Running Start

Running Start is a program that enables eligible high school students to take college classes. Enroll in college classes for the purpose of earning both college and high school credit, or just college credit. All courses remain on your permanent college transcript.

  • Eligibility
    • This opportunity is available to individuals who demonstrate strong academic ability based on performance either inside or outside of the classroom (e.g., GPA, test scores, extra curricular activities)
    • Course prerequisites must be satisfied as identified in the McHenry County College catalog.
    • Placement tests must have satisfactory scores to enroll in an English, reading, or math course or a course that requires one of these as a prerequisite. ACT scores of 21 or above in English and reading waive placement tests for those subjects.
    • MCC has an academic standards policy requiring that students maintain a 2.0 “C” grade average.
  • Enrollment Procedure

    Students Age 14 and Above:

    1. Student meets with high school counselor and completes MCC High School Plus Registration form and obtains high school transcript to verify grade point average and determine possible course prerequisites.
    2. If student is taking an English, reading, or math class OR a course that requires one of these as a prerequisite, the student must take placement tests in the Testing Center A245 (815) 455-8984. Tests are given at no charge on a walk-in basis.
    3. Student and guardian bring PCCS/Running Start Registration form, high school transcript, and placement test results (if required) to MCC' Registration office.
    4. Students age 14 or 15 must obtain a signature on the High School Plus form from the MCC instructor.
    5. Student takes this form to Registration A258 to register for course(s), pays tuition, and purchases textbooks in bookstore.
    6. Student MUST complete PCCS/Running Start Registration form EACH semester they wish to take courses at MCC. Once student graduates, they follow application procedures as college students. If a student wishes to receive high school credit also, it is their responsibility to contact their school.

    Home School Students

    Follow same procedure as above except parent(s) complete PCCS/Running Start Registration form instead of high school counselor or school official.

  • High School Counselor Information
    • Contact Tony Capalbo at (815) 455-8569 with questions.
    • Please be aware that some classes offered at MCC are designed as 8-week courses.
    • Awarding dual credit (high school along with college) is determined on the high school level. Procedures for this process should be designed by each high school.
    • The section on the PCCS/Running Start Registration form must be completed in full with course title, prefix, number, and section. In lieu of a specific section, a time slot must be indicated for when student is available to take the course. A substitute course should also be listed in case the original selection is filled.
  • What it's like to take a course at MCC

    Once you enroll under this program and begin attending MCC, you're considered a college student. Faculty expect the same level of performance as expected of other college students.

  • MCC's academic calendar

    MCC operates on a semester system, which may be different from the high school academic calendar. Holidays the college celebrates and vacation periods may be different from high school schedules and you may be expected to attend classes at the college even though your high school in not in session.

    See the academic calendar »

  • Class Attendance

    Though faculty may or may not take attendance, it's your responsibility to be prepared each day and meet all deadlines.

  • The difference between the college classroom and the high school classroom

    Class participation is an integral part of college and most faculty require students to participate in classroom discussions which are taught at a much faster pace than classes in high school.

  • Homework

    College classes demand approximately two hours of homework for each hour of class. Generally, there will be no classroom time for homework.

  • Transportation

    You are responsible for your own transportation to and from classes.