Student participation in Running Start and Early College programs up 31 percent

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CONCORD, NH – Two programs run by the Community College System of NH and funded by the New Hampshire Department of Education have seen significant growth in participation this year when compared to last year, according to state data. Student participation in both Running Start and Early College at CCSNH increased last fall to 6,274 when compared to the fall of 2017, when 4,779 students took classes. The programs allow high school students to take classes for college credits which can be transferred to many colleges in New Hampshire and across the United States.

According to the data, 6,114 students enrolled in one or more dual credit courses at their high schools through Running Start, with 7,716 total course registrations, and 160 students enrolled in one or more Early College courses which are taken at a community college campus, with 313 total course registrations.

One hundred high schools in the state offer courses through the Running Start program.

“Dual credit programs are an excellent way to help students accelerate their education,” stated Frank Edelblut, the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education. “We are encouraged by the growth of these programs during the last year and hope that all schools will take advantage of this opportunity for their students.”

This academic year, funding was available for students to take up to two STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) courses in districts where the local school board had approved participation in the program. As of late December, 78 schools and school boards had issued approvals. Close to $1.1 million in scholarship funding is expected to be awarded to Granite State students taking dual and early college enrollments in 2018 and 2019.

The most popular classes taken by students during this academic school year are Calculus, Medical Terminology, Statistics, Quantitative Reasoning, and College Composition. Concord High School and its regional tech center have the most enrollments in the state followed by Pinkerton Academy and its career and technical center, Seacoast School of Technology, Pelham High School, and Nashua High School South and its tech center.

A full school participation list and a list of the most popular of classes are attached in .pdf format.

“One of the reasons our state is investing in free and reduced community college credits, including programs like New Hampshire Career Academy, is because it is a great way students can jumpstart their college and career readiness while still in high school,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “Having students from so many New Hampshire high schools in these programs shows that students are smartly taking advantage of this great opportunity and positioning themselves for academic and professional success.”

“The Community College System of New Hampshire created the Running Start and Early College programs in order to provide NH students with opportunities to advance in their education in a cost-effective way, and get a jump start on the postsecondary education that is so essential to economic and career advancement in today’s economy,” said Ross Gittell, CCSNH chancellor.  “We are pleased to see the increase in enrollment over the past year because it shows that students and their families are taking advantage of accelerated pathways in our state to meet educational goals.”

For more information about the Running Start and Early College programs, visit