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Student Opportunities

Student Opportunities

Early College Programs

ACE (Achieving a College Education) Program

Learn About ACE.

Paradise Valley Community College offers Juniors the opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school. The ACE (Achieving a College Education) Program is a scholarship program that gives eligible students the experience of taking college credit courses while still enrolled in high school. ACE empowers these high school students to achieve a higher education and success in life by learning the skills it takes to manage high school, attend college, and plan for a rewarding future. 


Student applicants must have one or more of the following characteristics to be eligible:

  • First member of family to attend college

  • Demonstrated financial need

  • Under-represented population and/or English Language Learner

  • Environmental risk factors (will be considered on a case by case basis, for example, a student raised in foster care, teen parent, etc.)

PUMA College Connection (Paradise Valley Community College)

What Is the Puma College Connection?

Paradise Valley Community College also offers a two-year program for juniors that are motivated, has good academic and attendance records, and who wish to get a jump start on college. While still in high school, students can complete up to 35 semester hours of lower-division general education coursework.  

Students in the Puma College Connection will have completed the general education requirements for the first year at a university and may enter the university as a sophomore.  

If a student chooses to remain in the program for one year beyond high school, they will complete their Associate's Degree and can enter the university as a junior and gain admittance into their specific major (assuming all other requirements have been met). This is not a scholarship program. Students pay the tuition cost per credit.

Program Highlights

  • Receive 35 college credits while saving money and time while still enrolled in high school.

  • There are certain requirements that you must meet to qualify for the program.

  • All courses completed with a C or higher transfer to Arizona’s three state Universities.

  • Students attend PVHS classes until 4th period and then attend their college classes at PVCC in the afternoon.

Hoop of Learning

What Is Hoop of Learning?

The Hoop of Learning Program aims to increase high school graduation and retention rates, increase Native American enrollment and participation in college, empower Native American students to reach their goals, enhance Native American culturally relevant curriculum, increase diversity on campus, and strengthen partnerships with external Native American communities, school districts, and other agencies.


  • Student must be an enrolled member of a federal/state recognized tribe (or in the process of obtaining a census number.)
  • Students are required to contact their High School counselor for approval.
  • Students must submit a Student Information Form (SIF) along with a Hoop of Learning Application

Application Process for ACE/PUMA/HOOP College Connection

  • Applications are available in the Counseling or College & Career office or at the PVCC Student Development Office.

  • Students must apply during their Sophomore year in high school.

  • Student applications are due to high school counselors by December 15th.

  • Transportation to and from PVCC is the student and parents' responsibility.

ACE/PUMA/HOOP Coordinator

Stacie Chambers, Counselor,

  • Student must show proof of citizenship (CIB or Birth Certificate)

  • Students must take Assessment tests in Reading, Writing & Math.

  • Student must have a minimum 2.00 GPA in High School.

  • Student & Parent(s) must attend a mandatory orientation.

Vocational Programs

West-MEC (Western Maricopa Education Center) Vocational Training Programs

What Is West-MEC?

West-MEC (Western Maricopa Education Center) is a public school district dedicated to providing students innovative Career and Technical Education programs that will prepare them to enter the workforce and pursue continuing education. This program allows Juniors and Seniors the opportunity to start training for a Vocational Career while still in high school and the chance to get certified in that Career upon completion of the program.

Students have to sign up for this program during the fall of their Sophomore or Junior year, depending on the program. Visit the West-MEC website for more information about each program.


West-MEC Career classes are offered off campus and the training sites for the programs are located throughout the valley. Students must provide their own transportation to and from their training site.

West-MEC Coordinator

Carlos Monterroza, Counselor,

Health Care Academy Programs

If you have an Interest in Nursing or some other medical field, consider the Health Care Academy Programs in your junior and/or senior year.


  • Health Care Pathways

    • Gain skills, knowledge, and experience in a diverse sampling of clinical areas. Shadowing experience with some hands-on experience. For junior and senior students. Students apply for this program during the Fall of their Sophomore or Junior year.

  • Health Care Assistant

    • This class will provide the education and training necessary for students to be eligible to take the certification exam from the AZ State Board of Nursing to become a CNA upon completion of the course. This program is for senior students only who have already completed the Health Care Pathways Program.

PLEASE NOTE: Students are responsible to provide their own transportation to and from clinicals, which are located in various hospital/medical settings around the valley. 

Application Process for the Health Care Academy Programs

  • Applications are available from our Health Care Academy teachers.

  • Students must apply during the fall of sophomore year.