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Where is the Vail Early College located?

We are located at Pima Community College East on 8181 East Irvington Rd. Our office is E5-502.

Where will I be taking all my classes?

The Vail Early College is located at Pima Community College East, so all classes will take place in Pima East classroom. The only classes VEC students might be taking off Pima’s campus is an approved zero hour course at their graduating high school.

Will I have a Senior Exit Project at the Early College?

Yes! SEP is a graduation requirement for all students in the Vail School District. However, all Vail Early College students will follow the SEP for the Early College. More information about the Early College SEP can be found at

Will I still be eligible for University Scholarships, such as the NAU Lumberjack?

Yes! Since you are earning your college credits while at the Early College and prior to graduating from high school, you will be considered a freshman upon entering a four year university. As long as the students are dual enrolling (which you are), the classes will appear on the students’ high school transcript and be evaluated in the same manner as high school courses.

One important note though, after students graduate high school, if they earn 12 or more credits at the college level, they will be considered a Transfer student instead of a Freshman. This will impact scholarships, housing, etc. so it is important that college courses taken post-graduation are be closely monitored. College courses taken during the student’s high school career will not be counted toward Transfer status but any after will be!

Will I be able to buy a yearbook from my graduating high school? What about senior pictures?

Of course! While you may not be in it as much as prior years, you are still able to purchase a yearbook. Early College students will also still be able to have their senior picture in the yearbook of their graduating high school. Information regarding senior pictures and yearbook purchases will be posted on the Early College website once it is available from the other high schools.

What classes will I be required to take?

Along with taking 3-4 Pima courses, all Vail Early College students are required to take the following high school level courses American Government and College Success, which will be taught by a VEC teacher. VEC students will also complete the Senior Exit Project.

What Pima courses will I take?

VEC students will select 3-4 Pima courses per semester from a wide variety of approved courses offered on the Pima East campus. We follow the AGEC for selecting approved courses to ensure that courses transfer and help students will future college goals.

What is the AGEC?

AGEC (Arizona General Education Curriculum) are courses which meet lower division general education requirements for UA, NAU, ASU and other institutions, as well as the general education requirements for Pima’s transfer degrees. AGEC is the focus of the Pima courses that Vail Early College students will take.

There are three AGECs: AGEC-A (Liberal Arts), AGEC-S (Science), AGEC-B (Business)

More information can be found here: AGEC Information

Will I be considered as a freshman when I transfer to a 4-year university?

Well that all depends… but in general the answer is Yes!

If you go straight to a four-year university after graduation, you will be considered a freshman. You will have the advantage of having enough credits to be considered a sophomore but you will not lose out on the opportunity for freshman scholarships, etc.

If you stay at Pima for additional credits, you could considered a transfer student and then would be the “grade”  level based on the amount of credits you transfer to that four-year university. Earning over 12 credits after graduation would cause you to be considered a transfer student.

What is the cost to attend the Early College?

In general, nothing!  All approved course fees, including textbooks* will be paid for by the Early College.

However, there will be some fees and items that students will be responsible for such as:

  • Purchase a graphing calculator (TI-84)
  • Pay any applicable fees to their graduation high school (such as senior class fee or computer insurance fee)
  • Purchase regular school supplies, such as paper, pencils, folders, etc.

*Note: all textbooks will be the property of the Vail Early College. Students may purchase their own books if they want to write in them or keep them for future reference. Important information for future VEC Cohorts: While the textbooks are included for the inaugural cohort of VEC students, they may not be covered by the Vail School District for future cohorts and would be the responsibility of the student/parent.

Is transportation provided to Pima East from Vail?

Yes! There is a bus that will go between Empire High School to Pima East in the morning and afternoon. Students will need to take a bus from their bus stop to Empire where they will transfer to the bus that brings students to us at Pima East.

Students that need transportation will need to inform the Early College staff of their bussing needs to ensure the appropriate size bus is provided by Vail District Transportation!

Do I need to attend information nights at my graduating high school?

Generally no. Most of the information, such as SEP information night, does not pertain to Early College students. However, if we find out about an information night at your graduating high school you should attend (like information regarding graduation), we will send that information out!

Do I need to go to the Fee Pay days?

If you want a HS school ID so you can attend dances and get discounts on sporting events, YES! 

Otherwise… each HS is different. Some have fees and some don’t. Here is what you need to know regarding each HS:


  • If you are using a district laptop, then you will need to go to sign forms and pay the insurance fee of $50.
  • If you are taking an approved zero hour class that has a fee, you are responsible for paying that course fee.


  • Senior Class fee= $15
  • Senior Picture Fee = $15 (senior picture sitting fee for Yearbook)
  • If you are using a district laptop, then you will need to go to sign forms and pay the insurance fee of $50.
  • If you are participating in an Activity (i.e. sport/marching band) there is a $120 per sport/activity fee.


  • Senior Class fee= $10
  • If you are using a district laptop, then you will need to go to sign forms and pay the insurance fee of $50.
  • If you are participating in an Activity (i.e. sport/marching band) there is a $120 per sport/activity fee

Vail Academy

  • If you are using a district laptop, then you will need to go to sign forms and pay the insurance fee of $50.

When will I get my textbooks?

You will get all required textbooks for your Pima classes during the Fall & Spring semester bootcamps.

Laptops: Can we still use a district laptop?

Yes, you may still use the district Chromebook you have been using. However, students are able to bring their own laptop and sign into the Pima wifi.

Do I need a parking permit?

No! Pima has plenty of free parking and no permit is needed. Early College students will not need a parking permit at their high school of graduation, as they will not be on campus during school hours.

School IDs???

All Vail Early College students will have a Pima student ID, which they should have with them on a daily basis. All Pima resources require a Pima student ID.

Getting a student ID from your high school of graduation is up to you. If you plan on attending dances and other school functions where an ID is needed, then get one. Your Pima ID work in these situations. Also, if you want to get student discounts at sporting/performance events, you should get one too as your Pima ID also might not apply.

Graduation & High School Diploma

Our #1 focus for each of our Vail Early College students is graduating from your originating high school with a bunch of college credits! Each Early College student will earn a diploma from the high school that they attended prior to joining the Early College. Information regarding graduation will be distributed to students from each of the high schools as the information becomes available. Walking at graduation is optional, but Early College students not planning on walking should let their graduating high school know so they can plan accordingly.

Transcripts, GPA & Class Ranking

All courses taken at Vail Early College will appear on the high school transcripts of Early College students.

All Pima grades earned will be added to the high school transcripts of Early College students once the grades are released to the Early College staff by Pima at the end of each semester. Early College students do not need to provide transcripts to the Early College staff!

GPA and Class Ranking will be calculated according to how the graduating high school calculates GPA & Class Rank. Since all Early College students will still be in the Powerschool systems of their graduating high school, they will still be calculated as if they were currently at that high school. This makes for ease in pulling transcripts for college application, etc. However, each student should talk to their graduating high school for information about how their transfer credits will be treated.

Valedictorian: Each graduating high school has a policy regarding how it determines and who is eligible to be Valedictorian and Salutatorian.  By being part of the Early College program, students may forfeit this opportunity so it is important for a student that might be in this situation to understand the policies of their high school of graduation. The Early College staff has no control over these policies.