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Early College Program:

Early College Pathway at IVC

Irvine Valley College (IVC) is committed to creating fast track educational opportunities for high school students interested in getting a head start on their college careers. An example of the college's creative high school endeavors is the Early College Pathway (ECP) with Tustin Unified School District and Saddleback Valley Unified School District.

ECP is a partnership that allows students to dual-enroll in classes at their high school and the college. IVC started the ECP in 2007 as a pilot program at Beckman High School, a local high school within the IVC service area. The pathway later expanded, first in 2008, to Tustin High School in Tustin, and then in 2009, to El Toro High School in Lake Forest.

The purpose of the ECP is to provide the opportunity for academically qualified high school students to complete the Intersegmental General Education Course (IGETC) Certification and transfer to one of the UC or CSU campuses with almost two years' worth of transferrable college credit, saving thousands of dollars in tuition and valuable time that can be directed toward a career or graduate work. The pilot project provided for students to earn an Associate in Arts degree and transfer IGETC Certification, but after the initial cohort of students, the project has scaled back to provide for the IGETC Certification only. Students complete their high school diploma while taking IVC courses for both high school and college credit.

The classes offered at the high school are IVC courses taught by IVC professors. The college provides counseling and assessment services, which are contracted for by the high school districts through an annual memorandum of understanding. Each student has an education plan that outlines the courses they will take at IVC.

Professors from IVC are provided orientation to the high schools and staff development workshops on campus. IVC faculty have access to high school principals and vice principals to deal immediately with student/school issues and parental requests for information as they arise, and IVC's Office of Instruction is responsible for overall coordination of this Pathway.

ECP classes are held in the morning before the first period at the high school for 9th through 11th graders so students can easily transition to their other high school classes and still be involved in extracurricular activities such as athletics and arts at their high school. Seniors take their college classes at IVC in the early morning. Classes are open to other college students in addition to ECP students.

Each year, more than 40 high school students from Beckman and El Toro receive their IGETC Certification and participate in commencement exercises at IVC. Many are accepted to four-year colleges, including UCs and CSUs, as well as colleges out of state.

Overall, IVC and the high schools participating in the ECP have found it to be academically enriching and mutually beneficial to our shared student population. For more information about the process of applying to the Early College Pathway, contact the responsible administrator at the high school. For other general inquiries about the pathway, you can contact Traci Fahimi, interim dean of social and behavioral sciences, at (949) 451-5204.

For more information regarding the ECP​ at a specific high school, please visit the high school pages linked in the box at the left.​​


Traci Fahimi
Dean, Social & Behavioral Sciences
Academic Programs

T: 949-451-5204

Connie Fray (Sub)
Sr. Aministrative Assistant
Social & Behavioral Sciences
Academic Programs

T: 949-451-5717

Notice: All K-12 students must complete the K -12 Special Admissions form in order to enroll for IVC classes each semester. Routing of completed admissions paperwork will need to be coordinated with the participating high school administrator.​