattle Public Schools administers the PSAT (Preliminary SAT) and SAT during the school day free of charge. Read more about the SAT and PSAT.

    Tech Prep

    To learn more about Tech Prep, talk with your high school counselor and explore Career and Technical Education or Seattle Community Colleges Tech Prep.