Running Start Gives Students The Opportunity to Excel

Ms.+Breanna+Watkins
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Running Start Gives Students The Opportunity to Excel

Ms. Breanna Watkins

Ms. Breanna Watkins

Ms. Breanna Watkins

Ms. Breanna Watkins

Laila Avery, Reporter

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The worst thing that can happen to a student in Running Start is for them to not speak up if they’re not understanding any of the material.”

— Breanna Watkins

‘Tis the season for Running Start! If you’re a junior or senior interested in pursuing a STEM field after high school, get a head start on your tuition-free college education with Cochise College’s Running Start Academy! Applications are due by May 1st, so visit Breanna Watkins in the office on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Rosa McPherson, the academy’s administrator, on Wednesdays! Seeking to get some insider information on just what the program was and how it could benefit students, Watkins set aside some of her time to provide the need-to-knows of Running Start for anyone interested. We started off with simply what Running Start was:

“Running Start is a program through Cochise where it’s for students interested in any STEM related field… if they’re interested in pursuing that after high school, they can get an early start on college classes by enrolling in our Running Start Academy,” said Watkins. She continued, “Once the graduate from high school, they’ll also already have the majority of their Associates Degree completed through Running Start.”

Sounds like a sweet deal, right? While it may be tempting, it’s important to recognize what exactly’s on your dinner plate. Many students that have started the Running Start program have dropped out or struggled to keep their grades up in the tough classes. Watkins answers that fact with the following: “The worst thing that can happen to a student in Running Start is for them to not speak up if they’re not understanding any of the material…”

She continues to explain that it is their goal as administrators to see every student succeed and get the help that they need. If you end up getting accepted to Running Start and find yourself not comprehending what’s being taught, get help! Additionally, Watkins says that they didn’t want any student to fall behind, as it is a lot of work that needs to be done! Stay on top of it, and get help when you need it!

Watkins then went on to expound on the application process. She stated, “To apply to Running Start, you do a paper application, and then Rosa McPherson, she is the person that runs the program, she reviews it and then she’ll conduct an interview with you and your parents just to see what are your goals after high school, if this program’s really beneficial for you, and to see if you’d be a good match for it, depending on the previous math classes that you’ve taken…once accepted, you’ll know about orientation and other things that happen during the summer.”

A slow and tedious process―that it is, but very important to make sure that you do well in the program. The dual-credit system means that your high school GPA and class rank will be affected by the grades you make at Cochise. As you can see, it’s a very serious affair! If you’re going to be a junior or senior next year, also consider if you fit the following stipulations:

“To join running start, you have to be at least a junior…you can be a senior, we do make some exceptions, but it’s for the most part juniors. It’s a program only offered currently for Buena and Tombstone High School students, and you need to have taken some type of higher level math. We recommend at least Algebra II, and that’s just because of the rigorous math in this program,” Watkins states. If you do fit those statistics, pick up an application from the office and pay them a visit if you have any extra questions. Play your cards right, and this opportunity will pay off.