Here's the backstory real quick:

Class project in my java class to write a program to help the lab assistants manage the students who need help. Trying to use a PDA in the project.

Here's the question:

How do you get JVM and .jar files to run on a Dell Axim A5 with PocketPC 2002 OS? Preferrably a free way but I'll take what ever I can get.

Next question:

If it turns out to be impossible to get Java working on the PDA, would it be possible to write the PDA part of the app in C# or some other .NET language that supports PDAs and still be able to acces the server app that is written in java?

Thanks in advance.

As far as the J2ME on the Dell, I would say to ask them.

As far as "communicating with the server", if the communication is normal network traffic, then why not? It would be quite hard to try RMI type stuff (although CORBA should, technically, work), but normal network traffic, of course.

You can use any IDE to do your coding and compiling, but then you need Sun Java Wireless Toolkti 2.5.2 for CLDC(Sun site, download).
Other option is to use NetBeans and download Mobility pack for it ( 2 files, CLDC and CDC), Eclipse and choose one of 7 plugings (I recommend EasyEclipse ME - didn't use it but been told is good one) or use profesional package (jwenting gone like it) as IntelliJ IDEA which comes with preinstall plugin and one custom IntelliME J2ME. My university got academic licence for IntelliJ so I'm using it ;)
All these IDE's will produce JAR and JAD files that you can simply upload to your device through USB cable/Infrared/Bluetooth/upload on memory card/store on web and download it to device(that will cost you)

AFAIK there's no decent JVM for Windows CE, and no free one at all.

I know that Sun doesn't make a VM for PocketPC 2002. IBM does and I have the files, but I can't figure out how to get the PDA to recognize them and use them.

I already have NetBeans and Mobility Packs and I can write the app just fine. It's running it on the PDA that I can't figure out.

OK, sorry I misunderstand your question...

that seems to be a case of RTFM.
I don't know that IBM product, so I can't help. But IBM usually has pretty decent documentation (at least the installation guides, not always the technical stuff).