ORCA Frequently Asked Questions

What are the costs?

Tuition is free for up to 15 credits. Under an arrangement that mirrors Running Start, students are responsible for books, lab fees, student fees,  some field trip costs, tuition over 15 credits and transportation.

How do I apply?

Students need to take a Placement test (either COMPASS or ASSET) to determine college readiness in English and Math (make sure to take the college algebra portion of the placement exam). These scores need to be submitted to the Running Start Office by May 2nd. Submit the ORCA application (available online) also by May1st. Once these scores are reviewed by the ORCA faculty, an interview may be scheduled.

Who is eligible?

The Academy is recruiting students who will be high school juniors or seniors in the fall of 2017.

How is this different from Running Start?

While the same students are eligible, students in Running Start take courses in traditional classes on main EvCC campus along with other traditional students. Each quarter there is a new instructor for the next class. ORCA faculty work with the same students for two years, changing the curriculum to build on what was previously taught. ORCA interested students complete the Running Start Application and an additional application for ORCA that includes three essays and a letter of recommendation, all due by May 1st.

Can students participate in extracurricular activities?

Students can still participate in any activities available at their sponsoring high school. They are also eligible for any activity at Everett Community College except for athletics.

What if I'm not the best science student and am not interested in pursuing a career in science?

The problem-solving nature of science is transferable to any subject. Science is about asking questions, trying to find answers and generating more questions in the process. Students will receive a rich education in all of the core subjects, similar to a small liberal arts college. Regardless of which university or community college a student attends, there are general university requirements (GURs) all students must fulfill. GURs are credits in humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. At ORCA, students satisfy these requirements as part of their associate's of arts and science degree.

Where are the classes held?

ORCA has a new facility on the second floor of the Port of Everett's Waterfront Center. Designed specifically for ORCA, the location is ideally situated on the water in the 12th Street Yacht Basin. Five instructional classrooms, faculty offices,  a common area, and lunchroom adjoin the state of the art research lab designed for ORCA students. 1205 Craftsman Way, Suite 203, Everett, WA 98201. (There is an Everett Transit stop in front of the building)

What are the hours?

Approximately 9-2.

From where do students graduate?

Like Running Start, the high school diploma is issued by the sponsoring high school. If students earn all 90 college credits, they will also receive their Associates of Arts and Sciences (AAS) from Everett Community College.

Where can I go after I graduate?

Regardless of whether or not the student earns the AAS degree, students are eligible for admission to any four year school (and viewed as an incoming freshman with college credit). If an AAS is earned, students may enter the university as a junior. Most of the public and private schools in Washington and Oregon accept students with an AAS degree if they meet certain grade point standards.

Students not planning on additional schooling will have what employers are looking for: effective communication and collaborative problem solving skills.

Who are the teachers?

The Faculty are employees of Everett Community College. All have a Master’s degree and a passion for their discipline. Wendy Houston, Josh Searle, Robin Araniva, Shelli Jordan-Zirkle, Marina McLeod and Cara Stoddard are thrilled to be part of the ORCA faculty.

What classes should I take during my freshman and sophomore years?

To be ready to focus on the four core subjects, students should try and fulfill their P.E., foreign language and fine arts credits. Also, the more math and science students experience the better. There is an opportunity for an elective class or two during the senior year at ORCA for remaining high school requirements or university admission criteria.

What if I decide this school isn’t the place for me?

Students can transfer back to their sponsoring high school at the end of the ten week quarter or become a regular running start student.